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The Cisco Collaboration Summit, and the Principle of “Simple”

Cloud | Posted on June 29, 2018 by luisa

In April, I attended the Cisco Collaboration Summit. It was an opportunity to gather insight about Cisco’s new collaboration portfolio, and to meet the innovators behind its execution. This year, the focus was on simplicity. As Senior Vice President Rowan Troloppe said in the keynote address, the company obsesses over the principle of “simple.” Staying true to this principle, Troloppe said, was how they intend on delivering a great product. Here’s what I learned about how Cisco is delivering on that promise.

It’s All About WebEx

At the summit, Cisco launched their new cloud collaboration portfolio. It has fully encompassed by the WebEx brand. The portfolio features a single kind of meeting, the WebEx meeting, on a single platform. They’ve completely overhauled the Spark app, too. Now called WebEx Teams, the app is a productivity management and group chat tool that incorporates WebEx video capabilities.

The simplicity of this approach has a big impact on productivity. According to Cisco, it saves ten minutes per meeting. This is thanks to end-users not having to fiddle with configuration. WebEx Teams is available for any device, with different versions optimized for desktop or mobile. This is a huge step forward for collaboration. They fit together seamlessly. Users can start a meeting on their computer, and end it on their phone, which makes for a smooth, flexible collaboration experience.

Cisco share device

Bringing it All Together

And that’s not all that Cisco did to make WebEx a smooth experience. They made sure it integrates well with existing tech. One striking example of this is the Cisco Share. The Share is a nondescript device about the size of a coaster. Plug it into a TV and its capabilities are clear: your TV is now a WebEx meeting display.

WebEx’s tight integration with Microsoft products is just as elegant. After recruiting some bright minds from Microsoft, Cisco implemented WebEx functionality into Office 365 and Teams. Now, end-users can schedule WebEx meetings with Outlook, and start a meeting inside Microsoft Teams. This ensures that enterprises can incorporate WebEx into their existing frameworks with little to no friction.

The progress isn’t over. Cisco recently made the big step of acquiring Broadsoft. Broadsoft leads the market in cloud unified communications in 80 countries and has partnerships with companies like Verizon and Vodafone. This acquisition marks the beginning of an even brighter future for WebEx.

Cisco and Softchoice

For the finale, we heard from Senior Manager of Customer Success Strategy and Development, Heidi Rhodes. She addressed how Cisco is making life easier for clients by engaging in a new digital transformation strategy.

It’s all part of a new era that Cisco is creating. Now high-quality cloud video will be the norm in the business world. This isn’t the case yet—many companies have hybrid solutions administered by multiple vendors—it’s clear that big change is on its way.

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