Cisco Addresses Collaboration Portfolio Shortcoming



CISCO PARTNER SUMMIT — Cisco has not only invigorated its collaboration team with new blood, the vendor on Tuesday added new collaboration integrations and products to bolster demand and dissipate user disappointment. A big player in unified communications, Cisco boasts 300 million users globally.

Cisco's Amy Chang

Cisco’s Amy Chang

From a strategy perspective, Cisco is working on creating a single unified UC portfolio.

“Bridges, no more islands,” said Amy Chang, senior vice present, collaboration technology group. “You’re going to see the portfolio come together in a way it hasn’t before.”

Partners and users will hear Cisco talk about a cloud-first strategy this week at the company’s Partner Summit in Las Vegas, but not a cloud-only strategy.

“We have 36 million users on Jabber. Our on-prem portfolio; you can believe that we’re going to be developing for that as well,” said Chang. “You’ll see us developing on both sides.”

Here’s our most recent list of new products and services being offered by agents, VARs, MSPs and other channel partners.

Cisco made news announcements that touch on its collaboration strategy.

Two new collaboration transformations, announced Tuesday, focus on BroadCloud Calling and Huddles spaces. The new Cisco BroadCloud Calling boasts integration with Webex Teams and Meetings, and comes with a new collaboration Flex Plan for service providers. Cisco acquired BroadSoft for $171 billion a year ago as part of its move from switching and routing to software.

On the Huddles front, admitting that it hasn’t reached its potential since being introduced a couple of years ago, Sri Srinivasan, vice president and general manager, Team Collaboration Group, announced three new products: Webex Share, Webex Room Mini Kit and Webex Board 55.

Cisco BroadCloud Calling is a phone system in the cloud, offering the benefits of a traditional PBX in the cloud. Cisco Webex Teams will be available through service providers. It’s designed for companies with more than 100 employees.

“Webex Teams now becomes PBX in the cloud,” said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, global marketing at Cisco.

Cisco also added new BroadCloud Calling to the Flex Plan, specifically for service providers. What that means is that Cisco BraodCloud Calling is a new option in the plan and service providers can bundle or mix and match how their customers want to deploy – on-premises or in the cloud – in a single package with a single bill.

This solution will initially be available through six service providers in the U.S. and expand to support global locations across 19 countries in 2018, and more in 2019 and beyond.

Additionally, a new Cisco Calling App will be available from service providers who sell BroadCloud Calling while using the Flex Plan — and they can private-label the app. It’s also integrated with Outlook and the enterprise directory to simplify searching for colleagues.

Huddle spaces are rooms designed for five people or fewer, and there are about 25 million Huddle spaces today, representing a 20 percent growth rate over two years; however, 48 percent of huddle spaces have no collaboration technology. It’s no wonder why 78 percent of huddle users report that they’re frustrated with Huddle spaces collaboration.

With this announcement of Webex Share, Webex Room Kit Mini and Webex Board 55, Cisco is out to …

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