Author: Lorrissa Horton

Date: April 18, 2019

When I started at Cisco last year, one of my first impressions was that we have some of the most passionate and enthusiastic customers in the world. Many of them choose to partner with us as they embark upon their digital transformation journey – knowing that Cisco is dedicated to walk with them on this journey. And I’m so excited that Webex Teams is a critical part of this story.

What Makes Webex Teams Stand Out

When people ask me this question, the answer is quite simple! Cisco has been offering collaboration tools for some time and we are the leader in calling, meetings and devices. Now, we are taking collaboration to a whole new level with Webex Teams, a solution that connects people with each other and their work no matter where they are. This is about delivering best-in-class messaging, meetings, and calling experiences “from the pocket to the boardroom” that are connected to all your business workflows. Cisco wants to be your partner to optimize, and modernize, employee and customer experiences.

To do this effectively for enterprise customers, we are building a flexible cloud platform that blends new features into our customer’s existing architectures in order to enhance solution output without disrupting business momentum and employee productivity.

We optimize enterprise collaboration solution output without disrupting business momentum and employee productivity.

 

Cloud First, Not Cloud Only

Our approach to platform development follows a cloud first, not cloud only set of principles. I wrote about this late last year and I’m excited to tell you more about how we’re making progress in this area.

Approach for Customers with Extensive Jabber Deployments

With Jabber 12.6 now generally available, users can now get the benefits of team collaboration in their Jabber clients. The new team messaging mode in 12.6 delivers the persistent messaging features of Webex Teams, including file sharing, search, @mentions, and status-based presence (i.e. based off of “last active” time stamps we’ve grown to love in our consumer lives) right inside of the Jabber desktop and mobile interfaces.

Users don’t miss a beat while they get an enriched messaging experience, and IT gets to keep the existing rich call control features and policies they’ve curated within Unified CM or HCS – especially important if they have compliance and regulation requirements. In addition to now supporting our Jabber mobile app, 12.6 also delivers other features such as enhanced UDS/LDAP integration capabilities and improved message formatting.

And of course, Webex Teams and Jabber users can message each other with native messaging interoperability between these apps. Like I said, we’re using our market leadership to blend our existing solutions with our new solutions to foster continued business transformation for our customers.

Approach for Customers Looking for the Complete Team Collaboration Experience

Customers using or trialing Webex Teams for the complete team collaboration experience across our messaging, meetings, devices, and calling capabilities are also asking for an easy way to use the app with what they already have in place. Along these lines, we have several new capabilities that we’ve launched and are improving every month.

Our new native registration for Cisco Unified CM (now in a preview release) makes for a seamless solution for calling in Webex Teams, linking on-premises or partner-hosted calling with the Webex cloud.  Users can message, meet, share, white board, call and more in a single place while leveraging their preferred enterprise calling service.

This helps enhance the value of existing calling infrastructure investments as customers evolve workloads to the cloud. It also delivers an elegant enterprise calling architecture that doesn’t require additional software to enable calling in the app.

The initial preview release delivers desktop-only features suited for knowledge workers. Customers and partners are already excited about the capabilities, with early users stating that the functionality has been seamless and responsive.

Additional features are expected monthly with a ‘GA’ targeted later this calendar year. I can’t wait to update you on our progress here.

For meetings and devices users, we now offer whiteboard viewing across ALL of our Cisco video devices and Webex apps. So, if I start a session on a Webex Board, DX 80, or Webex Teams app, everyone else in that meeting – Webex Meetings app users and SIP endpoint participants (including Jabber and third-party devices) – can see the whiteboard just like a screen share.

Also new from earlier this year is proximity between Webex Teams devices and on-premises Cisco video devices for local wireless sharing.  Now, you can simply walk into a room, open the Webex Teams app on your mobile or desktop device, and tap to share an application or your screen for all to see.

One of the key benefits of our cloud first not cloud only design is that it makes everything work with little effort.  So if you have on-premises registered devices, you can get these new capabilities automatically. No major upgrades needed, no new add-ons to install or hardware to purchase.  And we’re not done yet in these areas. Both white boarding and proximity sharing will have exciting updates later this year.

Why Does This Matter and What To Do Next

According to a recent Synergy Research Group report, TeamWork Apps will be the highest growth market, up by almost 60% in 2019. And in the Nemertes UCC 2018 Research Study: Team Collaboration, the number of enterprises moving from planning to usage of team collaboration tools has increased by 20%.  So, the team collaboration era is definitely upon us.

To delight both new and existing customers moving to this new way of working, we are committed to using the cloud for rapid innovation, scale, and security for our team collaboration solution. As illustrated in this blog, we want our existing customers to make the transition as quickly and easily as possible. And with our cloud first, not cloud only design, we are confident that we have the most powerful and flexible platform for you to do just this.

Used with permission from Cisco.