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Cisco Enhances Collaboration Portfolio
Cisco Systems has announced several enhancements to its collaboration portfolio. Key takeaways include:
- Cisco Webex Edge for Calling. This new software unifies existing Cisco and third-party products under the same Webex cloud service, delivering global dial plans, least-cost routing, and centralized services.
- Three new hardware products: The new products include the Webex Desk Pro (Feb. 2020), Webex Panorama (early 2020), and the Headset 700 series (Dec. 2019). The Webex Desk Pro is of particular note: the device has a 27-inch 4K touchscreen with a USB-C connection. And it’s not restricted to only Webex – it works with any conferencing platform, including Microsoft, and it works with web apps. A notable capability of the Desk Pro includes the caller’s ability to blur out their surroundings or create a virtual background.
- Cisco’s partnership with Microsoft. Though announced at Microsoft Ignite the week prior, Cisco restated the improved interoperability between Webex Teams and Microsoft Teams that will launch early 2020.
Source: Cisco Unified Communications Scorecard at SoftwareReviews. Accessed November 11, 2019
Cisco’s enhancement to their collaboration portfolio reinforces the growth that the organization has seen for their collaboration suite over the past year. However, despite these gains, the organization as a whole continues to be struck by slower enterprise spending and the ongoing US-China trade dispute.
Indeed, in the same week as Cisco’s collaboration announcement, Piper Jaffray downgraded Cisco from overweight to neutral. In other words, Cisco’s stock return is projected to be in line with the industry average, rather than return a higher amount. After all, Cisco’s shares fell nearly 16% in August, reversing its broader 2019 uptrend.
Cisco consumers will certainly be rejoicing at the partnership with Microsoft. However, it will be interesting to see whether the eventual power dynamics of this relationship will be Microsoft taking advantage of a weakening Cisco organization, bringing Webex users into the Office 365 ecosystem
On September 1, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Cisco about current and upcoming features of its Unified Webex app for September. Significant changes include the introduction of Cisco Webex Classrooms and the Webex Control Hub, with notable updates also coming to Webex for Education, Webex Meetings, and Webex Teams.
On September 4, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Zoho about current and upcoming features of Zoho Workplace, a global enterprise collaboration platform. Organizations, especially SMBs, that want to look outside of Microsoft’s and Google’s office productivity suite duopoly should consider shortlisting Zoho Workplace as a viable option.
Enterprise Connect’s virtual conference and expo for 2020 featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for the enterprise. In this fourteenth note of fourteen, I report on Recon Research’s latest study on how COVID-19 has cemented web conferencing as the future of the workplace.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall reports on Nemertes’ latest research. Nemertes studied the impact of team collaboration software on the enterprise and the need for a rationalized collaboration toolset.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall briefly explores Lenovo’s findings on the major challenges that employees face related to remote work, as well as best practices to counteract those challenges.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall reports on Cisco’s new solutions for remote work and a safe return to the office.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communication and collaboration for enterprise. One session showcased Slack’s latest updates for its Slack Connect and Enterprise Key Management (EKM) solutions.
Zoho Workplace – a global enterprise collaboration platform – has reported that it is now supporting 15 million users and is experiencing a surge in usage for its business applications. However, compared to Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite, Zoho still has a long way to go in this marketspace.
Google has announced several updates to its G-Suite offering, which aims to heavily integrate and better secure its teamwork applications. The move represents a clear attempt by Google to directly compete with Microsoft’s office productivity suite, with several of the G-Suite updates mirroring the logical architecture of Office 365.