Cisco Strikes Back with a New Approach to Collaboration
By Jim Lundy
Cisco recently held its WebEx one collaboration summit and revealed a whole new approach to collaboration and communication. In a nutshell, Cisco is making its software and hardware offerings as integrated as Apple does with the iPhone and iOS. This blog is about the new Cisco Webex and why it will be hard for others to match its strategy.
The New Cisco Collaboration Strategy: Integrated and AI-based
Cisco launched a new strategy to integrate its software and hardware more tightly than ever before. By adding an operating system to Ace Hardware called RoomOS, Cisco now has a common platform to manage a large fleet of devices and have much more tight integration between meeting platforms and it’s hardware.
New Hardware and new Compatibility
New devices were unveiled – the Webex X that is designed for hybrid work.
Hardware compatibility isn’t exclusive to Webex. Users that have Cisco devices can now launch Zoom Meetings and Microsoft Teams meetings.
What we like about this strategy is that Cisco has realized that collaboration is not a single vendor story in the enterprise anymore. As Aragon predicted several years ago, multiple collaboration tools are now common in the enterprise. Aragon feels that this new compatibility will increase demand for Cisco devices for those always on video meetings.
RoomOS and Control Hub – The Apple Approach Puts the Market on Notice
The strategic value of RoomOS and Control Hub cannot be understated. RoomOS is an AI enabled operating system that allows Cisco devices to be automated in multiple ways, including camera management for single or multiple users. This approach, which means devices will be continuously upgraded, is a similar strategy to what Apple does. It has already proven to be highly effective.
Other providers will need to re-examine their approach to devices. AI, automation, and fleet management are just some of the things that are game changers. That, combined with Cisco DNA Spaces, provides a complete perspective of what is going on in a building or a campus relative to devices and users.
For enterprises, the digitization of the workplace, which includes buildings and devices in those buildings, is here. Cisco has taken a leadership role on the shift to the connected and integrated collaborative workplace. Enterprises should look at their complete collaboration strategy– including hardware– and evaluate vendors based on this new integrated approach.
The new Cisco is more collaborative and integrated than any version in the past. With a common collaboration and communications architecture, Cisco can provide users with a better experience due to the integration of hardware and software. This is a bold move, but one that is a proven approach. Enterprises now have more options for their users – ones that are more intelligent, integrated, and automated than ever before.