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When I decided to join the Cisco team over a year ago and lead the product team for Webex Calling, I was drawn by the potential I saw for addressing a growing market demand for an enterprise-class cloud calling solution that business leaders can trust. What I didn’t realize then is how perfect my timing was.
Three years ago, this March, Cisco introduced Webex Calling. This month, we are announcing our six millionth user of Webex Calling.
I have to say, I believe I know the secret to why we are seeing such phenomenal adoption of Webex Calling. It’s a powerful mixture of our rate of delivering meaningful innovation, our laser focus on the user experience, and our exceptional capacity to make the cloud calling journey accessible to worldwide markets, across verticals, and attractive for every business strategy.
Let me share some examples of what I mean, starting with innovation you can’t wait to use. We all depend on our cell phones, more than ever, but keeping our business and personal use separate and private has been challenging. Until now. We just released Webex Go, which will simultaneously simplify your business calling on your cell phone, while improving the audio quality of your business calls. With security and compliance built-in, you’re always protected. Now your business number can co-exist on your phone, next to your personal number, ensuring your business calls stay business and your personal calls stay personal.
For IT administrators, we continue to expand on our centralized dashboard capabilities in Control Hub, from which the IT team can collect actionable insights for troubleshooting network performance, using intuitive call visualization tools. We added new Media Quality dashboards, which offer interactive graphs for monitoring call performance. Drill down into your network by connection type, location, or device levels. The graphics make it easy to identify issues in near-real time, then get to root cause analysis and problem resolution in record time. Ask your Cisco account team for a demo.
Figure 2: See how the new analytics dashboard improves call quality across your organization
That’s a quick peek at some of our recent innovations. I encourage you to read Lorrissa Horton’s blog for more details, especially our latest innovation for devices.
On the experience front, Cisco is committed to building a user experience that is second to none. For frontline workers in the healthcare industry, we are improving the quality of the telehealth experience between physicians, nurses and their patients with Webex Instant Connect for Epic. Patients can engage in video consultations with remote specialists, directly from their healthcare provider’s Epic EMR portal, to simplify the overall experience. In addition, our team recently launched Far End Camera Control, which empowers doctors to make their telehealth video visits more immersive. With Far End Camera Control, medical professionals can take control of the farend camera of their patients, to ensure they get the view they need in every visit.
On the administrative side, we’ve accelerated our investment in the usability of Control Hub, the Webex single-pane-of-glass administrator experience. We’ve invested in new provisioning experiences with the smallest business in mind, even while providing new bulk templating capabilities that enable an enterprise administrator to scale provisioning across a multinational organization.
We are also making Webex Calling more accessible for everyone and more attractive to large and multinational organizations. For one, we’re expanding the geographic reach of Cisco Calling Plans to cover Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland now, then adding Australia and New Zealand shortly. This is in addition to the twelve countries across North America and Europe already supported and the 65 countries covered by our Cloud Connected PSTN providers.
For multi-national organizations with operations in India, you can now extend Webex Calling access to your branch offices in India. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) requires specific routing of calls, to prevent toll bypass. Now Webex Calling users can easily implement location-based policies to prohibit mixing calls across VoIP and India PSTN networks and properly route long-distance calls, according to regulations. This is all part of our continuing global expansion effort to bring secure, quality, cloud communications to every region of the world.
Further, to our deep commitment to our global markets, we have added another 21 system prompt languages to Webex Calling. We believe at Webex a truly global platform needs to be local.
For customers choosing to get multiple cloud services from Webex, we now have our cloud calling and meetings services integrated in the cloud, to deliver a seamless calling and call-back experience for users. With Integrated Audio for Webex Calling, remote employees, when calling into a meeting, will avoid toll charges, by keeping their call connection in the Webex cloud. This leads to a better call quality experience and drastically reduces PSTN toll costs.
Another benefit for our large customers is the improved, secure architecture between Webex Calling and customer session border controllers (SBCs), with the added benefit of higher scalability. This gives our large customers and customers with contact centers, the flexibility to access Webex Calling services at much higher scale than they could get from a local gateway connection in the past. We’re also enabling 3rd party gateway/Session Border Controller (SBC) providers certification, giving our customers more hardware options for connecting to Webex Calling. We are currently in the process of certifying partner SBCs, so stay tuned for more on those announcements.
Perhaps the best news of all, we continue to work on ways to make our calling innovation more available and accessible to businesses, regardless of their strategic vision to adopt cloud calling in the near term, mid-term, or long-term.
For business leaders ready to go all in on the cloud, you can get started right now, with Webex Calling. For businesses who need a more phased approach to the cloud, Webex Calling can support your interests as well. We offer hybrid deployment models that provide a seamless integration between select on-premises calling and cloud sites, as you migrate over to Webex Calling. Cisco and our partners will work with you to define a strategy for moving users or sites to Webex Calling, in phases, and keeping your entire organization connected with a common dialing model for all sites and users.
If you’re already using Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Dedicated Instance for Webex Calling can simplify your move to the cloud, by offering customers the ability to maintain familiar features and calling experiences on existing endpoints, as well as integrated partner applications. Plus, you can continue to use Cisco Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) capabilities to provide robust site survivability benefits. A dedicated Instance offers you a non-disruptive “lift and shift” path to the cloud.
And for organizations who want to keep their calling solution on-premises for the foreseeable future, but still want to take advantage of most of the innovation that continues in the communications and collaboration realm, Cisco is still the leader in delivering on-premises calling solutions, with our Cisco Unified Communications Manager. We continue to deliver improved simplicity, security, survivability, and stability on a platform that has allowed Cisco to deliver best-in-class telephony services to our users for over 2 decades now. With Webex Cloud-Connected UC, we even offer many of the advantages of cloud administration for on-premises calling solutions. And we’ve made the full Webex Suite available to on-premises calling users, who can enjoy the magic of the Webex App experience, with their Unified CM solution. As our industry continues to raise the bar on security requirements, Unified CM delivers solutions to meet these new requirements.
So we really have developed a calling solution that can serve the needs of every business, whatever your strategy. We would love to hear more about your strategy and see how Cisco can help you achieve your business goals.
Reach out to your Cisco account team to discuss the best strategy for your business calling and collaboration future.