When the smartphone was introduced, analysts predicted that it would revolutionize the way we work, and soon become our primary work communications device. The shift to hybrid working and the ability to work from virtually anywhere, on any device, makes this prediction a reality.
With our recently announced collaboration with AT&T, you will soon be able to turn your mobile device into a primary collaboration device.
While many companies are still in transition, hybrid work has taken hold across the globe. Hybrid work is here for good and has forever changed the way we work. Employees are increasingly using mobile devices to work from almost anywhere, at any time, whether it’s from home, the office, or on the go.
But truly integrated mobile solutions have historically been a “bolt on” to one’s personal device, and they were mostly limited to basic PBX features. The ability to support native dialers (aka, dual personas) represented a major improvement. But the device control continued to be the property of the end user, and usability hasn’t always been optimal. This arrangement could also present compliance and security questions in vertical use cases, such as Public Sector and Finance.
Only a few mobile solutions, globally, have offered a fully collaborative experience. Unfortunately, these solutions haven’t been easy to install, easy to use, or easy to manage.
Users’ expectations have also changed due to hybrid working, in addition to most IT professionals embracing and migrating to cloud-based applications. The importance of connectivity and security compliance has become critical in collaboration and communication, making the imperative for an easier to obtain, more friendly, robust mobile work experience greater than ever.
As I mentioned earlier, our mobile devices have become our primary work devices, excluding our laptops. In fact, a recent Gartner study estimates that by 2025, 75% of employees will work without desk phones, using their mobile smartphones as their primary work communications device.
Yet, as important as mobility is for today’s workforce, most employees using mobile devices are NOT connected to their company’s network or dialing plan. This exposes companies to security risks, and often a less than optimal customer experience.
In addition to the rise and popularity of hybrid work, two other trends are shaping the growing prevalence of mobile devices in the workplace:
In fact, the global mobile device management market is projected to grow from $9.38 billion in 2023 to $58.38 billion by 2030, as reported in 2022 by a Fortune Business Insights study. Mobile device growth being the primary driver.
Cisco has offered mobile-first solutions outside of the U.S. in partnership with service providers for several years. These offers have been very successful. Now we are bringing this expertise to the U.S., with Webex Go in collaboration with AT&T. This connects AT&T networking expertise and nationwide 5G network with Cisco’s best in class collaboration offers. We announced our joint solution, Webex Go with AT&T at this year’s Cisco Live in Las Vegas.
Webex Go with AT&T integrates Cisco’s Webex platform with AT&Ts Wireless network, providing high-quality voice with all Webex collaboration features and applications. Mobile devices enabled with Webex Go with AT&T won’t require a dual-SIM card (or device unlocking) and will easily connect to other Cisco Webex devices, so entering a conference room and switching devices becomes possible.
I had a chance to catch up with Mike Troiano (MT), Senior Vice President, Product and Pricing with AT&T Business, to get his take on our collaboration and solution.
DP: Thanks for meeting with me Mike. What excites you most about this solution and collaboration?
MT: What excites me most is that for the first time, we are bringing together America’s most reliable 5G wireless network1 with an industry-leading collaboration solution to create a truly unique and differentiated solution for hybrid workers. Together with Webex, we are providing powerful enterprise-grade calling features natively on a mobile device. And finally, it delivers a seamless user experience by securely making, receiving, and transferring calls between devices and networks at home, in the office or on the go. It truly is a game-changer.
DP: What does the solution do to transform collaboration and mobility for users, companies and IT administrators?
MT: It’s transformational from three perspectives. For businesses, it provides a more secure and productive collaboration tool for their employees. For IT admin, it provides an easy, single interface leveraging their existing control hub interface to configure and manage all of their AT&T wireless numbers and their Webex users. And lastly, for the users, it just works. There are no additional apps beyond the WebEx Mobile app, no need to unlock a phone, just place and receive phone calls using the native dialer and place and receive text messages using the native SMS app on their AT&T mobile device.
DP: What’s your take on our joint solution accelerating and improving hybrid working?
MT: The shift to mobility is accelerating hybrid work models. It also makes it easier for a remote or mobile employee to engage with colleagues and customers, which can often be difficult to do. Companies are also looking for ways to streamline device management and overall cost.
DP: What effect do you think our joint offer will do to transform mobile business services?
MT: The shift to mobility in business is already occurring. This solution will only accelerate that transformation by providing customers with a more secure, mobile first business solution for all their communication and collaboration needs that works virtually anywhere. Most importantly for businesses, it increases productivity and improves the end user experience.
DP: Thanks, Mike.
MT: Thanks, DP.
In part two of this blog, I’ll zero in on how Webex Go with AT&T enhances the mobile user’s experience.
*Webex Go with AT&T and AT&T Cloud Voice with Webex Go is enabled at no additional charge or cost but does require the subscriber to purchase an authorized AT&T Business Wireless CRU mobile plan, device from AT&T or authorized AT&T Partner and secure the necessary Webex Suite/ Calling and Webex Go Add-on Licenses from Webex VAR/Reseller that enables the Cloud Voice with Webex Go Bolt-on
*Webex Go with AT&T is planned to be available in Q4 2023
*Webex Go with AT&T is referenced as “AT&T Cloud Voice for Webex Go” by AT&T
1 Based on nationwide GWS drive test data. GWS conducts paid drive tests for AT&T and uses the data in its analysis. AT&T 5G requires compatible plan and device. 5G not available everywhere. Go to att.com/5Gforyou for details.