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Key Cisco themes at UC Expo 2019 -2
Key Cisco themes at UC Expo 2019

The UC Expo is the UK & Europe’s largest unified communications & collaboration event, with over 6,000 attendees. This year’s event was held at London ExCeL, 15-16 of May 2019.  The event showcased the latest tech in Cloud, Networks, Communications, Security, AI, and Collaboration.  So basically, it’s everything in Cisco’s wheelhouse!  That is why the Cisco team came out in full force to support this event with 2 mainstage keynotes, 3 seminars, 4 panel discussions, 6 partner pods, and 48 square meters for the Cisco booth. Across all this activitity, there were two key areas of focus: Cognitive Collaboration and Webex Calling. I wanted to help break down some of the distilled sound bites and messages from those areas for anyone who wasn’t able to attend.

Cognitive Collaboration

  • Cognitive Collaboration is all about pulling in the intelligence and context across the various means of collaboration without the user needing to lift a finger.
  • This continues to be a key theme for Cisco Collaboration as it expands in feature set and capability and spreads across the product portfolio.
  • It will touch 300 million people worldwide on Cisco collab today.
  • It’s not just for meetings! Cognitive Collaboration will be a key part of calling, devices (already layered inside devices like the Webex Room Kit Mini), team collaboration, and even contact center.
  • Aruna: “Every part of our portfolio will go cognitive.”
  • All of this will augment the experience across the portfolio with extra intelligence and context.
  • As Aruna said, “Cognitive is a game changer, industry first, and only Cisco has it.”
  • Having Cognitive Collaboration across all the modes of collaboration in a unified experience is the game changer.

Webex Calling

  • Webex Calling is cloud-based calling built upon the BroadSoft infrastructure which came to Cisco in the 2018 acquisition.
  • Broadsoft cloud calling has been rebranded as Webex Calling and is now part of the Webex brand.
  • Webex Calling gives you the ability to start a call on your mobile device, arrive at your office, with one swipe, transfer from the mobile device to your desk phone.
  • It provides the same experience whether you join on a desk phone, mobile device, or Webex Teams. It’s a single, unified experience to collaborate while receiving all of the features and functionality you would expect to find in a traditional PBX.
  • There will be seamless integration into Webex Teams!
  • Commercially, Webex Calling will be available through the Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan offered through Cisco, VAR’s, and SP’s.
  • Webex Calling GA in EMEA was 16thof May – rest of world targeted for 30thof May.
  • Amy Chang, SVP of Collaboration: “On the cloud calling side, with the BroadSoft acquisition, we now own 57% together of the cloud calling market. And that’s just the beginning.”

Other Key Sound Bites

  • Cisco’s commitment to On-Prem…. Amy: “When I first started, Jabber already had 36 million active users.  Today, a year later, we’ve got 45 million active users on Jabber… So yes, you better believe we’re going to continue to provide a phenomenal experience for our customers on our premise based portfolios across the board and continue to invest there.”
  • A unified collaboration experience…. Amy mentioned that many vendors try to have the various pieces of collaboration – calling, messaging, meeting, etc. – but this was something Cisco already had – and had for a long time. And Cisco is making that unified experience around all the various Cisco collaboration products – hardware and software – even tighter from a UI and UX perspective.

I’ll end with a great quote from Aruna Ravichandran, VP of Collaboration Marketing at Cisco, “We are the only vendor in the market who has an end-to-end integrated portfolio which provides the same unified, simple experience regardless of how you’re actually experiencing the collaboration technology.”

Layer the cognitive collaboration elements on top of that end-to-end portfolio and you have a collaboration experience touching calling, meetings, team collaboration, contact center, and devices in a way that only Cisco can.

Additional Viewing

  • Mainstage Keynote #1 (32 min)
    • Who: Amy Chang
    • What: Cognitive Collaboration: Changing the Game

  • Mainstage Keynote #2 (30 min)
    • Who: Aruna Ravichandran
    • What: Workplace Transformation Cognitively Enabled
    • Watch here

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