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Cisco Connect Cloud Calling 2019

December 16, 2019

Dan Payne, CTO, VOSS Solutions

Last week, Cisco hosted one of their Connect events at their Richardson campus which VOSS attended as one of the ecosystem partners. The event focused on cloud calling and covered both business and technical topics for their Webex, UCM (Cloud and HCS) and BroadWorks solutions. It was clear from the packed auditorium that attendance at Cisco’s collaboration and calling events is growing, both from a partner and ecosystem partner perspective. This event is the evolution of Cisco’s HCS Summit events (very popular with service providers around the world), widening the topics to cover their entire cloud calling portfolio.

It was a 2-day event with the first day covering business and marketing topics. Day 2 was dedicated to technical topics and was split into 3 tracks i.e. Webex Calling, UCM Cloud and BroadWorks. Roughly 25 ecosystem partners had their tables set up outside the auditorium, giving the partners an opportunity to walk around and learn more about what we all had to offer.

A few key takeaways of the event for me were:

  • Cisco sees its unified Webex cloud platform as the future for calling and collaboration (especially in the SMB market)
  • Cisco is unifying the look and feel and user experience across its entire portfolio to make the eventual transition to Webex cloud more seamless
  • The biggest cloud calling growth (156%) is expected in the mid-market (100-500 seats) over the next 5 years, but the SMB market will provide the biggest ARR ($6.5B)
  • Cisco continues to support HCS and BroadWorks for partner-hosted solutions; see the table below for a summary of the various market offerings
  • Integration with other platforms and cloud solutions is key to Webex’s success for e.g. flexible insertion to third-party apps such as Slack and Microsoft Teams – this of course is an area where the VOSS fulfillment platform continues to deliver significant value to our customers and partners
  • Cisco sees a massive opportunity with headsets as the refresh rate is much higher than traditional desk phones; i.e. people are replacing their headsets more often (estimated at 5 times more often than they did with phones)