Cisco has announced five major updates to its Collaboration portfolio designed to assist chief information officers who are dealing with workplace transformation.

The aim with these updates is to unify Cisco’s products so as to provide a consistent experience in terms of security, management and, of course, using the products.

The first major innovation is the Single Platform Advantage. Cisco will now deliver all workloads including, calling, messaging, meeting, devices and contact centres through a single platform. That means that users will enjoy a consistent experience across devices and IT teams will be able to manage workloads through a single pane of glass.

Other benefits of Single Platform Advantage include:

  • Edge and hybrid services: This allows customers to link services they currently have and deliver enhanced capabilities from the cloud.
  • Cognitive Collaboration:This slipstreams context and intelligence throughout every interaction, every day.
  • Enterprise-class security and compliance: True end-to-end encryption protects data in transit, at rest, and in use. Multilayer security includes Data Loss Protection to meet compliance and regulatory needs and is validated and continuously monitored to comply with stringent internal and third-party industry standards.
  • Analytics and management: Cisco Webex Control Hub lets you manage large-scale deployments centrally and make data-driven decisions. Real-time performance visibility and diagnostics allow you to deliver the best user experience every time. Understand how each room is being used and optimise your assets accordingly. In the contact center, understand agent call volume and customer journeys to help shape better outcomes.

The next major update is to cloud calling platform Webex. New Cisco Webex Edge for Calling is able to work alongside existing Cisco and third party PBX systems. With the update IT teams can unify disparate environments and take advantage of Webex cloud services to deliver global dial plans.

Firms are also able to use a carrier of their choice. In addition to this Cisco Unified Communication Manager Cloud has been introduced as a way to help businesses scale their cloud communications. The solution is managed in the Webex cloud.

Cisco is also introducing two new collaboration tools designed to simply cloud calling.

The first is Desk Pro which is a 27inch, 4K touchscreen that functions similarly to mainstream products such as Google Home Hub. The device features noise suppression for home office workers with a dog nearby and it can recognise and greet users by name as they approach it.

The second product is Room Panorama. This video conferencing solution includes two Samsung 82inch 8K QLED displays for video, a 4K display for presentations, four 5K cameras and a 12 speaker audio system. The idea behind the solution is to bring remote teams closer together in what should be remarkably true to life video.

An example of a Webex Room Panorama setup.

Cisco has also announced the Cisco Headset 700. This Bluetooth headset sports noise cancellation and can be paired to any Cisco device. IT teams will also be able to manage the headset to insure security remains a priority.

In future the Cisco Headset 700 may also be able to remind users they have a meeting in a few minutes thank to IT teams being able to deliver smart features to the headset.

Finally, Cisco is offering all of the above solutions as a service. Sadly this offer is only available in the US right now but hopefully this expands to other regions as well. Using Cisco’s solutions as a service means you can avoid sticker shock when ageing equipment or solutions need replacing.

There are a number of really insightful improvements to Cisco’s collaborative ecosystem and it’s worth getting in touch with your channel partner to find out more or simply visit the Cisco website for more information.