In collaboration with Arti Patel

Making dinner is relatively easy if you already have first-rate ingredients and supplies at hand — harder if you need to schlep to multiple stores to gather the ingredients and then hunt for an AWOL garlic press.

Replace “making dinner” with “collaborating” and you have Cisco IT’s vision for Webex Teams. We’re bringing collaboration tools right to our users’ fingertips by integrating Webex Teams with Cisco and third-party applications. We think of it as meeting people where they are — in any application.

The integrations go in both directions. From a Webex Teams space, an engineer can view alerts and retrieve content from a growing number of applications. From other applications, like Office 365, a project manager can just click to start a voice or video call or create a space to collaborate on that document.

Here are some of the integrations we’ve completed or are working on:

  • Content management system. Without leaving Webex Teams we can now open, edit, and share documents stored in Microsoft One Drive or Sharepoint. No more downloading documents to our devices and then uploading them again. For more, see this blog by our colleague Anoop Narang.
  • Outlook calendars. We manage our calendars right from Webex Teams, especially helpful for scheduling follow-up meetings.
  • Jira cloud bot. Our DevOps teams and Customer Care organization use Jira software to plan, track, and release software, creating one card for each work item. Now they can create and view cards without leaving Webex Teams.
  • DevOps toolchain. Our DevOps tools—including Git, BitBucket, Jenkins, SonarQube, CheckMarx, Artifactory, and uDeploy—push status notifications into the Teams space. Seeing all notifications in one place helps global teams quickly see what their colleagues in other time zones accomplished overnight.

Other integrations make Webex Teams meetings more convenient:

  • Proactive Join. People who walk into a Cisco meeting room right on time can still be late if they need a few minutes to join. With Proactive Join, the Webex endpoint senses when we’re in the room (from our smartphone or laptop), and offers to automatically connect us to the meeting that’s on our calendar. As of February 2020 we’ve integrated Webex Teams into about half of our 35,000 Webex endpoints.
  • Cognitive collaboration. Our users like the convenience of voice commands, so we’re adding more speech recognition and AI to Webex Teams. For example, if a meeting participant asks, “Okay, Webex, how much long is this room available?” Teams looks at the room calendar to answer. If someone says, “Okay Webex, invite Tony to the call,” Teams predicts the right “Tony” based on history and contacts and then asks for confirmation: “Did you mean Tony DeGruy?”

Back to our cooking analogy…

Just as a chef needs spices whether preparing lamb chops, ratatouille, or pumpkin pie, our workforce needs collaboration tools whether they’re working on a presentation, software development, or a customer support case. Using the Webex Teams API, we’re bringing collaboration to our users wherever they are.


Questions? Ideas for new integrations? Please share in the comment box below.