Strategic Alliances and Integrations Enable Comprehensive Calling, Meetings, and Messaging Capabilities
In my role as a product manager here at Cisco, I regularly talk to customers about their collaboration environments. One question I get asked is what they can do to bring together collaboration tools from different vendors…
The Webex unified app is providing our customers with comprehensive calling, meetings, and messaging capabilities that integrate with our award-winning video devices and IP phones. The result is seamless and consistent workflows.
But we are also aware that many customers have existing investments in place with collaboration tools from other vendors, and we are committed to making sure that Webex is an open platform, that integrates with 3rd party applications to ensure our mutual customers have a solution that delivers the best possible outcomes.
Now, new Cisco calling integrations allow you to use all your enterprise-grade voice and video calling features in combination with these messaging platforms.
Cisco Calling Integrations
Calling integrations allow you to expose Cisco calling buttons directly in other vendors messaging apps. We’ve built the Cisco calling integrations to provide you with flexible solutions plus we’ve made them very easy to deploy. We started with Microsoft Teams and Slack messaging apps. To deploy a Cisco calling integration you simply select the Cisco client you are using for calling and the calling platform you want to use.
When you have added the Cisco calling integration, you can launch a Webex Teams or Cisco Jabber call directly from your messaging app. When you click the call button, the integrations identify who you’re chatting with, resolves their calling address, and passes this information to your installed Cisco client which starts a Cisco voice or video call. The integrations support all Cisco calling platforms including Cisco Unified Communication Manager (UCM) based on-premises and hosted deployments, and Webex Calling for cloud.
There are no complex back end changes to make as these are client integrations. There are no call routing policies or dial plan changes to make, no additional licenses required, and no new hardware to manage. You can even use the calling integrations with desk phone control, which means your users don’t have to replace their handsets.
Cisco Calling from Slack
Slack has made its messaging platform very open to integrating calling providers like Cisco. Adding the Cisco calling integration to Slack means you use the native Slack call button to start a Cisco call directly from Slack.
This could be using Webex Teams or Cisco Jabber as your softphone or controlling your desk phone. If your Cisco client is controlling your Cisco desk phone clicking the call button in Slack causes your Cisco desk phone to go off-hook and call your colleague.
Slack is popular with developers where users tend to like keyboard commands to take actions like making calls. Talking to Slack users it becomes clear this is a requirement for Slack users so we implement “/jabber” and “/webexteams” slash command allowing you to make calls at the command line.
We are continuing to work in partnership with Slack and plan to implement Slack’s new shortcut controls shortly. This will give you more calling destination selectable directly in Slack.
Cisco Calling from Microsoft Teams
The Cisco calling integration for Microsoft Teams has been available from the Microsoft Teams app store for just over a month now. This month we have extended it with new features and functionality. In addition to supporting Microsoft Teams desktop and web users, this month we added support for mobile and tablet devices. We also added new contact search capabilities, you can now search your Microsoft 365 Outlook contacts and call them using your Cisco calling platform via the integration.
Building Bridges with Webex
These two new calling integrations are just examples of the many integrations that the Webex platform supports, enabling people to enhance their communication and collaboration within their everyday workflows. For example, we’ve also worked with Microsoft to integrate Microsoft SharePoint and OneDrive Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions into Webex team messaging services to streamline collaboration on documents.
If you’re interested in learning more about Cisco calling integration contact your Cisco account team to discuss how to build on your current Cisco UC investments with Webex to enhance the collaboration experience for your users and/or integrate with 3rd party collaboration tools.