Welcome to your competitive edge. Announced today, Cisco Webex Edge is a set of services that allows you to realize savings on PSTN and bandwidth costs while providing better meeting experiences with improved audio, video, and content quality.

Why do we need Cisco Webex Edge? The way we work is changing. Most of us are spending more time in meetings – so much time that 50% of enterprise voice traffic ends up on a conference bridge (Forrester Research). We’re becoming more connected, often now on mobile devices. As a result, PSTN and internet bandwidth costs are becoming a big drain.

  • Two-thirds of people still use the PSTN to dial into meetings (Wainhouse Research).
  • In our own research, 3 out of 5 users still feel that cloud video doesn’t deliver reliable services.

High PSTN use and the lack of confidence in cloud video are surprising, especially as the industry has been hard at work transforming VoIP and video efficiency. But most cloud solutions aren’t designed for real-time communications, which makes it very hard to deliver on the promise of VoIP and video.

Webex is different. It is the only service built and optimized for real-time media. It has a worldwide backbone engineered for great meetings ensuring superior quality, reliability, and security that is impossible to achieve on other public cloud-based services.

We are re-architecting the edge so that you can maximize the power of the Webex backbone directly in your own data center. And it doesn’t require users to do anything differently.

Webex Edge consists of three services:

Each service provides its own benefits. Deploy them separately or deploy them together to maximize the results.

Cisco Webex Edge

Cisco Webex Edge Audio

Reduced PSTN costs and wideband audio with no change in user behavior

Webex Edge Audio provides even greater choice around how you manage meeting audio – even to mix and match approaches as required. Until now, VoIP was limited to meeting attendees who connected using a laptop or their company had deployed Webex Cloud Connected Audio.

Most users still want to join meeting audio from a desk phone, home phone, or mobile device. Webex Edge Audio allows you to decouple the PSTN from Cisco Webex by intelligently changing the call routing to a simple-to-deploy on-net path. This means you can leverage existing Cisco UC investments to lower costs and improve quality – a true “better together” story.

Webex Edge Audio doesn’t require dealing with SIP trunks and all the associated hidden costs and complexity. With it, any company of any size that uses Cisco Unified Communications Manager can intelligently and automatically route audio calls over VoIP or utilize existing PSTN services. You enable Webex Edge Audio through a simple automated-provisioning process and setup with Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Expressway. Unlike other solutions, you don’t need to spend on edge traversal licenses or third-party session border controllers. They connect to the Webex Cloud through Cisco Expressway without additional licenses.

With Webex Edge Audio, any meeting participant automatically joins a meeting through a direct VoIP route to the Webex Cloud. It’s completely transparent to the user. And it’s the same whether they’re on a PC or a Cisco-registered phone. This provides great cost savings because it eliminates PSTN charges created by employees. At the same time, users get all the benefits of Webex’s high-quality wideband codecs.

Webex Edge Audio can also lower PSTN costs for participants using callback from any phone – including mobile and home phones. When an on-prem user requests callback to join a meeting, Unified Communications Manager automatically routes the call to the desk phone. Gain additional cost savings by routing callback for specific countries via your on-net Expressways and out your own PSTN gateways.

Last but not least, Webex Edge Audio provides ultimate flexibility in choosing the on-net path in locations where you can save on PSTN. At the same time, you can off-net minutes in locations where you don’t have an on-prem Unified Communications Manager deployment.

In summary, for any Unified Communications Manager-registered device, Webex Edge Audio creates an end-to-end VoIP path whether users are dialing in or requesting call-back from Webex. For all other users, use your company’s own PSTN services. We have democratized audio savings while improving the call quality on Unified Communications Manager-registered devices.

Webex Edge Connect

End-to-end Webex backbone experience

Webex Edge Connect brings the power of Webex directly to your data center. It’s a dedicated, managed, QoS-enabled IP link from your premises directly to the Cisco Webex backbone via the Equinix cloud exchange.

This dedicated peering connection insulates your meetings from the variability of the Internet. That translates to less congestion, packet loss, jitter, and delay. Because you’re not exposed to the public Internet, you’re better protected from potential threats and attacks.

Conducting your day-to-day core business over the internet does not interfere with meetings and vice-versa. By combining Webex Edge Audio and Webex Edge Connect, you can get a consistent, reliable, cost-effective, and secure meeting experience for all.

Webex Edge Video Mesh

On-premises video quality and bandwidth savings

Cisco introduced Video Mesh last year as Hybrid Media Service and we’re including it within the Webex Edge service. Video Mesh is already very popular because it enables on-premises video quality with cloud’s simplicity and scale. The software provides local media processing for select Cisco Webex on-premises meetings attendees. It lowers latency and saves on Internet bandwidth because media no longer needs to traverse to the cloud and back for call processing. As an extension of your on-prem Cisco Webex service, it’s synchronized for automatic software updates. And if on-premises resources are full or unavailable, the service automatically cascades to the cloud so everyone can join the meeting.

Video Mesh optimizes how participants connect to meetings and to each other, which supports higher video quality, lower latency, and bandwidth savings. You can optimize it when used with Webex Edge Connect with your audio and video combined and managed by the Webex backbone.

Next steps

It’s simple to try out Webex Edge. It’s included within your Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan meeting subscription. All you need to do is provision for the peering agreement monthly charges. It’s a small investment to have the ability to re-imagine your meeting experiences, reduce latency, and save significant costs on PSTN and bandwidth charges.

Explore more about Cisco Webex Edge.



Javed Khan

Senior Vice President and General Manager

Cisco Collaboration