Cisco Collaboration is a partner-driven organization. 93% of our sales are through partners, a rarity in our industry these days. So what an honor to have our Webex redesign recognized as the overall Collaboration Product of the Year by CRN, a leading news source for our channel partners and service providers. And like many awards, there is a bigger story here that I would like to share.
When I joined 9-months ago, Cisco was bringing its conferencing and messaging solutions together onto one platform to simplify the user experience. The rebranding of our Team collaboration app from Cisco Spark to Cisco Webex was underway, and it stirred plenty of controversy. We heard from the field that the brand “Spark” represented innovation, and “Webex” was old school. When Amy Chang joined Cisco as SVP of Collaboration, she was very frank in telling me that “the 90s called and want their conferencing back.” But Webex is one of the best-known brands on the planet. It is iconic. We had to reinvent Webex.
Fast forward to today. Webex is now a cohesive portfolio that includes Meetings, Teams, Calling and Devices. It serves as the foundation of the powerful Cisco collaboration platform that also includes Jabber, with connective tissue to productivity tools from Microsoft, Google, and others. This platform is delivered with quality across a Cisco network that no competitor can match.
The original Webex conferencing, now called Webex Meetings, was completely redesigned for a new video-first modern meeting experience. We had 1 billion meeting minutes on this new modern Webex Meetings in the first 20 days of its launch. And that was just the initial roll-out!
I want to personally thank our partners for this. We count on them as an extension of our sales team and trust them to be our face to our joint customers. They bet their business that we would get Webex right, which is why recognition from CRN means so much. CRN editors looked at the best new products and major updates of 2018 and then turned to solution providers to choose the winners based on technology, revenue and profit opportunities, and customer demand.
All this and one-button-to-push
CRN included a number of callouts on what made the Webex Updates an award-winner, like simplified scheduling and joining, and the video-first experience. Also highlighted were Webex Assistant, our natural language processing voice assistant, and Webex Share, a smart little device that turns any monitor into a wireless content sharing display.
The CRN editors also mentioned one of the capabilities that cuts across all of our applications and devices – one-button-to-push. It’s a simple idea that feels like magic. A few minutes before a meeting starts, a green button appears. Click it and I’m in it. That easy green button is consistent whether I’m on my Webex Teams client, my Webex Meetings client, or on any Webex device whether it is registered on-prem or cloud. The green button even appears within Microsoft Teams when using Webex Meetings, but more on that in January. And much more in 2019 across our platform.
If you want to read more about the new modern Webex Meetings experience, our VP/GM of Webex Meetings discusses it here.
Then take the new exciting Webex for a test-drive yourself.