Businesses are increasingly moving toward hybrid work environments with 77% of employers saying they will embrace a flexible workstyle.[1]  According to Dimensional Research, Gartner, this trend comes on the heels of a 74% decline in desk phone usage between 2007 and 2020. [2] This same research found that 98% of meetings include remote participants.

These clear trend lines challenge companies to address a fundamental question regarding their collaboration strategies:

  • How do we best support our end users working from anywhere?

More importantly, given the tremendous amount of innovation enabled through technologies such as cloud computing and mobile handsets, companies should be asking themselves this additional question:

  • How can we evolve our collaboration strategy–beyond providing traditional voice and email–to help us become even more competitive in the market?

At one level, a company’s collaboration strategy is focused on how to provide end users access to the information they need from their peers who include other employees, partners, and customers.  Working together, Apple and Cisco deliver an answer: the all new, redesigned, and rebuilt WebEx app for iPad — ideal for today’s hybrid workforce.

Deploying a mobile first collaboration strategy

Intuitively, it makes sense for mobile devices to be foundational in a company’s collaboration strategy. This helps business collaboration to occur from any location because end users can always have access to their mobile devices whether on the road, at home, or in the office.

By deploying a mobile first collaboration strategy, businesses can continue the transition away from their legacy desk phones. Many of us have spent our careers relying on desk phones, but the reality is that desk phones can’t keep up with the innovations occurring on mobile platforms.

Gaining access to innovation increases productivity

A fundamental reason to build a collaboration strategy based on mobile devices is to gain access to the ever-increasing innovation occurring on mobile platforms such iPhone and iPad devices. For instance, with the new Webex app for iPad users gain access to features not available on other platforms like desk phones. Those features include:

  • Seamlessly adding multiple users to meetings with a push of a button
  • Support for iPad native multitasking features like Split View, which keeps the WebEx video running, as users access web pages or reference collateral
  • Support for Center Stage to automatically pan the camera, keeping users centered in the frame. Requires iPad with Center Stage.

Due to the tremendous functionality achieved by way of these innovations, users can be more efficient in their collaborative activities, thereby increasing productivity. As an example, the global accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) scrapped the desk phones for its 18,000 UK employees because they believed, “a more mobile-focused policy is a more efficient way of working …”[3]

Reducing costs by removing redundant legacy infrastructure

Leveraging mobile devices for a company’s collaboration strategy also helps to reduce costs, as companies no longer need to deploy a private branch exchange (PBX) and the other infrastructure required to support and manage incoming and outgoing calls for office desk phones. Put another way, when employees are in the office, they will likely still be carrying their mobile devices that are perfectly capable of supporting collaboration needs (Figure 1).

Figure 1  Mobility makes legacy infrastructure redundant

Apple and Cisco working together to improve user experiences

Since 2015, Apple and Cisco have collaborated on innovations that optimize users’ connectivity, productivity, and efficiency. Working together, we are uniquely positioned to help customers with digital transformation through our jointly delivered solutions with a primary focus on collaboration, networking, and security.

Continued momentum with the new Webex app for iPad

Apple and Cisco continue their track record of working together with the release of the redesigned Webex app. Cisco engineers received direct input from Apple designers to help rearchitect the app to deliver a native look and feel.

As a result, users gain the best from both worlds:

iPhone and iPad provide the world’s most advanced mobile platform including:

    • Enterprise-grade security and reliability
    • Easy deployment and management at any scale
    • Access to an extensive ecosystem of business apps and solutions

Webex, which provides:

    • A complete collaboration suite for business with enterprise-grade security and reliability
    • An end-to-end integrated solution with flexible on premises, cloud, and hybrid deployment options
    • Access to several integrations with leading business apps

Put simply, customers would do well to consider deploying a mobile first collaboration strategy built on the best-in-class mobile solution of Webex running on iPhone or iPad.

Mobile is the way people collaborate today

There is no denying that collaboration is increasingly occurring over our mobile devices. In addition to being significantly convenient for users, a mobile first collaboration strategy helps organizations improve productivity while saving money.


Learn more on how the Apple and Cisco partnership can
improve your collaboration strategy.


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[1] 451 Research, 2020, Dimensional Research, 2020

[2] Dimensional Research, Gartner, Ofcom (UK)

[3] End of the line for worker’s desk phones


Will Suk

Global Partner Executive

Strategic Partner Organization