Cisco rebrands collaboration portfolio under WebEx

By Chad Berndtson, on Jun 20, 2012 7:05 AM
Filed under Communications

Renames key products.

Cisco has confirmed it will rebrand several major product lines -- notably the social collaboration platform Quad and the hosted TelePresence service Callway -- under its well-known, highly regarded WebEx moniker.

According to Cisco, WebEx is the second largest public cloud platform specific to business collaboration applications, behind only Salesforce.com.

There are 6.4 million WebEx hosts per month with about 31 million attendees per month, according to Richard McLeod, senior director, worldwide collaboration channel sales at Cisco.

"That market adoption is pretty significant, and we're going to be leveraging that pretty heavily," he told CRN this week.

Cisco Quad, which was introduced in 2010, will now be known as WebEx Social and sport a number of new capabilities. The platform now offers Microsoft Office integration for using Word, PowerPoint and Excel capabilities within WebEx Social, and e-mail integration so that customers using e-mail clients such as Outlook can stay in those clients while they create content in the Cisco software.

Cisco also is adding new features to its WebEx Social iPhone and iPad clients that let users transition between social networking functions and UC tools such as IM and voice calls from their mobile application.

Video users can also access browser-based video calling compatible with various Cisco and other video endpoints, mobile and soft clients.

WebEx Social will continue to be offered under the same on-premise and hosted models as Quad was, and McLeod said Cisco has no immediate plans to change the pricing. 

Callway, which Cisco introduced last fall as a hosted TelePresence option for small-business users, will now be known as Cisco WebEx TelePresence.

New features added since its October launch include the ability to host video calls with up to nine users, support for Cisco's TelePresence MX300 and SX20 systems, and an adjusted pricing scheme that includes a pre-pay option for customers making orders.

"The whole mobile environment is changing everything," McLeod explained. "We're providing a much richer solution to take to market."

Additional updates made by Cisco in line with this week's Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston include a WebEx Social software development kit for connecting various WebEx functions to other business applications, the ability to integrate WebEx Social with calendaring applications, and new WebEx Social interfaces for both Web and mobile.

Cisco also has created a feature called "Expert Q&A" that allows WebEx Social users to "crowdsource" answers to specific questions by routing them to people in the organizstion designated as subject experts.

The updated WebEx Social Server is globally available in July. Among other announcements, Cisco's WebEx Connect will be known as Cisco WebEx Messenger, which instead of the Cisco WebEx Connect client will now use Cisco's Jabber client.

Along with WebEx, Jabber has been another collaboration-specific success story for Cisco, and the two platforms are viewed by partners as some of Cisco's strongest weapons against Microsoft's fast-growing Lync UC platform.

At the Cisco Partner Summit in April, Cisco said it would make presence and IM capabilities and Jabber clients available at no additional licensing cost to Cisco customers and invest US$1 million in a fourth-quarter promotion to reimburse partners for Jabber service deployments.

McLeod declined to say whether Cisco is considering similar promotions behind its latest WebEx push but said partners should expect more news around Cisco collaboration heading into its new fiscal year.

 

This article originally appeared at crn.com

 
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
 

Copyright © 2014 The Channel Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Cisco rebrands collaboration portfolio under WebEx
Tags
 
 
 
 
 
Top Stories
Aussie Intercloud push: Data#3, Infront and Ethan join
Local systems integrators among Cisco's 30 global partners.
 
iiNet and Dodo in hot water over billing conduct
ACMA targets direct debit practices.
 
Reseller caught pretending to be Telstra partner
ACCC canes Zen Telecom with $225,000 fine.
 
Sign up to receive CRN email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Polls
What's the best protection against bad debts?



Latest Comments
CRN Magazine

Issue: 331 | September 2014

CRN Magazine looks in-depth at the emerging issues and developments for the channel, and provides insight, analysis and strategic information to help resellers better run their businesses.