We just spent an amazing two days at the Cisco Collaboration Summit in Phoenix, AZ. I think that everyone is now familiar with the Big Announcement around the new Webex, and that is definitely an amazing outcome of the event. However, there was a lot more excellent information that was revealed at the show, and we are coming away with a TON of positive energy that we are going to bring to our customers this coming month.
Cisco collab summit key outcome: partnerships are a priority
Not only was there a whole track devoted to partnerships, but there were several mentions during keynotes by Cisco’s collaboration leaders. Cisco has always nurtured a strong ecosystem, but this event showed they are more proactive than ever when it comes to integrating partners in their marketing and strategy. There was even a pretty cool cameo during the Partner track Keynote by Snorre Kjelson that involved a little product you might be familiar with. It’s only been a couple months since we joined the SolutionsPlus program, and it is really nice to be featured at this level so quickly.
It’s all about Who you know
We don’t normally like to drop names, our style is more to let our data and our product do the talking. But this show was amazing for meeting new people. Not only did we see good friends like the SVP and GM of Cisco Applications group (and star of the show) Rowan Trollope, but we had a ton of amazing conversations with collaboration leaders at some really innovative customers across industries like finance, healthcare, technology and more.
— Steven Talafuse (@StevenTalafuse) April 19, 2018
And the Conversations
Beyond the fact that we met a ton of very smart and passionate people, the conversations that were sparked (pun intended) really energized the entire team. From discussions on the meaning of analytics and monitoring, to detailed investigations of new APIs, to deep dives into customer implementation issues, it was a great affirmation of our vision and mission as a company.
Analytics is taking center stage
It was a pretty cool moment when Rowan took time in the Keynote to discuss analytics. That just shows how far our market has come. Vendors now have an obligation to create reporting tools, but they are still offering siloed information that ignores the reality of collaboration; that the average customer has 5-6 vendors in their environment. In addition, customers have more and more that is moving to the cloud, yet they aren’t abandoning on premise investments anytime soon. An amalgamation of tools is exactly what our customers DON’T want. Our core capability to integrate data from multiple vendors and from external business systems (think Exchange or Active Directory) is still unique and powerful. Our focus has moved beyond just getting the collaboration data, and we are delivering real business analytics to our customers because of it.
Obviously, Cisco gets it. We were added to their SolutionsPlus program and their Global Price List earlier this year, and they demonstrated us on stage at this event.
Cool stuff that impressed
Webex Share – Since we have been using video collaboration for about a decade, we have a lot of older technology (that still works perfectly well). As innovative as we are in collaboration, we also are frugal, so those endpoints are not going away anytime soon. However, we would still love to have new features like proximity. This makes it so easy to get. Thanks, Cisco!
Webex Assistant – I am not the biggest user of voice controlled appliances (I only use Alexa Echo Plus to listen to music), but I definitely see the value of some of the AI features demonstrated during the keynote.
Collaboration Flex Plan – the simplification of licensing is one of the MOST common complaints we hear from our customers, and this looks like Cisco took an extra step ahead by not only simplifying the licensing, but also removing significant barriers between buying on premise and cloud technology.
Until next year…or next month!
We are excited about coming back to this event next year, but we have a lot more chances to meet our customers.
- ATA (American Telemedicine Association) Conference – Chicago April 29th – May 1st
- Infocomm – Las Vegas June 6-9th
- Cisco Live! – Orlando June 10-13
Schedule time to meet us at one of these shows today!