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Cisco Simplifies Services With Suite Offering, Partner News

Ahead of a customer event today, Cisco revealed in a press release its latest bundled offering, new Webex features, and an all-in-one collaboration device. This news follows a separate announcement last week, that AT&T will leverage Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager – Cloud (UCMC) for its Webex Calling with AT&T service.
Available now, the Webex Suite bundles meetings, calling, messaging, and event capabilities into a single offering designed to address the needs of hybrid work. Webex Suite will cost 40% less than the same services purchased a la carte, Cisco said.
Cisco also shared several Webex updates, including:
  • Polling tools — Polling capabilities from Cisco’s acquisition of Slido are now available for Webex Meetings and will be available at a later time for Webex’s virtual event platform, which will be available upon completion of Cisco’s Socio acquisition.
  • Audio optimization for remote, shared workspaces — Available this August, the My Voice Only feature will optimize audio by eliminating background noise and focusing solely on the speaker’s audio, Cisco said.
  • Enhanced camera intelligence — Revealed earlier this year, the People Focus feature uses machine learning and AI to individually re-frame meeting participants who are gathered in a meeting room.
  • Real-time data loss prevention in Webex — With this data loss prevention capability, users are prohibited from posting classified content rather than redacting or deleting content after it is posted, Cisco said. Cisco will also offer full EU data residency across Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Russia, for GDPR and other compliance.
In device news, Cisco revealed its latest all-in-one collaboration device, the Webex Desk. The Webex Desk features a full-range speaker, background noise removal via an array microphone, and support for screen sharing, the company shared in a fact sheet. Other features for Webex Desk include Cisco's voice-controlled Webex Assistant, facial recognition, and the ability to be used as a primary display with a USB-C connection. Additionally, admins can receive environmental and device usage metrics via Cisco's Control Hub. Webex Desk will be available to order later this month and will cost $1,249 for Cisco customers or $2,495 as a standard price.
Separately, Cisco shared some partner news last week, announcing in a blog post that it'll be migrating Webex Calling with AT&T to UCMC to optimize the reliability and performance of the service. With the combination of AT&T's network and Cisco's infrastructure, AT&T can unify processes across a single vendor-hosted solution, which also provides integrations to Cisco applications and ecosystems, the vendor said.