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Cisco, Microsoft Surprise on Interoperability Effort


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Among the consistent themes we hear in conversations with the No Jitter and Enterprise Connect enterprise audiences is the need to reconcile the use of Cisco and Microsoft communications systems within their organizations. (And hence there’s no end to the interest we see in our annual Cisco vs. Microsoft EC session, which will be returning in 2020.) But what if it doesn’t have to be an either/or?
News coming out of Microsoft and Cisco today show that the two companies are starting to appreciate the value of enabling customers to mix and match, all in the name of an improved experience. The UC giants announced a partnership through which they’re working to facilitate the use of Cisco Webex video devices with Microsoft Teams meeting services.
“People are at the forefront of shaping the way work is performed and they need the right collaboration technologies to get work done even faster.  These tools must work seamlessly together to really be impactful in enabling teamwork that leads to better results, higher productivity and engaged employees,” said Sri Srinivasan, Senior VP and GM for the Team Collaboration Group, Cisco, in a blog post announcing the joint effort.
The interworking between Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams will unfold in a couple of ways:
  • Cisco will introduce a Microsoft Cloud Video Interop-certified Webex offering that will allow Webex Room devices and SIP videoconferencing devices to join Microsoft Teams meetings.
  • The two companies are jointly developing a direct guest join capability that would let a Webex Room Device join a Microsoft Teams meeting and a Microsoft Teams Room join a Cisco Webex Meeting. These capabilities, for Microsoft’s and Cisco’s respective WebRTC-based apps for meetings, will be supported on the latest generations of meeting room devices that can run via embedded web technologies.
The solutions are expected to be generally available in early 2020.