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Microsoft and Cisco Partnership Focuses on Interoperability, Bringing Microsoft Teams to Cisco Meeting Devices
by Shelly Kramer | October 17, 2022

The News: At Microsoft Ignite 2022, Microsoft and Cisco announced a partnership that will allow customers to run Microsoft Teams natively on Cisco Room and Desk devices. Initially, six of Cisco’s most popular devices will be certified for Microsoft Teams, and the first wave of certifications is expected to come in early 2023. See the full press release from Cisco here, and the release from Microsoft here.

Microsoft and Cisco Partnership Focuses on Interoperability, Bringing Microsoft Teams to Cisco Meeting Devices

Analyst Take: At Microsoft Ignite 2022, interoperability took center stage — and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. Interoperability is easily the key facilitator for the hybrid workplace that is our reality today and seeing two key players in the collaboration space align for the sake of facilitating that is welcome news. If you and your team are anything like ours, you collaborate across and by way of multiple devices and collaboration platforms on a daily basis. But that fluidity can often come with frustrations and headaches, largely caused by —you guessed it —a lack of interoperability.

This is why the Microsoft and Cisco partnership is something that we view as a major step forward — and a move that is clearly customer-centric in nature. Customers using Cisco devices will be able to make Microsoft Teams the default platform on their Cisco devices, while retaining all of the functionality of those devices. And Webex will still work across those devices, too. Customers will be able to collaborate wherever they are, across whatever platform they choose, with reliable hardware and software technology.

Initially, six of Cisco’s flagship meeting devices will be certified for Microsoft Teams. These include Cisco Room Bar, Cisco Board Pro, Cisco Room Kit Pro, Cisco Desk Pro, and Cisco Room Navigator.

Interoperability Will Power the Future of Work

While of course Cisco and Microsoft compete in the collaboration space, this is a smart move for both companies largely because, as I mentioned earlier, it’s a move that clearly puts customer experience at the forefront. And isn’t that what consumers want from their vendor partners? I know it’s incredibly important to me, and I know I’m not alone on that front.

Collaboration today is disjointed, happening in a variety of spaces and places. Users are best served when they can work and switch across platforms seamlessly and with ease. And this is only the beginning: as more applications and technologies emerge, I’m certain that interoperability will play a large role in powering the future of work and facilitating productive, enjoyable, easy to use collaboration experiences. With this alliance, it’s obvious that Microsoft and Cisco understand this need and are delivering. While customers will have to wait until next year to reap the benefits of the Microsoft and Cisco partnership, I could not be more excited to see that this is in our future.

For some additional insights on this Microsoft Cisco partnership bringing Microsoft Teams to Webex devices, be sure and check out coverage by Daniel Root, Senior Analyst at Wainhouse Research, part of our Futurum Group family of companies. You can find his article here: Cisco Announces Native Microsoft Teams Support for Webex Devices to Deliver a New Level of Meeting Flexibility.

Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.

Other insights from Futurum Research:

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Image Credit: Yahoo News

About the Author

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”