What we know about the Cisco-Microsoft Teams Interop Solution …..2/2


continued from previous blog

What does the partnership bring to the table?

With the news of this partnership – Cisco will soon be added to the list of Certified Partners, but what value will the Cisco solution bring to the table?

As discussed previously, because of the rocky relationship between the two, Cisco has been very much working on workarounds. As with workarounds, this by its nature is clunky. In the past, this was generally OK because you could always revert any changes until there was another workaround to the first workaround.. but now, with the cloud – this is now out of your control making this a impractical way forward and not really a commercially viable solution.

Cisco was working on a solution which had a Proof of Concept (POC) and was expected to announce their workaround this month, something which was potentially going to cover a number of architectures; cloud, on-prem and hybrid.

Now with the latest developments, it seems that it is very much a cloud based offering powered by WebEx. Im not sure if this will change later to be more flexible? I guess, we will see closer to launch around May 2020 time frame.
The Juicy Stuff… The Interop ….

From Cisco, there are two solutions on offer;

Cloud Video gateway.

What we know at the moment is that the Cisco Video Gateway is very much a cloud only solution delivered out of Cisco WebEx. There will be a Cloud Gateway which talk to the Cisco Video integration hosted in Microsoft Azure. It is this integration engine that will be used to interwork both environments by using the Microsoft Media SDK.

This offering provides the most flexibility as it supports both Cisco and Standards based Video endpoints with multi screen support and flexible layouts. Users in Microsoft Teams will see their respective layouts, receive and send content, plus have meeting controls. A full roster list and meeting controls will be available for for both Cisco and Microsoft participants

Users of WebEx board & WebEx Desk Pro will be able to do one way whiteboard sharing and the One Button to Push (OBTP) with Calendar Service will also be available..

This will be Administered via the WebEx Control Hub

The high level architecture is as follows:

webex Teams 1

WebEx Devices Microsoft Teams

The WebEx web engine enabled devices, in-particular; WebEx Room Kits, WebEx Room Series, WebEx Board and WebEx Desk Pro will be able to make use of WebRTC directly to to Microsoft Teams.

Some of the features available with this integration will be; access to the Roster list – with touch screen based devices such as WebEx Board and Desk Pro can access. Basic controls such as call end, local mute and volume will be possible will be able to use Calendar integration providing OBTP on Cisco video endpoints. This will be possible from Cloud registered or WebEx Edge enabled devices,

As for limitations; only a Single screen will be used with a Microsoft Teams layout and can receive content sharing but users will not able to share content via HDMI/PC

This will be Administered via the Webex Control Hub and Office365 Admin portal

The high level architecture is as follows:

webex teams 2

This is indeed a game changer to have a big player like Cisco who according to MZA, who has 33% of the global market share for Video Conferencing endpoints in 2018 to join forces with Microsoft Teams who currently has over 20 million daily active users .

I would expect Cisco’s market share to increase in the endpoints area, despite the WebRTC functionality being limited (im wondering if this will be a free offering?) but i would be particularly interested in seeing how they would bring across their cognitive collaboration story to the mix.

Afterall, The future of collaboration is in the intelligence.

** please note; i do not work for Cisco and all/any of this is subject to change **

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