Cisco launches Webex Leap, a new accelerator program

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Cisco is one of the biggest players in the rather populous collaboration tools market. The Cisco Webex brand itself is more than two decades old and even after all that time, is still one of the fastest-growing. The Webex portfolio keeps evolving and in June, Cisco introduced hundreds of new features, refreshing the suite.

Even with those changes, the fact remains that large companies have a slow bureaucratic approach to innovations.

When new, unique and largely untested innovations hit the market, larger companies have the luxury of waiting to see what happens, with the resources to acquire the companies that make the technologies work, or imitating them.

The slow crawl of a giant

There is some risk to the slow approach since some small companies are flexible and ready to navigate to the top. The collaboration market is an especially competitive one that has seen previously relatively small companies hit double-digit growth consistently, a trend that Gartner expects will carry on to 2022.

Cisco is launching Webex Leap as a response to this. The accelerator program is designed to reveal unique, promising ideas and develop them into products quickly for Webex.

Quantum leap

The program, staffed by internal and external hires, aims to disrupt the collaboration space and could integrate some of its existing products in the Webex line into its innovations.

Omar Tawakol, Cisco’s Veep and General Manager of Webex Growth, said to ZDNet that most big companies don’t do projects like that too well. However, he feels that Webex could do more, apart from investments and acquisitions, and make “disruptive innovations” that do not fit into what’s already available.

The first product out of this Webex Leap program is an asynchronous video messaging tool called Vidcast, showing promise that more could come.