Microsoft announced a partnership with Cisco. Cisco’s conferencing equipment will soon be certified for Microsoft Teams. Cisco attempted to compete with Microsoft by delaying the collaboration for years, but Teams has become too big to ignore.

As part of the collaboration, Microsoft Teams will be supported on six Cisco devices, including the Cisco Room Bar and Cisco Board Pro. The devices will become available in the first half of 2023.

Cisco devices are already usable for Teams meetings, but Teams cannot be set as the default conferencing tool. In addition, some Cisco devices have to be configured manually to get Teams up and running. The upcoming, certified devices allow users to set Teams as the default conferencing tool. In addition, the devices will be automatically configured for Teams meetings.

The certification automates actions that currently take a few seconds to minutes. Users that regularly work with Cisco devices and Microsoft Teams save a lot of time in the long run.

Where’s Webex?

The collaboration is notable. Cisco and Microsoft are competitors. Cisco paid $3.2 billion to acquire Webex in 2007. Cisco used the company’s communications technology to build a platform and conferencing tools. Today, Webex competes with major players like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

When it comes to video conferencing, Webex is less successful than its competitors. Cisco rarely comments on the software’s market share, but Teams and Zoom are more popular without a doubt. In 2021, a Statista report suggested that Zoom (46 percent), Teams (29 percent) and Skype (25 percent) were used more often for day-to-day communications than Webex (7 percent).

Teams is unbeatable

More and more camera and audio vendors have been certifying their devices for Microsoft Teams in recent years. Cisco produces hardware for video conferencing as well, but a partnership with Microsoft seemed out of the question. After all, why would you collaborate with a rival?

The answer has become increasingly obvious. Teams is unbeatable. Cisco designed its communications hardware for Webex in recent years, but it’s become clear that most users don’t want Webex. Customers want to communicate with a communications platform of their choice. By clinging onto Webex, Cisco is losing hardware revenue. Partnering with the opposition seems the best move. “If you can’t beat them, join them,” the saying goes.

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