Arraya Insights | November 19, 2020
Are you a Cisco shop or a Microsoft shop? When it comes to collaboration, many organizations – Arraya included – reside somewhere in the middle. The appeal of a diversified, multi-vendor collaboration footprint isn’t lost on Cisco and Microsoft. Even though they are competitors at heart, the tech giants have a history of making their solutions play nicely together in order to help keep their customers connected and productive. That partnership was on full display earlier this year, although it may have gone overlooked due to coronavirus-necessitated lockdowns.
Late last year, Cisco and Microsoft pledged to move toward a new era of interoperability between their Webex and Teams solutions. Specifically, that idea would materialize in a couple of different forms. The companies planned to release a Microsoft Cloud Video Interop (CVI) certified solution that would allow Cisco Webex Room and SIP video conferencing devices to join Microsoft Teams meetings. Additionally, they also proposed creating a direct guest join pathway connecting their respective video conferencing devices with their meeting web apps. This pledge of greater interoperability has started coming to fruition with the release of a pair of solutions: the aforementioned CVI offering and another option called WebRTC.
Let’s take a closer look at these offerings and what they could mean for organizations pursuing reopening their facilities.
First up is the Cloud Video Gateway (CVI-enabled) option. Those looking to connect to a Microsoft Teams meeting hosted internally, by their own company could do so using this pathway. It delivers a Cisco Webex-based experience to those making the connection, including multi-screen capabilities, flexible layouts, and wired/wireless bi-directional content sharing. In terms of devices supported, this route is travelable by all Cisco and SIP-capable video devices, registered either on premises or in the cloud. Users can connect via this path through one-button-to-push (OBTP) join which includes calendar service, direct dial-in complete with an interactive voice response (IVR) experience. Lastly, it is worth noting that this service will require additional licensing to make it operable.
Then, there’s the WebRTC application. This allows users to connect to any other type of Microsoft Teams meeting. Connecting via this method delivers a Microsoft Teams-oriented meeting experience, including a single-screen Teams layout with only the ability to be on the receiving end of shares. This pathway is accessible from Cisco Room Kits, Room series, Boards, and Desk Pro devices. These devices can be cloud connected. Once again, this method offers OBTP join with calendar service. Webex Room registration, which is part of Flex licensing, is required. As of right now, WebRTC is one way only as Microsoft Teams doesn’t support any browsers compatible with the tool. User can, however, add the Webex bot to their Teams client, which, in turn, will enable them to access a Webex Meeting.
Next Steps: Put the joint power of Microsoft and Cisco together for you
Hopefully, we’ll all be able to dust off our Cisco Room devices sooner rather than later and start putting these new abilities to work. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about how your organization can benefit from the above advances or from Cisco and Microsoft’s ongoing partnership in general, our collaboration experts can help. Reach out any time to get the conversation started.
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.
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