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Cisco and Microsoft Transform Hybrid Collaboration


The work-from-home shift due to the pandemic made collaboration tools important for businesses. They had to make certain that the tools in place suited their remote workers so they can communicate with ease, feel included in meetings and ,ultimately be as productive as if they were in the office – if not more.

Microsoft Teams is at the forefront of the communication platforms, along with the likes of Webex and Zoom, and Microsoft wants to continue to make Teams a meaningful collaboration experience. To do that, Cisco and Microsoft will partner to offer customers the ability to run Microsoft Teams natively on Cisco Room and Desk devices certified for Teams.

Cisco will become a partner in the Certified for Microsoft Teams program for the first time.

"By welcoming Cisco as our newest partner building devices Certified for Microsoft Teams, we are excited to bring leading collaboration hardware and software to market together for our joint customers,” said Jeff Teper, president, collaborative apps and platforms at Microsoft.

Six of Cisco's meeting devices and three peripherals will be certified for Teams. The first wave of devices, expected to be certified by early 2023, will include the Cisco Room Bar, the Cisco Board Pro 55-inch and 75-inch and the Cisco Room Kit Pro.

The Cisco Rom Bar is an all-in-one video conferencing bar. The new Cisco Board Pro allows users to join video-first meetings, digitally whiteboard, annotate on shared content, use go-to web apps and wirelessly present. The Cisco Room Kit Pro enables video collaboration in large meeting spaces.

The Cisco Desk Pro and Cisco Room Navigator will be certified at a later date.

As for the peripherals, the Cisco Desk Camera 4K, an intelligent USB webcam, will be available by the end of October. Two headphones with a Teams button are expected by early 2023.

Customers will also have the option to make Microsoft Teams Rooms their default experience, though all of the devices will continue to support joining Webex meetings, of course.

"Interoperability has always been at the forefront of our hybrid work strategy, understanding that customers want collaboration to happen on their terms regardless of device or meeting platform," said Jeetu Patel, EVP and general manager, security and collaboration, Cisco.

Patel went on to say that the partnership with Microsoft will reimagine the hybrid work experience.

Edited by Erik Linask
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