Cisco Collaboration EVP Jeetu Patel: ‘We’re The Farthest Along In This Space By A Mile’
‘We feel like that’s why customers come to us. We understand the network, we understand how packets flow through the network, we understand how that can get more optimized. We understand how people can have a delightful experience and not have to worry about bad internet connectivity, high packet loss … all of those kinds of problems disappear,’ says Cisco EVP and GM Jeetu Patel.
Cisco Systems’ Webex platform, a market leader in the collaboration space, has been infused with AI in ways that the company says makes the platform smarter and more intuitive – not to mention more effective thanks to technology that can identify and remedy unstable video connections and choppy audio.
The tech giant last week at its WebexOne 2023 event unveiled a smattering of new Webex devices, features and upgrades. Included was new Real-Time Media Models (RMM) designed to pick up on visual and audible cues, such as gestures, or an individual walking out of the room during a meeting. The job of the AI-based RMMs is to enhance audio and video quality by using these actions and object recognition as context. Cisco’s new AI Codec in Webex, also based on generative AI technology, works to solve the challenge of audio quality, regardless of network conditions, by allowing for transmission redundancy to recover from network packet loss. Cisco’s Webex AI Assistant also now includes a new set of features that pull in RMM and Large Language Models (LLMs) to improve communication and collaboration for both hybrid workers and contact center agents. And that’s just to name a few of the innovations that were showcased.
The main takeaway for partners is that the Webex platform, unlike many competing collaboration platforms on the market, is leveraging the strength the tech giant has in networking, security and observability. It’s giving Webex differentiation in the crowded market, said Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration.
But speaking of the competition, Cisco knows that customers have made investments in third-party platforms. In this new wave of collaboration buying that’s coming on the heels of three-year technology refresh cycles, the company would rather partner with a competitor – something that Cisco is already doing by pairing its hardware with Microsoft Teams environments.
Patel sat down with CRN to talk about Cisco Collaboration’s AI strategy, working with the competition, and how the tech giant’s networking and security expertise are being applied to the Webex platform.
Here are excerpts from the conversation.