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Cisco Webex Gets New Packaging And Up To 40-Percent Price Reduction

The tech giant is lowering the cost of the newly optimized Webex Suite and simplifying collaboration buying for Cisco partners.

Cisco Systems is lowering the cost of the newly optimized Webex Suite and simplifying the sale of collaboration technologies through offering an all-inclusive packaged Webex offering, Webex Suite.

The goal is to take a page out of the Cisco Meraki playbook -- Cisco’s “crown jewel” of simplicity -- and inject that into Cisco Webex, said Kristyn Hogan, head of collaboration partner sales for Cisco.

“We’re bringing some of that Meraki simplicity DNA back to collaboration, and I think our partners will really welcome that,” she said. “Simplicity equals profitability for partners.”

To that end, Cisco is repackaging Webex Meetings, Events, Calling and Messaging into Webex Suite, a new buying option that partners can sell, rather than customers purchasing the separate pieces of the portfolio al la carte. The new offering, which includes software, all the way down to the devices, will save customers up to 40 percent, the company said.

[Related: ‘Game-Changing’ Cisco UCS X-Series Revealed As Vendor Targets Hybrid Cloud]

“We are arming our partners with the industry’s best suite of solutions across [Cisco] Meetings, Calling, Events and even devices,” Hogan said. “We’re uniquely positioned to be the only ones to package this up and give our customers the best in class solutions to give to their customers.”

Cisco knows that the channel is key to boosting collaboration adoption and recently launched its Partner Activation Center which gives partners who are turning on Webex for their customers an incentive, which becomes more lucrative as partners add more users, Hogan said. “We want our partners driving that solution with their customers and turning on the full suite,” she said.

Customers aren’t the only ones that should be making use of the Webex Suite for their remote collaboration needs. Cisco has also been on a mission to get more of its partners on Webex, especially its top 100 partners. The majority of Cisco partners today are users of Webex Meetings and Webex Calling, specifically, Hogan said.

“I think that one of the things you’ll see we really spotlighted with this launch is not just the innovation, but more importantly, the way we’re stitching it all together,” she said. “Together, [Cisco Suite] offers a 40 percent discount than if you were to buy it all apart, but more importantly, it’s simplifying the way our partners can go sell that full suite to customers in a way that we’ve never done before, with a price and innovations we haven’t had before.”

The company is continuing its Webex development hot streak. The company has rolled out more than 800 new features, functionality and devices for its popular collaboration platform in the last nine months, according to the San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant.

Cisco is making use of its recently acquired technologies to further Webex’s ability to provide an end-to-end collaboration solution, Hogan said. For example, Webex now offers in-meeting polling, quizzes, and Q&A powered by Slido, which Cisco acquired in May. Webex today offers noise removal and speech enhancement, compliments of BabbleLabs Inc., which Cisco bought in October. Once Cisco closes its Socio Labs deal, the startup‘s technology will be used to further events execution and management, Cisco said.

Cisco on Tuesday also introducing a lower cost alternative to its marque Webex Desk Pro video endpoint. Webex Desk is a less expensive desktop video device option for home offices and small huddle spaces. The endpoint can integrate with RoomOS -- Cisco Webex’s conference room operating system -- that can connect workflows with less context switching, and voice-powered controls, like Webex Assistant, Cisco said.

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