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Cisco’s Jeetu Patel On The Dreaded ‘Second-Class’ Meeting Citizens, Playing Nice With The Competition, And Webex’s Future

Cisco’s collaboration and security leader talks about the 400 new Webex developments in the last six months, remote working challenges, “built-in, not bolted-on” security, and offered a sneak peak into Webex’s roadmap.

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What is Cisco’s integration strategy for Webex?

One of the things that has been the beauty of the [Software-as-a-Service] SaaS ecosystem compared to the previous generation of software on-prem, is that previously, people bought everything from one vendor. Why? Because it all worked well together. Now, when you think about the SaaS ecosystem, you have restful APIs, which are basically APIs you can access through a URL. Now, the expectation is that everything works with everything. Our goal is to make sure we integrate with any application that a customer has invested in. Frankly, I don’t care if it’s a competitor, we will integrate with them. The competitor may not allow us to, in which case, we will let the market know what is happening, but we want to integrate with everyone in the market.

For example, we bought Slido [and] one of the things we’ll continue to do is integrate with [Microsoft] Teams and Zoom because we want to make sure [those platforms] get the benefit of that as well. So, we’ll make sure to keep cross-collaborating and integrating. Our goal is to make sure thousands of companies can have bi-directional integration into Webex. That means that if you’re in a Webex meeting and you want to make sure this capability from this third-party company can be incorporated in, we’ll be able to provide a framework … We’ve done that now with Box, Dropbox, [and] ServiceNow. We also have a capability -- which is unique, our competitors don’t do this -- where we integrate our product as an API into other people’s products. We don’t care if a person uses our [user interface] UI or someone else’s UI. If a customer has invested in a technology and us, it’s our job to make sure the two of those technologies work seamlessly well together.

 
 
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