Webex returned to revenue growth last quarter, following 12 months of decline.
Indeed, in November 2022, year-over-year (YoY) growth fell by one percent.
From there, the slump worsened quarter-by-quarter, dropping ten percent, 13 percent, and 12 percent – respectively.
Yet, from out of the blue, Webex returned to the green last quarter, achieving a three percent bounce and bucking the troubling trend.
Announcing the news during an earnings call, Scott Herren, Chief Financial Officer at Cisco, said:
Collaboration was up three percent, driven by growth in calling and contact center, partially offset by a decline in meetings.
While the return to growth comes rather abruptly, it perhaps indicates that Cisco is seizing the chance to cross-sell its calling and contact center solutions to its larger Meetings base.
Yet, that’s only one factor. Cisco has also started to bundle Webex – alongside its security, networking, and observability offerings – as part of a hybrid work package.
Meanwhile, Cisco has significantly expanded its routes to market. For instance, its global base of partners authorized to sell the Webex Contact Center solution has gone from 300 to 3,000 – in little over a year.
As of this month’s WebexONE event, the vendor has gone even further to open up Webex to a wider audience with the announcement of two new CCaaS packages.
Zeus Kerravala, Principal Analyst at ZK Research, suggests this underlines how Cisco has recognized a critical growth obstacle and is now methodically overcoming it.
“Their biggest problem isn’t product; it’s getting people to try the product again,” Kerravala said during a recent conversation with CX Today.
“The people who used Webex four, five, or six years ago, whenever I ask them about it, say: “I didn’t even know they were still around,” or: “I’ve used it before, it was terrible.”
Now, they’ve got to get people to try it again, and by creating all these different options and packages, they’re reducing those barriers to entry… There’s a Webex package for everyone.
“The product quality outweighs mind-share right now,” he concluded.
To reengage these companies with Webex, Cisco could have done more to force its collaborations portfolio down the throats of its broader install base.
For instance, it could have ramped up the support costs for its on-premise contact center solutions, as some of its legacy rivals have reportedly done, to bolster Webex migrations.
Yet, this isn’t the old “follow my lead” Cisco. It’s mindful that the work-from-anywhere era also means businesses can work with any service and across any platform.
Therefore, it’s much more focused on building long-term relationships – as evident in its public commitment to support legacy contact center customers for the long haul last year.
As Webex declined this year, that commitment was put to the test. Yet, Cisco has seemingly stayed resolute and returned to growth without making moves to compromise their customers’ experience.
If Cisco continues on this path and grows Webex organically, it will win more of the mind-share Kerravala emphasized as mission-critical to long-term success.
Catch up on some of the most eye-catching news from the recent WebexONE event by diving into the following articles:
- Webex Develops “Industry-First” RMMs, Showcases New AI Assistant
- BIG CX News – The Latest on Cisco’s New Contact Center Packages, GenAI In CX, & More
- Five Key Takeaways From WebexOne