The Webex Contact Center for Teams has achieved official certification from Microsoft.
First teased in October – during WebexOne 2022 – the offering opens up Cisco’s CCaaS platform to an entirely new market of businesses that harness Teams for UCaaS.
That is a broad new audience, with the UC platform boasting 280MN monthly users.
Yet, while Microsoft leads the UC space, ahead of Webex’s own platform, the tech pioneer has plenty of catching up to do in CCaaS.
Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principal Analyst at ZK Research, recently noted this in conversation with UC Today, predicting that the Microsoft Contact Center will flop this year.
As such, many businesses have avoided combining Microsoft’s CCaaS platform with Teams, despite the many possible benefits. These include improved cross-function collaboration, knowledge sharing, and CX reporting.
Now, the Webex Contact Center for Microsoft Teams allows businesses to achieve these benefits by offering an integration between its “market-leading”CCaaS solution and the UCaaS platform.
Webex Offers Deeper CCaaS Capabilities
According to Aragon Research, Cisco is a leading vendor of intelligent contact center solutions, thanks – in part – to its Webex CCaaS offering.
The platform includes 16+ integrated channels, conversational analytics, agent collaboration tools, and much more.
Now, with this integration, it connects to the Microsoft phone system while supporting Microsoft PSTN and third-party direct routing providers.
As a result, Cisco may add considerable value to the Teams experience – beyond what Microsoft currently offers.
Kerravala pinpointed a significant opportunity for Cisco here, shortly after WebexOne. He stated:
Microsoft treats unified communications and the contact center almost like a feature of Office. Yet, Cisco sees the chance to make the Teams experience a better experience than Microsoft can.
There is precedent for such a strategy. Indeed, other revered CCaaS vendors – including Five9, Genesys, and Talkdesk – already provide contact center offerings for Teams.
The benefit Webex may have over these providers is that many will already work with Cisco due to the prevalence of their end-point devices.
As a result, Microsoft and Cisco already share many of the same customers, which may be an incentive for the tech giant to strengthen its ties with its long-time competitor.
Why Might Microsoft Want Closer Ties to Webex?
Towards the backend of 2022, Microsoft and Cisco launched a new partnership.
The announcement teased the Webex Contact Center for Microsoft Teams. Yet, there were many more facets to it.
For instance, Cisco revealed that Teams Rooms will support its video equipment. Moreover, the vendor noted how businesses can now run the Webex UC platform on Microsoft Teams without rebooting their devices. That is an exclusive benefit for Cisco.
Dave Michels, Lead Analyst at TalkingPointz.com, saw these announcements as Microsoft choosing Cisco as its chief competitor in the UC market. He stated:
Microsoft has no desire to see Zoom, RingCentral, or Google in any of its accounts… [With Cisco] they already share probably about 90 percent of the same customers. They have already established boundaries.
As such, Microsoft has an incentive to strengthen its partnership with Cisco, which may prove a significant shot in the arm for the Webex UC platform.
The trend may carry over to CCaaS and eventually lead to Microsoft and Cisco taking a much more significant shared stake in the enterprise communications space. Only time will tell.
Capture more of Michels’ thoughts on this topic by reading our article: Are Microsoft and Cisco Teaming Up to Take Over Enterprise Communications?