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Cisco Webex Go With AT&T Addresses Cloud Calling For Mobility-Minded Partners

Gina Narcisi

The tech giant has teamed with AT&T to help more businesses move to the cloud for their calling needs, while unlocking new mobility opportunities for partners, the company announced at Cisco Live 2023.

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Cisco Systems is teaming up with AT&T to natively integrate Webex Calling with the carrier giant’s mobile network to shift more users to the cloud for their voice needs, the tech giant announced at Cisco Live 2023 on Wednesday.

The integration between Webex Calling and AT&T’s network will give end users a mobile-first, unified collaboration experience through a single mobile number and identity at a time when business and personal lives are more blended than ever before thanks to hybrid work, Kristyn Hogan, vice president, global collaboration partner sales for Cisco, told CRN.

AT&T and Cisco are also working together to bring SD-WAN connectivity with add-on carrier services such as 5G and broadband for businesses of all sizes, the two companies announced.

[Related: Cisco Builds On Security Platform Strategy, Unveils Unified Networking Platform ]

The integration of Webex Go with AT&T will give users a single number mobile identity, help businesses reduce costs by removing the need for traditional fixed business lines, and offer a strong voice option thanks to AT&T’s nationwide mobile network. Users will be able to seamlessly elevate calls to a fully immersive Webex collaboration experience, complete with features like closed captioning, noise removal, and white boarding, according to Cisco.

Webex Go, the company’s mobile option for business calling, lets users make calls from the phone’s native dialer without the need to launch the Webex app to make a business phone call, Hogan said.

“You can have one phone and take your business calls from that phone number, and then also have the same device as your personal phone,” she said. “What makes this really interesting is it’s good for the service provider, good for our customers, good for Cisco, and also good for the VAR community.”

AT&T in the past has supported partners selling public switched telephone network (PSTN) services to support Webex. The expanded relationship opens the door for more mobile opportunities for partners as Cisco promotes the move to cloud-based calling, Hogan said.

“This gives us an even more compelling story for customers on why you should move to the cloud [and] makes partners more sticky. As things are more mobile, this is something that is only possible when you’re in the cloud,” she said.

As Cisco’s technology partners build platforms and Cisco continues to build out its own platforms, the distribution of what Cisco and partners jointly sell is becoming increasingly complex. But with that complexity comes with tremendous opportunity, said Alexandra Zagury, vice president of partner managed and as-a-service sales at Cisco.

“When we are able to align our strategy with a great partner like AT&T, the possibilities are just endless in terms of creating these unified experiences for our joint customers,” she said. “We’re really exploring [that] go to market piece.”

As part of the expanded partnership, AT&T is launching a self-service option for small and medium businesses that bundles fiber and mobility. The carrier is adding on Cisco Meraki’s cloud-managed solution to ensure a better experience for end users, said Chiara Medicina, vice president of business development for Cisco.

The fully managed AT&T SD-WAN with Cisco, which comes with security and analytics, will be the enterprise option. These users can now connect to any application using a secure access service edge (SASE)-enabled architecture for integrated security and application optimization, according to Cisco.

“It’s really about how we’re driving to that hybrid work environment that we’re seeing with our customers, and how we provide a secure and connected way as people start to migrate across different areas in different workspaces and not working anymore from just the dedicated office space,” Medicina said.

Cisco plans on partnering with more service providers down the road with Webex Go, Hogan said.

AT&T Cloud Voice with Webex Go will be available for all Webex Calling users from Cisco partners in the U.S. later this year, Cisco said.  

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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