by Jeffrey Schwartz
MICROSOFT IGNITE — Microsoft will certify Cisco's conferencing and communications devices with Teams Rooms, a move that will let partners ensure compatibility. The certification is one of a broad set of announcements on Wednesday kicking off the Microsoft Ignite conference.
Further, Microsoft introduced Teams Premium, which will bring enhanced collaboration and conferencing capabilities for an added $10 monthly fee. Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella announced Teams Rooms enhancements during his opening keynote address at Ignite.
"Cisco will become a Microsoft Teams Rooms-certified device partner and run Teams Rooms on Android natively on their room systems," Nadella said during the keynote. "The certified device portfolio will include multiple meeting devices and peripherals — and more to come."
Nearly a year ago, Cisco promised to ensure interoperability with Teams and Google Meet. Cisco and Microsoft have formed a partnership agreement to provide that compatibility with Teams. Cisco's general manager of Webex devices, Snorre Kjesbu, noted that 85% of its customers use multiple meeting room platforms daily.
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Microsoft to Certify Cisco Hardware for Teams Rooms, Premium Version Planned - A Partner Perspective
World Wide Technology (WWT) generates more than $5 billion with Cisco each year. It's also a Microsoft Gold Platform Partner.
Brandon Echele, senior manager of WWT's collaboration practice, explained why his firm sees big positive in the announcement.
"The partnership between Cisco and Microsoft offers a new level of flexibility for existing Cisco video endpoint customers," Echele told Channel Futures. "These organizations can now combine the power of Microsoft Teams Rooms' rich feature set with Cisco's cutting-edge hardware and management suite, so employees can seamlessly join Teams and Webex meetings."