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Microsoft to Certify Cisco Hardware for Teams Rooms, Premium Version Planned

An enhanced Microsoft Teams Premium will be available next year for $10 per user, per month.

Jeffrey Schwartz

October 12, 2022

9 Slides

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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Cisco’s Snorre Kjesbu

“For the first time ever, Cisco will become a certified Microsoft Teams Rooms devices partner,” Kjesbu wrote in a blog. “Our mutual customers will benefit from the option of running Microsoft Teams or Webex meetings natively on their Cisco devices. Microsoft Teams users get to leverage the powerful machine learning and AI included in our devices.”

Initial Interoperability Plan

Microsoft initially will certify six of Cisco’s most popular meeting room systems, along with three peripherals, by early next year. Among them are the Cisco Board Pro 55-inch and 75-inch, the Cisco Room Bar and the Cisco Room Kit Pro. To follow will be the Cisco Desk Pro and Cisco Room Navigator. Both will offer the option of setting Microsoft Teams Rooms as the default setting, though will continue to support Webex.

The first peripheral that Microsoft will certify is the Cisco Desk Camera 4K, an intelligent USB webcam, available this month. It will also enable Microsoft Teams as its default user experience, though it will also support Webex meetings. Early next year, two Cisco headphones with Teams buttons will ship.

Microsoft Teams Premium

The new Microsoft Teams Premium is an add-on to make meetings and webinars more personalized and secure. Nicole Herskowitz, VP of Microsoft Teams, noted that virtual and hybrid meetings have become prevalent.

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Microsoft’s Nicole Herskowitz

“Virtual and hybrid meetings continue to take up the lion’s share of time spent at work,” Herskowitz wrote in a blog announcing the premium edition. “Now, more than ever, leaders need an integrated solution that combines all the advanced meeting capabilities, takes meeting culture to the next level, and allows them to do more with less.”

Microsoft will release a preview of Teams Premium in December. We show some Teams Premium features, as well as discussion from a Cisco analyst, partner and collaboration executive in the slideshow above.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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