The Cisco – Google partnership has been quietly expanding for several years now, and in the past couple of weeks, has taken another leap forwards by the teams announcing further efforts within hybrid and multi-cloud environments, alongside exciting new developments in a joint venture into Contact Centre AI and machine learning within the workplace.
Let’s take a look at the growth and direction of this strategic partnership between Cisco and Google, and how the future could be brighter when the powers that be combine.
The Cisco Google Hybrid Cloud
Back in October 2017, Cisco and Google Cloud announced their partnership to deliver a hybrid cloud solution that provides the agility and scale of the Google Cloud, with the enterprise-class security and networking from Cisco Systems.
Within the announcement, the CEO of Cisco highlighted the fact that customers were asking for a simple and incremental approach to accessing the benefits of the cloud, and that the joint partnership would help developers leverage Kubernetes, Cisco networking and security, Istio authentication and service mesh monitoring, whilst giving app developers wider access to enterprise APIs, cloud API’s and on-premises resources.
The new solution, made available at the beginning of this year has provided customers with development and deployment tools to increase scale and improve agility in the hybrid world – by integrating Google’s open source software into Cisco technology so that customers can run what they would like on-premise, but also build the capabilities for those applications to seamlessly move into the Google Cloud as and when the customer would like to.
With the growing Cisco DevNet – Cisco’s Developer Network – IoT developers have instant access to hardware and software development environments at no cost, to help them quickly explore and create solutions for example with the Kubernetes Engine – a flexible infrastructure environment for deploying containerised applications and independent scaling.
Cisco Announces First Wave of Collaboration Integrations with Google Products
The next major announcement in the Cisco – Google Partnership came as of July 2018, where Cisco announced the first wave of collaboration integrations with Google products, far beyond the previous industry partnership of just “making sure our stuff works together”.
Instead, Cisco and Google are exploring the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, to understand how together, they can enable more efficient and capable workspaces. What areas are being explored?
- AI-enhancements in the Contact Centre
Answer questions more quickly & make interactions more efficient – add Google Artificial Intellience to the Cisco Customer Journey Solutions to provide contact centre agents with the right documentation and information at the right time, and continuously learn to provide more relevant information over time
- Scheduling Webex Meetings within the Google Calendar
With upcoming G-Suite add-ons, expect to see WebEx meeting icons when you schedule a meeting from Google, and participants simply join by pressing a green join button
- Make Collaboration Collaborative with integration and intelligence
Transcription, translating, meeting summaries and task management, utilising enhanced Google AI, alongside integration of content from Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms with no emailing and resending of versions as additional information is added. Collaboration, how it’s meant to be done
- Cisco calling and meetings in Enhanced Android Apps
Imagine a “see what I see” video meeting, using Google Glasses between an on land expert and a ship engineer, or a construction worker and head office.
Senior VP, Cisco Collaboration Technology says “Imagine This…”
“Through our native integrations, a Google Calendar user can join a Webex meeting from any device, including a Cisco video endpoint, with a single click. The experience is fast, high quality, and consistently stress-free. Content creation is faster and more collaborative through co-authoring documents, made seamlessly with beautiful crisp, clear audio and video. Then after you hang up, the meeting transcription, summary, and actions are right there integrated into the Webex Teams experience. It all just works beautifully together.”
Read the interview between Amy Chang, Paul Cheesbrough (CTO of 21st Century Fox) and David Thacker, President of Product Management at Google here for their thoughts on the future of work with Cisco and Google.
Sounds Great – But where are we now?
Cisco and Google are working together and have already defined a set of releases to deliver the simplicity and intelligence within this integrated Google – Cisco model. Google Calendar and Cisco Webex are already integrated, and developers are already embedding Cisco Calling, Meeting and Messaging into Android Apps, with Google AI integrations are already in place and starting to learn the needs of Cisco Contact Centre customers.
Next up, G-Suite, Drive and WebEx Teams integration is likely to be the focus, to enhance content sharing and collaboration across Teams of G-Suite users, with how to transcribe and translate directly in the shared meeting space already starting to be heavily explored and developed.
Google and Cisco have an ambitious plan to streamline work for over 150 million individuals, a plan of which is in some eyes long overdue, but if anyone has the capabilities, experience, customer base and technology to do this, this duo do.
Cisco – A Polyamorous Relationship
Unlike the Microsoft – Polycom partnership, which sees an “all eggs in one basket” approach, Cisco has chosen not to rely on a single “big 5” technology vendor relationship for their future. In 2015, Cisco and Apple joined forces for enhancing the experience of iOS business users, and in April this year, Cisco jumped into the realms of Augmented Reality (AR) via iOS for WebEx Meetings.
And announced just last week, Cisco and Apple took their relationships one step further with a batch of announcements around the development of Cisco Contact Centre and Apple Business Chat integration, exploring ideas such as escalation of Apple messaging to Cisco voice and video calling, straight from Apple Maps, and Apple Chat integration with Cisco analytics and reporting. We’re sure to see more on the Cisco – Apple partnership once Cisco has understood how significant it can be for customers, and how aggressively Apple pursues it’s services in the enterprise.
The Beginning of the Future
This is really just the beginning – we’re going to see many more announcements over the coming months and years where Cisco and Google Cloud (and Cisco and Apple) grow and integrate together to help organisations move into a new way of working – with intelligence, analytics and efficiency. And looking at most of the recent announcements from Cisco, a very heavy focus on improving the contact centre throughout.
Watch this space; we’re excited to see what is going to happen so you should be too.