Telstra: Powering Webex Meetings for the Enterprise
Telstra delivers Cisco Webex Cloud Connected Audio-Service Provider (CCA-SP) solution for Webex Meetings
Telstra, one of the leading telecommunications and information services companies, recently announced its Cisco certified CCA-SP partner status where it would provide a new CCA-SP service to complete the Cisco Webex Meetings suite for enterprise customers. Designed to support changing workplace needs, where companies need their teams to collaborate seamlessly across time zones and locations, Cisco Webex Meetings from Telstra simplifies the conferencing strategy.
Cisco Webex Meetings from Telstra offers highly reliable and effective audio, web and video conferencing, through the Cisco Webex meetings suite. I spoke to James Townsend, Telstra’s Collaboration Specialist, about the new CCA-SP architecture.
Townsend joined Telstra after a numerous years working with world-class carrier networks on their conferencing, global UC and communication strategies.
What is Webex CCA-SP and How Does it Affect Webex Meetings suite?
James told me that Cisco has always had a meeting solution in place that complements the workplace collaboration environment. Telstra has been focused on building a scalable solution that interconnects seamlessly with Cisco. “This allows our customers to move their conferencing needs into the Cisco environment, without having to worry about losing the assured reliability of a PSTN network.”
Today, conferencing and collaboration are crucial in any industry. Costs associated with audio conferencing vary from month to month, depending on the number of conferences and how many attendees are at each conference. Businesses with a global or national presence have an even greater challenge, because they don’t pay the same price at each location due to varying call costs. Variables such as these make budgeting for audio conferencing challenging, especially when adding services such as video conferencing and team collaboration.
The Cisco Webex CCA-SP service from Telstra takes the variables out of conferencing and makes monthly conferencing bills more predictable, allowing businesses to easily budget for their conferencing. This enables businesses to see a return on their investment in audio conferencing, pay on a per-port basis and no longer be concerned about the cost of toll calls.
The solution is also designed to provide companies with a single, central meeting experience that improves reliability and audio quality. For the employee, James noted: “We’re giving people a core meeting experience that’s simple and fast to suit the way they work, wherever they work.”
With Telstra’s Cisco offering, there’s just one button to push, the solution is both device and app optimised, and everything is crafted to provide a more intuitive working platform.
“The Webex CCA-SP solution integrates with PSTN and IP voice to improve meeting experiences and reduce call costs”
Conferencing Market Trends
There’s a growing demand for reliable services around the world, available to employees almost wherever they might be. Telstra’s Cisco Webex CCA-SP offerings are available to Cisco Webex Meetings clients in this fashion. “We look at the various points of presence that companies have, and search for places where we can connect our services with Cisco. For instance, in Europe, we pair our London data centre with Cisco’s Amsterdam Session Border Controller (SBC) and so on. This improves both reliability and cost efficiency.”
Lately, solutions like Cisco’s video and audio conferencing options have been evolving, thanks to the evolution of SIP. According to James, the latest trend for conferencing is to move to video at an increasing pace. “The appetite for video is being amplified by the growing presence of younger generations in the workplace. People today are starting to feel more comfortable about their image being pushed out there. More an users and teams will want the full experience that comes with video in the future.”
Townsend noted that facial expressions and body language observable in video conferencing add to the context of a conversation, and Telstra’s solution with Cisco makes accessing this video strategy easier.
“The full suite we provide, with web, audio, and video conferencing, gives people more choices”
“Some people might not have the right strategies in place for video, and we’re building a solution that works for each user based on their needs.”
How Does your Strategy Improve Conferencing?
I was keen to learn more about how Telstra’s strategy of integrating with Cisco improves the audio and video conferencing experience for companies. James told me that in the world of conferencing, one of the biggest issues that companies have involves trying to improve audio conferencing quality.
“The quality of your voice might be damaged at multiple points across the traditional conferencing experience. Usually, the number of networks you would need to cross to reach a client or coworker in a different country is much greater than you’d think. All of those networks are trying to move your data along as quickly as possible, which means that quality can degrade.”
Through Telstra’s partnership with Cisco, the company can provide nodes that are close to home for its customers. This allows companies to enter the flexible world of VoIP, without compromising on quality assurance. “This is particularly crucial for companies that bill for their time and meetings. They need to make sure that the quality of the conference is exceptional if they’re going to bill for it.”
What Makes this Service Stand Out?
According to Townsend, there are many components that make the new Cisco Webex CCA-SP service from Telstra exceptional. “The solution can reduce costs for companies that need to manage their budget; then they also get improved quality of audio, and the option to dial into video too, which means improved capabilities.”
James told me that Telstra had learned a lot about the nature of the marketplace lately: “What we usually find in the Webex world is that companies have multiple Webex sites that they’re looking to consolidate. Having more than one site in the same region can increase complexity, which ultimately results in ineffective collaboration.”
Consolidating providers can be very important for companies with a growing global presence. Build the cost-saving opportunities and quality benefits on top of that, and the Webex CCA-SP solution becomes a value-added offering. Additionally, there’s the rising importance of video to consider, and the fact that more people are dialling into meetings from their smartphones, which makes it essential for them to be able to access a reliable conferencing strategy on any device.
“I think more people want to collaborate these days, and we can help them to do that in a way that suits their specific goals and desired outcomes”