The time for collaboration technologies to deliver on the promise to unify communications is now more relevant than ever.

This is particularly true as digital transformation is in part, being driven by end users in a business.

Today we are seeing explosive growth in demand for cognitive collaboration solutions, such as WebEx Meetings & Teams, all of which are driving the need for frictionless communication that will follow a user no matter where they are.

“According to research giant McKinsey, digital transformation is projected to reach $1.25 trillion in 2019 but there is still a business disconnect as less than 16% of companies have seen real gains from digital transformation,” states Shiraaz Ahmed, WebEx architecture lead at Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa.

“This disconnect can be attributed to the maturity of a customer as well as their appetite for new technologies. That said, we are seeing a wave of users driving business behaviour and so the demand for better collaborative technologies for improved meetings as well as a means to automate routine tasks is growing.”

Digital transformation is enabled by technology and it is disruptive to the business norm as it demands a rethink in structures, processes and the way in which people work. A simple meeting solution is only one pillar in a collaborative environment, especially as we see cognitive collaboration technologies that leverage AI & ML introducing improved workflows that offer greater context and information.

According to Ahmed, this is one of the reasons that Westcon-Comstor has seen a positive demand shift for WebEx, as the software helps a customer automate routine tasks, it removes friction points in processes and creates more effective team collaboration and meeting experiences. Something it achieves by marrying hardware, software, and network technologies to offer an end-to-end collaboration solution.

“Not all collaboration solutions are created equal, some just offer online meeting functionality, which is why we have elected to offer our partners WebEx as a solution for their end users. Cisco WebEx Meetings hosts more than 70 billion meeting minutes every year and its customers include 95% of Fortune 500 companies.

“Couple this with the fact that Cisco WebEx Teams provides a messaging-centric platform for team collaboration where users can stay connected with messaging functionality, share content, use team chat in virtual meeting rooms and leverage screen and content sharing, co-editing/file sync, and whiteboarding – and all of a sudden we are providing full collaboration,” Ahmed says.

Another reason Ahmed says business is reticent to deploy business-wide collaboration is that unlike WebEx, many offerings are difficult to deploy, don’t support multiple platforms, are insecure and can’t work across the cloud and on-premise instances.

With Cisco Webex Meetings & Teams from Westcon-Comstor a partner can select a subscription-based package tailored to the needs of their user. Packages include the full suite of meeting, team collaboration, calling, and contact centre services for all employees, or a selection of only the services needed – with the option to grow later.

“WebEx gives a customer flexibility and freedom of movement and choice and now with the announcement that Cisco is rolling its Cognitive Collaboration technology into WebEx, it is easier for a business to foster human relationships, enhance customer interactions, and build high- performance teams that can make smarter, faster decisions and better serve customers,” ends Ahmed.