RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Cisco is upping the ante in the virtual meeting provider wars, unveiling numerous additions to its Webex product including phone linakge to what the tech gaint says includes “any mobile device.”

Webex faces firece competition from Zoom, Microsoft’s Teams and other providers in the days of COVID-19 mandated social distancing and work-from-home requirements by companies around the world.

Money spent on virtual conferencing services has skyrocketed from around $12 billion in 2019 with spending estimated to reach around $42 billion by 2027, according to Fortune Business Insights.

“The past year has further heightened the need for a maniacal focus on delivering an experience that delights users,” said Jeetu Patel, executive vice president and general manager, Cisco Security and Collaboration, in Tuesday’s announcement. “Our innovations released today enable enterprises to be closer to their customers than ever, helping them deliver the best possible customer experience across all channels in real time.”

Here are the new additions and upgrades to Webex as noted by Cisco, which operates one of its largest corporate campuses in RTP:

  • Webex Go: Users no longer need to manage a business phone and a separate personal device. With the launch of Webex Go, enterprise-grade Webex Calling features can be added as a dedicated business line to a user’s personal mobile phone. For more information go here.
  • Location-based emergency calls with Nomadic E911: When placing emergency calls from the Webex App, emergency responders will now have accurate location information. If the Webex App determines you have moved to a new location, users will be prompted to update their address.
  • Cloud Calling on personal room devices: Users can now call colleagues by name or extension directly within a Webex Desk Pro device.
  • Singlewire InformaCast integration: Users can send emergency announcements live or as recorded audio pages to Cisco phones and speakers, and text alerts to digital signage, desktop computers and mobile devices. For more information go here.
  • Dedicated Instance: Customers that are not prepared to move their entire calling business to Cloud Calling can now mix Multi-Tenant and Dedicated Instance for hybrid deployments.
  • Added European Coverage for Cisco Calling Plans: Cisco is announcing Cisco Calling Plans for 10 countries in the European Union: BelgiumDenmarkFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceIrelandLithuaniaLuxembourg and Sweden.
  • Reimaging shared line experience: New calling widget for the Webex App makes it easier for users to multi-task and answer calls faster.