‘Webex Go with AT&T’ was announced several months ago in 2023 as one of the first efforts stemming from a newly unveiled partnership between Cisco and AT&T.
The offer is now available for pre-order (AT&T brands the offer as ‘AT&T Cloud Voice with Webex Go’). Webex Go with AT&T is a converged mobility and unified communications service providing the attraction of a single number, seamless switching between calls and meetings, plus prioritized network traffic.
The user’s mobile phone number of their AT&T smartphone becomes their sole identity. They can make and receive calls through their smartphone native dialer, on a Webex desk phone, and in the Webex app running on a computer or tablet. Users can take advantage of Webex calling features such as calling any number (of Webex users and non-Webex users), international calling, visual voicemail, and call recording. In addition, calls can be transferred to the Webex app or a Webex device. Calls can also be ‘escalated’ to a meeting held in the Webex app or on a Webex device.
With its mobile-first orientation as well as versatility, Webex Go with AT&T reflects the reality that mobility continues to be central to hybrid work. The part-time, return-to-work policies issued by many companies necessitate a mobile workforce with a mix of workers in the office and remote locations and others oscillating between the two. Employees also want to have the same collaboration experience regardless of where they choose to work.
Webex Go with AT&T has intriguing features
Aside from aligning with hybrid work trends, Webex Go with AT&T sports some intriguing features. Because the solution is integrated with AT&T’s IP multimedia subsystem (IMS – part of its core mobile network), all calls are logged in the Webex Control Hub making them subject to an organization’s security and compliance policies, thus facilitating enforcement. Also, AT&T is enabling a preferential quality of service (QoS) provision for Webex Go video and application data, giving it priority in times of network congestion and providing better performance when using an AT&T mobile device as opposed to a competitor’s device. In addition, there is no monthly recurring charge and activation occurs automatically via Webex Control Hub.
Partially offsetting the positive notes of the offer are some downsides. It appears that texting, a go-to means of communication, is not part of the solution. The preferential QoS feature is limited to the user being on cellular data and not WiFi. While company admins may appreciate the ease of enforcing security and compliance policies, some employees may object to having their calls tracked. Pricing is a bit fuzzy; while there is the benefit of no monthly fee, it isn’t clear whether there is an activation charge. Finally, with Cisco branding the offer as ‘Webex Go with AT&T’ and AT&T choosing an ‘AT&T Cloud Voice with Webex Go’ moniker, the market is bound to be confused and think there are two distinct offers.
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Nevertheless, Webex Go with AT&T offers the convenience of a single number across environments, seamless switching between calls and meetings, plus prioritized network traffic in a unified offer. For companies looking to leverage mobility to optimize collaboration for their distributed workforce, those benefits will outweigh the drawbacks.