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Webex Expands US Federal Government Contact Center and Calling Offerings

Webex Expands US Federal Government Contact Center and Calling Offerings

Government Organizations Can Select Webex as a Single Cloud Vendor for Calling, Collaboration, and Contact Center Services

The News: Webex announced in late June that its Contact Center Enterprise for Government offering is now authorized by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Joint Authorization Board (JAB). The announcement enables federal government agencies and contractors to utilize Webex’s Contact Center for Enterprise, providing Cisco, which owns Webex, with another potential revenue stream.

The government-wide FedRAMP program provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. It is designed to improve security and reduce risk for government agencies that use cloud services, and it is a critical requirement for many federal agencies and contractors.

The JAB designation also has the approval of CIOs from the Department of Defense (DOD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In a related note, Webex Calling will be joining the Webex for Government offering, coming in the fall of 2023. This means that U.S. government organizations can now select Webex as the single cloud vendor for all calling, collaboration, and contact center needs. You can read a blog post detailing the news here.

Webex Expands US Federal Government Contact Center and Calling Offerings

Analyst Take: In late June, Cisco announced that Webex Contact Center Enterprise for Government achieved FedRAMP JAB authorization, which enables Cisco to market directly to federal government agencies and contractors. Webex Contact Center Enterprise for Government, a fully Cisco-managed and operated cloud infrastructure, is scalable to serve the largest government organizations, and is based on the Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) architecture that is used by millions of agents.

Similarly, Cisco announced that Webex Calling will be included as part of Webex for Government, which provides government agencies with a single offering for Calling, Meetings and Messaging, with FedRAMP moderate authorization available in Autumn 2023.

New Revenue Streams for Webex Contact Center and Unified Communications

As government agencies struggle with the same labor-related challenges as their private-sector counterparts (a demand for remote or hybrid work environments, growing calls for improving digital citizen experiences, and the need to incorporate and leverage AI capabilities to improve efficiencies), Webex is responding by offering enterprise-grade cloud services that offer these modern features and capabilities, while ensuring reliability, scalability, and security controls meet federal requirements.

These two announcements highlight the push Cisco is making to offer a viable cloud-based contact center and outreach platform for U.S. federal government customers, joining other contact center solutions from Nice, TTEC, Genesys, Zendesk, and Salesforce, among other vendors, whose solutions are also FedRAMP-authorized. According to Cisco, the company has been in active discussions with some of its current customers for the Webex Contact Center Enterprise for Government offer.

Webex Security Features Designed to Support Safe Cloud Use

Given the potential for cyber breaches, attacks, or even internal sabotage, government agencies need to ensure that the contact center software and cloud solutions incorporate adequate security protocols and techniques. According to Cisco, Webex’s Extended Security Pack incorporates strong cloud security solutions, including Duo Multi-Factor Authentication and Cisco Cloudlock for data loss prevention, in a single, fully integrated offer. Webex Meetings also provides end-to-end encryption with Zero Trust security, a standards-based protocol for end-to-end encryption with identity verification and added support for Cisco Devices.

Further, according to the company, Webex products are designed with Cisco security from the start of development and undergo privacy impact assessments, proactive penetration testing, and threat modeling throughout the cycle. Cisco’s Security and Trust organization oversees security and privacy for Webex and publicly discloses security vulnerabilities.

FedRAMP Authorization Is Not a Decision Driver, But Perhaps It Should Be

According to a Webex representative, using FedRAMP-authorized solutions is a “nice to have” feature for state and local governments, but not a requirement currently, noting that some state government agencies adopt contact center and other software because of this authorization, but it is not necessarily a driver. However, as noted above, cybersecurity is a concern that continues to rise in importance, and no targets (private or public sector) should be considered safe. It makes sense to select products that have been vetted by programs such as FedRAMP, even if it is not a requirement, if only to ensure that the solution is incorporating the most robust and modern security protocols and techniques as possible.

Further, due to the scattered and distributed nature of regional and local government agencies, it is unlikely that any standards will be developed around security, data handling, or data privacy beyond the federal government level.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

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Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

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