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Cisco wants Webex to be as 'cool' as Zoom, and poached this top executive from Box to lead the way: 'Coolness is a reflection of how delightful the experience is'

Cisco wants Webex to be as 'cool' as Zoom, and poached this top executive from Box to lead the way: 'Coolness is a reflection of how delightful the experience is'

Cisco Senior Vice President Jeetu Patel
Cisco




Cisco poached Jeetu Patel from Box in August to lead the tech giant's applications business, including its Webex videoconferencing platform.




Launched in 1995, Webex is a widely used platform in the enterprise, recently reporting 500 million meeting participants monthly, a threefold jump from a year ago.




Webex is not as popular as relative upstart Zoom, which became the star videoconferencing technology in the coronavirus crisis when millions were forced to work remotely. (In an ironic twist, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan was actually an early Webex executive.)




But Patel, who was Box's chief strategy officer and is now a Cisco senior vice president, said his goal is to introduce more innovations to the Webex platform, including an upcoming feature that would reduce unwanted background noise.





"Coolness is a reflection of how delightful the experience is," Patel told Business Insider.





Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


The pandemic, which forced millions to work and study from home, turned Zoom, the wildly successful video conferencing platform, into a household name a?? and a tech titan in its own right, now valued at almost $159 billion.Cisco's Webex also saw a spike in traffic during the crisis, but the 25-year-old platform is grappling with the view that it's the stodgy, uncool alternative to its hip young rival. That's what Jeetu Patel, whom Cisco poached from Box in August to lead its Webex team, hopes to change.Patel, who was Box's chief product officer and chief strategy officer who is now Cisco's senior vice president for applications, said his game plan for making Webex cool is pretty straightforward: "To build a product that people love so much that they're willing to talk about it to their friends and family."
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