Building on its long-term partnership with Cisco, the Spectralink team kicked off 2019 with a strong showing at Cisco Live! in Barcelona held January 28th – February 1st. The annual Cisco customer conference was the perfect venue for us to showcase Versity, our latest, award-winning smartphone. Customers and partners converged at our booth in Cisco’s energetic World of Solutions venue to experience Versity’s streamlined design, unmatched voice quality and flexible app integration. We caught up with Jim Roseto, Spectralink’s Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Maribel Ojeda Jimenez, our Region Lead for EMEA Mediterranean. Fresh from their trip, they gave us the low-down on Cisco Live! and how they experienced Barcelona outside the show.

Welcome back! Jim, we know you and Maribel had a busy week connecting with Cisco partners and customers. How do you see the relationship with Cisco evolving this year?
Jim – “Every time I attend Cisco Live! I come back completely energized for the year ahead. Our relationship with Cisco and its partners over the past four years continues to grow. Cisco’s World of Solutions area where we exhibited is packed with 120 exhibitors showcasing their solutions. We were excited to meet with so many new and existing partners and customers from 40 different countries in EMEA. They specifically sought us out to hear the latest news on Spectralink’s DECT portfolio and learn about our latest enterprise smartphone, Versity.

“Spectralink’s success is built upon the personal relationships we have with our partners. It was gratifying to see them and hear how excited they were about our expanded portfolio. One partner told me, ‘I sold Spectralink’s first DECT solution as soon as it was added to Cisco Solutions+, even before the SKUs were on the Global Price List (GPL)!’”

Maribel, you spent a lot of time demonstrating Versity to customers and partners at Cisco Live!. What features were they most excited about?
“Many of the people I spoke with were pleasantly surprised by Versity’s thin, lightweight design and durability. While Versity is such a sleek, powerful device, many people were astonished by how it stood up to hard use – especially when I deliberately dropped it or threw it across the booth. Many people begged me to stop throwing it (laughs)!

“It’s clear from my conversations with visitors to our booth that they are looking for an enterprise smartphone solution that can keep up with the demands of their mobile workforces. For example, we had a number of healthcare providers visit our booth to learn more about the battery life and safety features we’ve incorporated into Versity. Versity’s hot swappable batteries were a big feature for them. And there was a huge focus on employee safety as evidenced by all the questions I received about Versity’s man-down feature.

“People told me that they had been looking for a sleek, ruggedized enterprise smartphone for a while, and that Versity’s LTE was the right solution for them. Even our existing DECT customers and resellers indicated strong interest in exploring Versity LTE. It opened up a lot of conversations.”

Cisco Live! showcases innovative solutions that help companies plan their digital futures. How was your experience attending it this year, compared to past years?
Jim – “I was so impressed by the number of different languages being spoken in our booth including Spanish, German, Danish, French, Italian, Portuguese and English. Having the Spectralink EMEA team in the booth made it possible – it was an amazing mix of cultures and languages. However, the red thread that tied them all together was their focus on enterprise mobility.”

Maribel – “Cisco Live! is always a melting pot of different cultures and languages, but with the same needs. As in previous years, we ran a demonstration with IP DECT and hybrid solutions on CUCM, which is always a hit. However, this was our first year presenting Spectralink’s Wi-Fi solutions which complement Cisco’s portfolio. It was perfect timing for us since the topic of finding a slim, durable enterprise-grade Wi-Fi and LTE smartphone kept surfacing in our conversations.”

With Cisco Live! (and hopefully your jet lag!) behind you, what’s next for Spectralink?

Jim – “In addition to our booth presence, we spent a lot of time with Cisco to learn about their roadmap and how we can align our solutions to it. For example, people at the show were really excited to hear that Versity will be added to the Solutions Plus program and available on the Cisco GPL.”

Maribel – “We are continuing to build partnerships within Cisco’s ecosystem so we can approach customers together to solve their problems. We’re working with a mix of partners and customers who are looking for innovation across all industries, including manufacturing, retail, healthcare and government. They either plan to enhance their DECT solution or want to explore the possibility of moving to Wi-Fi/LTE smartphones – this is the first time we’ve seen that.”

Outside of the show, how did you experience Barcelona?
Jim – “Thanks to Maribel and her team, I learned a little bit of Spanish including how to order a beer (laughs!). We were also treated to amazing local tapas and wine at Ole Mallorca, located on Carrer de Mallorca street. Visiting the famed Basílica de la Sagrada Família and discovering Gaudi was an unforgettable experience.”

Maribel – “I loved attending the Spanish party at Casa Llotja. There were literally hundreds of people in our industry in attendance. It was such a great opportunity to visit with old friends and make new connections!”

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