Webex by Cisco Innovations Address Challenges of Hybrid Work

At WebexOne 2021, Cisco announced significant innovations across its Webex ecosystem.

Webex Suite’s new meetings and messaging capabilities help customers empower equal participation, from everywhere. Similarly, new collaboration devices enhance effective collaboration, and Webex Events portfolio powers hybrid events at scale.

Additionally, Webex interoperability with Zoom, Microsoft and Google video communications platforms ensures seamless collaboration with customers’ preferred platforms and devices.

“Technology has many powers, and the greatest of all is its ability to connect people and level the playing field for so many across the globe,” said Jeetu Patel, EVP and GM, Cisco Security and Collaboration. “Our new Webex innovations mark a significant step forward in helping our customers unlock the potential of their hybrid workforces – enabling them to collaborate in new ways and drive inclusive experience.”

Cisco has launched more than 1,000 Webex innovations in the last 12 months. The announcements last week span advancements for the hybrid workforce, workplace, events and IT teams. Among the innovations are:

AI-powered audio intelligence without distractions – Webex’s optimize for all voices feature equalizes voices to ensure all participants can be heard, regardless of how far they are from a conference phone device. Speaker selectivity differentiates intended speech from background noise to remove distracting sounds.

Beat burnout and drive team engagement – New Webex Collaboration Insights features help teams combat common workforce fatigue and empower personal well-being. Connections keeps track of the top 10 people users collaborated with weekly, new titles and locations of colleagues, and more. Well-being and Cohesion features in Personal Insights give teams an anonymous view into work time patterns, sentiment ratings and focus time goals.

Reduce stress and prevent meeting fatigue – Webex Suite customers now have access to Thrive Reset, a feature based on research showing it takes 60 to 90 seconds to course-correct from stress. People using Webex can download pre-loaded Resets on a range of topics or upload personal photos to help them focus on breathing, reflect on what they’re grateful for, reframe problems, or simply stand up and stretch.

Asynchronous communication to minimize meetings – Only 48 percent of participants on average speak in meetings (source: Cisco Hybrid Work Index). As workers straddle time zones and balance meeting overload, asynchronous communication like Vidcast provides the ability to record, watch, comment and react at their own pace. Vidcast’s beta is open to the public at vidcast.io and is projected to be integrated in the Webex App in Spring 2022.

Enhanced camera intelligence – New to People Focus camera capabilities, available in December, will provide better clarity and optimized visuals of in-room attendees’ facial gestures and body language. Webex device camera intelligence enhancements in early 2022 are expected to further improve the view of people in meeting rooms, including showing conference room participants in individual boxes onscreen, regardless of meeting service.

Personalize the workplace with colorful devices – The new Webex Desk Mini enables workers to easily create a workspace anywhere. It features a 15.6-inch interactive 1080p display, 64-degree HD camera, full-range speaker and background noise removal mic array. And for the first time, Cisco is offering multiple color options (First Light, Carbon Black, or Woodland Green, Nordic Blue, and Desert Sand Limited Editions) for the Webex Desk Mini and 24-inch Webex Desk.

Empower creative collaboration with whiteboarding – Webex Whiteboarding enables users to create, find, edit and share whiteboards with anybody — including people outside of your organization — using any device mobile, tablet, laptop, or any touch-enabled Webex devices, including the new Webex Board Pro.

Scalable hybrid events– Following the acquisitions of Socio Labs and Slido, Cisco is unveiling an expanded Webex Events portfolio to help organizations power hybrid events of all types and sizes – from webinars to multisession events and conferences. Hybrid event management capabilities, including badging and printing for ticketing, monetization and networking are now available. Customers can host up to 10,000attendees in webinar mode and 100,000 in webcast mode via Webex Webinars. Integration of Slido’s polling, quizzing and Q&A technology in Webex Events increases attendee interactivity and engagement.

Simultaneous interpretation for global audiences – Webex Events offers the ability for hosts of multi-language meetings or events to schedule an unlimited amount of language channels with multiple interpreters. Participants can select their preferred language once they join.

Flexible and secure workflows to collaborate from anywhere

Frictionless communication regardless of device or platform – Webex devices support interoperability with Zoom, Microsoft and Google.

Continuous workflows with embedded apps – To alleviate users switching between apps when in Webex meetings and messaging, more than 60 partner integrations are coming to Webex. This includes Smartsheet, Hacker Rank, Thrive Reset, Miro, Mural, and more which are available directly in Webex today. Additional partners integrations will be added in the coming months.

Visibility into the collaboration experience – Cisco Meraki Insight and ThousandEyes help IT teams protect the Webex collaboration experience.