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Webex Accessibility
Webex: Bringing accessibility, usability, and inclusivity to the forefront

Truly inclusive experience

It’s more important than ever for everyone to have equal access in the virtual workplace. A vital part of this is making virtual meetings accessible to everyone – especially employees with disabilities. People with vision, hearing, or mobility disabilities have different needs so at Webex, our goal is to create truly inclusive experiences that can adapt to everyone. We know and believe we can achieve more when diverse ideas and workstyles can come together seamlessly.

We always build and continuously improve our collaboration solutions with accessibility, usability, and inclusivity in mind.

Closed captioning

Closed captioning

Our Webex Assistant provides automated closed captions, making meetings accessible for Deaf and hard of hearing participants. When someone speaks, their mic picks up everything and Webex Assistant adds it as text captions above the meeting controls. It’s like using subtitles on your television. Closed captioning is also available on Webex devices for Webex Assistant for Meetings subscribers.

Real-time translations

Webex Assistant also helps by providing real-time translations. Meeting participants can choose closed captioning translation from English to one of the 100+ additional languages supported. You can select the language and spoken words in the meeting are translated in real-time. Real-time translation aids understanding and creates a more inclusive meeting, where language no longer be a barrier to great collaboration.

Automated transcription

Having a transcribed record of what was said in a meeting can be invaluable for many reasons but its especially important for people with hearing disabilities. Written transcriptions of your full meeting, complete with clearly labeled speakers, means you never miss a detail and you can go back and review the exact information you need, at your own pace. You’ll never have to miss anything discussed in a Webex meeting (and don’t have to re-listen to the whole meeting to get the answer you need).

Voice commands

Voice commands

You can also use Webex Assistant in your meetings to handle common meeting tasks like note-taking, follow-ups, and more with just your voice. By simply speaking phrases like “OK, Webex. Highlight that” or “Take a note,” your words trigger automated action. No keyboard activity is required so it’s especially useful for those with limited mobility.

customize your layout

Customize your layout

Webex let you customize your view and experience so you can focus on the people you want to see.

 You can also easily customize your view in a meeting to ensure that you can always see a particular person’s video such as a sign language interpreter. You can lock focus on a specific participant, even when others are speaking. The person you need to see is always front and center throughout a meeting or event.

Webex has zoom in and out capabilities to adjust your grid view from 5×5 to 2×2, or anywhere in between. An easy slider at the upper right corner allow you to zoom in to see larger images or zoom all the way out and see as many people as possible.

Gestures

Webex gestures make it easy for everyone to participate in the meeting and have their voice heard, even if they never speak a word. Webex AI automatically takes your natural, non-verbal gestures and translates them into animated images that everyone in your meeting can see on-screen. Even better, you never have to unmute or use the keyboard or mouse.

Recognize hand gestures_AH

For those with for those with limited mobility, who may not be able to show facial expressions or hand gestures, you can manually choose emojis by simply leaving the “Recognize hand gestures” button unchecked and click on the emoji of your choice.

Keyword Shortcut

Keyboard shortcuts

Webex supports keyboard shortcuts that provides limited-mobility users with an alternative to using a mouse for navigation and accessing features. Keyboard shortcuts can also save time and reduce mouse clicks.

These are just a few of the accessibility-focused features in Webex and there’s more to come. New features and enhancements including additional keyboard shortcuts and screen reader notifications are coming soon. We know you can’t get the most out of your meetings unless everyone can engage and participate equally so we’re not slowing down. We’re is committed to making collaboration accessible and inclusive for people of all abilities and backgrounds. That has been our biggest priority in Webex feature development and we are very pleased to share these advanced capabilities that help everyone participate equally.

Learn more about Collaboration that works for everyone

Learn more

What’s new in Webex: May 2021

Break free from the crowd by enabling smaller breakout sessions for engaged and focused conversations

Give every Webex attendee a voice: 3 ways Webex makes your virtual meetings and events come alive!

 

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conference room looking onto Webex devices with main meeting room
Facilitating a safe Return to the Office and creating an Inclusive Hybrid Work environment with Webex Devices

When the world went remote, companies were tasked with equipping their workforce with the collaboration tools they needed to work from home. However, we are slowly returning back into the office, and companies are now faced with another task – supporting a hybrid workforce.

Facilitating a hybrid work environment is no longer an option, but essential for a successful business and a thriving workforce. We need to ensure that remote workers feel included, and that office workers are able to collaborate just as well with their remote counterparts as they are with their colleagues in the office. Here at Webex Devices, we are always striving to create inclusive collaboration experiences for all – whether you are at home, in the office, or anywhere in between.

Making sure everyone is seen and heard with the Webex Room Kit Mini

The Webex Room Kit Mini is our entry level room device perfect for pervasive video collaboration in the hybrid workplace – already equipped with Webex Assistant for a touchless meeting join, and facial recognition to count the amount of people in the room, so you can ensure that capacity limits are being withheld.

Now, we are making the experience for the people on the remote end of the Room Kit Mini even better! We’ve added 5x manual zoom, making it easy for remote participants to see what matters; perhaps you want to show an early prototype of a physical product, or zoom in on a detail. This ensures that everyone can have a say regardless of their work location.

In addition to this, the audio pickup from the internal microphones will now be able to pick up audio clearly up to 4 meters from the device. At a time where there are strict distance requirements, this will make sure everyone in the room is heard clearly for the remote participant. The Room Kit Mini is now also shipping with the award-winning Webex Room Navigator touch controller with environmental sensors that helps ensure the wellbeing of your employees.

We are all adjusting to new cleaning schedules and many environments have heightened cleaning requirements. This is why we are now also offering the Webex Room Kit Mini with a metal grille. This new version makes it easier to clean the device, and for it to stay clean. Please follow our Cisco Guidelines for cleaning products to ensure correct and safe cleaning.

Webex Room Kit Mini

Bringing the new immersive into more meeting rooms

In the era of hybrid work, screen real-estate is a precious commodity. The majority of communication is non-verbal, and for collaboration to be truly efficient one needs to tune into facial expressions and body language. In addition to this, people need to have the same frame of reference – they need to view the same content! This is where multi-screen devices come in. Take for example the Webex Room Panorama. The Webex Room Panorama provides the ultimate immersive videoconferencing experience, built for the modern c-suite.

The Panorama is not only built for the modern C-suite, it is ideal for the hybrid workplace. With two screens for video and one screen for content, The Panorama allows for a rich hybrid collaboration experience – the people on the remote end can see everyone in the room and whatever content is shared, and the people calling in from the Webex Room Panorama can view people spread across the two video screens, and content from the content screen. We believe that everyone deserves to experience beautiful design and powerful functionality, so we’ve now made a low ceiling height version of the Room Panorama! This allows you to equip more of your meeting rooms with immersive video – the new low ceiling height version comes with two 82” screens for a fully panoramic video experience.

The Room Panorama now comes with the new, award-winning Cisco Microphone Array for crystal clear, directional audio. The Cisco Microphone Array recognizes which side of the table the speaker is on and uses advanced audio cancellation techniques to deliver clear audio to remote participants. Deployed together, Webex Room Panorama and the new table microphone helps create the best possible meeting experience for both in-person and remote participants.

Every meeting participant should be a first-class participant, no matter whether they are joining from home, the huddle room or the board room. Webex Devices provides inclusive experiences for everyone.

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What’s new in Webex: May 2021

Hybrid working: three tips to keep it safe, healthy, and productive

Meeting fatigue? Aren’t we all experiencing it?

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Cisco and Prezi enhance the video collaboration experience
Cisco and Prezi enhance the video collaboration experience

Cisco Webex partners with Prezi to deliver an end-user video presentation solution with “the hybrid workplace” and a “10x better experience” in mind. Prezi provides an enhanced and more engaging virtual meeting by immersing the document content right alongside the presenter to capture and retain the audience’s attention.

What is the Webex and Prezi solution?

In an increasingly virtual world, Cisco Webex and Prezi Video bring people together to keep them engaged so that collaboration doesn’t just happen; it flourishes. Prezi Video transforms any content from any application into video-ready, professional graphics. Now your audience will not have to choose whether to concentrate on the speaker or the presentation. They will be able to see you and your content simultaneously, in the same frame. To make it easy for everyone to get started with this new way of sharing, the integration implementation is designed to be as simple as possible. All you need to do is open the Webex and Prezi desktop apps at the same time and import the content that you want to share.

Now you might be familiar with the amazing Immersive Share feature that was added to the Desk Pro. And maybe wondering, “what if you don’t have a Desk Pro?” To further our mission of creating inclusive experiences, we have partnered with Prezi so that Webex users who do not have a Desk Pro can also experience immersive share during their meetings.

Webex partnered with Prezi to deliver a new level of interactivity and engagement in Cisco Webex meetings, unleashing the potential of virtual collaboration. With Prezi as the global leader in virtual presentations and Cisco Webex as a market leader in secure virtual meetings, our products are better together as an amplified solution for our joint customers.

Prezi in virtual presentation

See the Prezi technology in action here for Mac users and here for Windows users.

Customer success stories with Prezi

Prezi Video and Cisco Webex Integration allows ConvergeOne to lead remote trainings  

ConvergeOne was looking for a fresh new way to conduct internal training and onboarding — the shift to a virtual model made it harder to keep remote audiences paying attention. ConvergeOne found that the combination of Webex and Prezi gave them something innovative and captivating for their training attendees. Not only did this solution increase audience engagement, but it also led to better absorption of the material and an enhanced learning environment.

Bret Lathrop, Senior Director Offer Management & International Alliance Practice at ConvergeOne said,

“Strong communication, collaboration, and connection are crucial in helping our organization deliver top-of-the-line solutions to our customers. The combination of Webex and Prezi Video has breathed new life into the way we conduct internal training and engage with our partners & customers and has empowered the team at ConvergeOne to be efficient, impactful, and successful.”

Prezi CEO Jim Szafranski says, “Prezi Video with Cisco Webex helps companies create more engaging video meetings for the new hybrid office. We are pleased to now be a part of the Cisco Webex ecosystem.”

What’s next?

As Cisco continues to develop the ecosystem and partnerships journey, Alyson Hoagland-Pace says, “Cisco has added a missing piece to the user experience by partnering with Prezi to deliver impactful virtual meetings. We are excited about what the future holds.”

Learn more about Webex and Prezi on App Hub or contact your Cisco representative for more information on how to take advantage of this partnership.

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Announcing a Webex special event | The blueprint for Hybrid Work. Made Real.

What’s new in Webex: May 2021

Give every Webex attendee a voice: 3 ways Webex makes your virtual meetings and events come alive!

Read more
Break free with breakout sessions
Break free from the crowd by enabling smaller breakout sessions for engaged and focused conversations

About the guest blogger

Getting a handle on engaging students remotely comes with its share of trials and discoveries. Kirsten Mortimer (she/her), Technology Adoption Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, shares useful tips all educators can start applying in their classroom now.

Kirsten works with faculty and staff to increase their knowledge of, and proficiency with, technology tools as a member of the Learning Technology Center at the university. She has assisted numerous faculty and instructional staff with learning how to use Cisco Webex as well as how to leverage the suite of products to engage graduate and undergraduate students and enhance their learning experiences during the transition to remote delivery.

Engaging students remotely

Remote instruction using Webex Meetings provides opportunities and challenges for our precious instructional time.

I serve as the lead trainer for Webex Meetings at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, which provides the opportunity to work with many instructors on integrating breakout sessions to accomplish their learning objectives. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have also served as a technology coordinator for a fantastic, seasoned professor emeritus who teaches a few classes.

After first learning the functional aspects of using breakout sessions in Webex, I was ready to click ‘Start Breakouts’ with my class of instructors who would take what they’d learned from me to the wilds of their classrooms. Nervous doesn’t quite cover it!

Tips on smaller breakout sessions

Since that first training and after working with breakouts since the fall in tandem with my adventurous faculty partner, I’ve learned a lot. I highly recommend Beth McMurtie’s excellent article, How to Make Breakout Rooms Work Better, for details on what many of us have learned by trial and error. Here are some Webex-specific tips:

Partner with your students: One music instructor starts her class as a large group and then provides one-on-one instruction to students in a breakout room during the class. While most of the students work together in the main session on a piece, she and an individual dig deeper into that student’s needs. Music mode and the stability of Webex prove invaluable during these sessions.

Breakout session assignments

Use technology to save yourself time: When pre-assignment landed in Webex Meetings, our campus sighed a collective breath of relief. Creating lasting, community-building breakout groups became quick and easy. Pre-assignment makes project work, peer reviews, and complex assignments over multiple sessions more productive and less time-consuming. One instructor developed breakout session groups in his class that met once a week for a few hours. Students dug into complex topics much as they would have in person—virtually ‘moving around’ and being exposed to multiple perspectives during what could have been a long virtual class.

 

Thank you, Webex, for flexibility: While pre-assignment offers consistency, I’ve found that the ‘Reset’ button should be considered a friend. Depending on your class flow, you can start with pre-assigned groups and then shift to new, random groups for quicker exercises. This allows for students to engage with others and keep it fresh. 

 

Don’t be afraid to take chances: For the class where I serve as technology coordinator, Doc teaches in-person with half the class, while myself and the other half of the class join remotely. We send our “onliners” to breakout rooms often while in-person students participate in breakouts together. We get back together for discussion debriefs, often employing chat and a whiteboard to get us on the same page. After using breakout rooms during class, we see more student videos and experience more voluntary sharing by voice and chat. 

 

Stay tuned in: While instructors can join breakout sessions, this can be awkward and may stifle conversation. I’ve found that shared collaborative apps, notably Google Docs and Slides, allow me to keep tabs on student activity without joining the breakout rooms every time. These shared apps also provide documentation for when groups report back to the main session. In one icebreaker, students in the classroom lined up based on height and also birth months. To simulate this activity for our “onliners,” we lined ourselves up using Google Slides in a breakout. After joining the in-person group, we shared the screen to show them how we measured up!

 

Break out of the classroom: Campus leaders continue to amaze me with their creative uses of breakout rooms: student advising walk-in sessions, alumni awards celebrations, active writing groups, student organizations, conference sessions, campus working group problem solving, student government meetings…you name it! Engaging in meaningful experiences often extends outside the classroom.

 

While we want to be experts before trying new methods, I’ve found that the students I work with are willing to take chances, ready to engage with content in new ways and help develop creative ways to use breakout rooms. After all, our goal remains to help them find their voice in a flexible learning environment. 

 

Here’s a guide on how to use breakout sessions.

 

Share your story on the Webex community and read more on how other educators are using breakout sessions in their classrooms.

Kirsten Mortimer
Guest blogger: Kirsten Mortimer (she/her), Technology Adoption Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

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Challenges faced during distance learning

What’s new in Webex: May 2021

Blackboard Learn and Webex join forces to expand the reach of education

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hybrid work made real
Announcing a Webex special event | The blueprint for Hybrid Work. Made Real.

The blueprint for hybrid work

Companies are mapping out the next stage of hybrid work plans and return to the office. But hybrid work isn’t just about choosing where to work. It’s about unlocking human potential.

It’s about giving everyone an equal experience wherever they work — and designing workplaces that are supportive and empathetic for a more resilient workforce. At Webex, we believe hybrid work is more than just technology. It’s about reimagining employee and customer experiences.

Hybrid Work Made Real event

On June 8, at our Hybrid Work Made Real event, we will be introducing industry-first innovations across our collaboration suite and supporting specialized experiences for contact centers and other events that you won’t want to miss.

By joining this digital event, you will learn about industry-first hybrid solutions that help organizations understand:

  • How do you facilitate a safe return to the office?
  • How should your offices change to meet the new hybrid work model?
  • How can you ensure your remote employees feel included and have an equal seat at the table?
  • How do you remove fatigue and enable employee well-being no matter where they work?
  • How do you build a company culture that sustains human connections in virtual world?
  • How can you create delightful customer experiences in this digital world?
  • How can you scale and secure all of it?

This is an exclusive event and we are offering registration on a first-come, first-serve basis, so if you are looking for a blueprint to create inclusive hybrid work, Register now!

Event Information

Americas & EMEA | June 8, 2021

The Asia Pacific | June 9, 2021

Visit www.HybridWorkEvent.com and click Register Now to sign up for the event.

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WorldTour Team DSM takes the road with Webex for a new hybrid sports experience

What’s possible when the worlds of sports and technology play together…

Creating Exhilarating and Exciting Experiences with Cisco Webex and McLaren Racing

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view from back to female student is talking on smartphone sitting at desk in front of monitor with blank space for design. Mockup screen with copy space. woman makes a business call
Simplify your workday – learn about sharing Box files in a Webex Meeting or space

Cisco and Box integration makes it easy to collaborate

How many different apps do you use in a day?

The number of software apps that employees use to manage their work has increased exponentially in the last few years. 80% of workers report using 10 or more apps daily.

In the real world, there’s multiple projects, tasks and apps that we juggle between on a day-to-day basis. Add up the time that it takes to re-calibrate and refocus each time you switch between apps, leading to tremendous productivity losses. Integrations between apps can help recover some of those productivity losses.

Cisco Webex continues to deliver integrated solutions – with a focus on truly seamless experiences that allow you to get your work done quickly and easily.

With the latest Webex in Box integration, we make it easier to collaborate around file content.

Fileshare in Box

Sharing Box files in Webex

Box is a leading provider of cloud content management and file sharing services. The “Share in Webex” option in Box makes it easier to collaborate on your Box file content. You can shorten your content review timelines and get your work completed faster.

To share a file in Webex, ensure you have added the “Share in Webex” app.

Within the app, you can collaborate on Box content with your teams effortlessly and work together in a live face-to-face meeting. Simply select to “share file” in a Webex meeting – start an impromptu meeting or schedule one for later.

Calendar integrations make it easy to schedule Webex meetings right within Box by showing you the availability status of all the invitees. You are also notified of upcoming meetings so you can plan your day better. You can invite all Box file collaborators to a meeting with a single click.

Calendar integrations in BoxBefore or after the meeting, keep the conversation and work momentum going in a dedicated Webex space, simplifying communication between geographically dispersed teams.

It’s an easy click to create a Webex space – you decide who is invited to the space: all file collaborators or select few. To streamline your conversations, you can also create different spaces with different teams but all focused around the same content. Structure your conversations based on what’s most effective for your business.

Webex space in Box

By unifying content and conversations together in a single Webex space, you reduce the time from creating the first draft of a file in Box to the final review and sign off.

Your content remains secure and centralized within Box, but also easily accessible for seamless collaboration in Webex.

Consider an organization trying to roll out new technology to their workers. As part of their roll out planning, different functions such as IT, enablement, business communications, and PMO will own specific tasks. For a successful business outcome, it is crucial for the teams to be able to stay connected and work together on the project plans, business readiness assets and project progress reports. Webex capabilities embedded within Box allows teams to do just that – connect seamlessly and quickly regardless of the Box content they are working on.

But there’s more!

This integration expands on previous capabilities that simplify Box and Webex workflows:

  • Use the Box notifications in Webex Bot to setup notifications for common Box functions such as file previews, file or folder creation, Box notes updated etc
  • Share files from Box within a Webex space from desktop or mobile
  • Share files from Box in a Webex meeting on mobile

Our integrations are here to make your life easier. Regardless of which tools you use, we want the work you do to reach its full potential. We live and breathe our mission – stay tuned as we continue to bring new integrations to life!

Click this link to begin using this integration, and for more information take a look at this At-A-Glance

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Cisco Webex and Box Deepen Partnership to Power Secure Collaboration in the Cloud [Press release]

What’s new in Webex: May 2021

Box for Webex! Content has a new home on Box

Mark messages as unread, in App scheduling calendar, Webex on Linux and more in the Webex App May update

Resources

The all new Webex

Ready to make the switch to the new Webex?

Still need help?

Here’s what’s new in Webex

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Read more
In-app meeting scheduling
Mark messages as unread, In-app scheduling calendar, Webex on Linux and more in the Webex app May update

Webex app May update 

In the blink of an eye, we find ourselves in May. Time moves fast and so can our workdays. This month’s release is focused on several features that allow you to work smarter and make better use of your time. By introducing features such as mark messages as unread, select your landing tab, and navigation history, Webex now enables you to stay focused and keep important workflows top of mind. 

MESSAGING IN WEBEX

MEETINGS IN WEBEX

CALLING IN WEBEX

WEBEX PLATFORM NEWS

MESSAGING IN WEBEX

  • Let’s face it, work conversations can get overwhelming and sometimes we forget to follow up with someone. One way to solve this problem is by flagging messages, which Webex currently allows you to do. Now Webex has added the ability to mark messages as unread. This feature is a great complement to flagging at keeping conversations top of mind and acting as a reminder to go back and follow up on important items. When you mark a message as unread, you still leave a read receipt in the space, but your view of the space will display the message as unread. 

Mark as unread in Meetings

  • We all have our different styles of working – some use Webex mostly for calling and others prefer using messaging for team collaboration. Now Webex allows users or admins to select your default landing tab. This means each time you launch Webex you will land on your landing tab of choice – saving you time switching between tabs and keeping you focused on what matters most to you. 

Select Your Default in Meeting

  • Team collaboration is great. Workflows can move faster, and we can communicate directly with the people most important to our projects. However, when working across many spaces and 1:1 chats it can be timeconsuming tracking down the space you need. Not anymore! Webex has added a new navigation history feature that shows all the spaces you have been working across – just like a browser experience. 

MEETINGS IN WEBEX

  • Constantly switching apps to schedule a meeting wastes time and energy. With Webex, you can now schedule a meeting directly within the Webex app. Before, you had to leave the Webex app and use a thirdparty calendar to schedule a meeting. Now, the new in-app scheduler brings it to you so you can set up, update, or delete your meetings in no time. Simply go to the Meetings tab and tap Schedule, then select a date, time, and participants. To be mindful of others, you can view your invitees’ availability so you can select the most convenient time. See your own work week at a glance in the app calendar to ensure you customize your schedule the way you want. Once everyone receives their invite, they can RSVP directly from within the app. 

In-app Meeting

  • Webex has become the new virtual office. Generating meeting recordings and transcripts on the fly was just the beginning. Now keeping track of meeting attendees has never been easier. If a meeting or event requires registration, you can export the registration report in CSV format as the host. In this report, you can collect names, email addresses, dates and times of registration, and the approval status of each participant.

Export registration report

CALLING IN WEBEX

  • To enhance your experience when working from home or in the office with an external web camera, the Webex app is now fully integrated with the Webex Desk Camera. When used together, the Webex Desk Camera privacy shutter serves as the master switch for video in the desktop app. When the shutter is open, you can control your video being shared from within the app. When the shutter is closed, your app video will turn off locally and the remote calling or meeting participants will see your image icon providing a clear indication your video has been turned off. This integration provides you with an extra layer of privacy and control how and when you want your video shared.   

woman on computer sitting at her desk

  • Today, working together can be from anywhere that works for you and sometimes that means working on the go. With Webex, you have the same experience no matter where you’re working or what device you’re using.  Controlling your shared content during calls from your mobile is now easier than ever. You can now stop sharing in mobile on Android and iOS mobile devices. You’ll also see an icon that an active share is ongoing and easily stop the share without going back into the app. This feature is also available for meetings. 

stop sharing in mobile on Android and iOS mobile devices

Webex app with Unified CM: 

  • Mobile Remote Access (MRA) registration failover: Experience better quality and performance if your network components go down. Failure detection and recovery occur faster ensuring a more reliable connection.
  • You can now access detailed diagnostics information right inside the Webex app. Enabling you to facilitate and have access to performance information, such as memory utilization, CPU usage, configuration information, media statistics for calls and devices when paired, and call statistics. You can export this information and share with your IT admin to streamline any troubleshooting and diagnosis as needed. 

diagnostics information inside the Webex app

WEBEX PLATFORM NEWS

  • Due to popular demand from our Webex user community and to provide an inclusive experience for all our customers Webex will now be supported on Linux. In this first phase, we will be supporting core Webex capabilities including, 1:1 app-to-app calling on Webex, joining meetings, and messaging. Unified CM calling support is coming soon. This is just the beginning of our journey with the end goal to have feature parity with Mac and Windows. 

Linux

To see how you can work smarter and make better use of your time, try Webex for free!

Learn more

What’s new in Webex: May 2021

It’s all new in the new Webex

What’s so NEW about the All New Webex?

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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Top rated collaboration Cisco Webex
Webex earns Trustradius top rated 2021 award in collaboration

After winning 1st place in “Best of” TrustRadius Award categories in February, Webex has earned more recognition in April with the Top Rated 2021 Award in Collaboration. It is great to see that our commitment to innovation and 10x better experiences is paying off.

Since 2016, the TrustRadius Top Rated Awards have become the industry standard for unbiased recognition of B2B technology products. Based entirely on customer feedback, they have never been influenced by analyst opinion or status as a TrustRadius customer. Here is a detailed criteria breakdown on the methodology and scoring that TrustRadius uses to determine Top Rated winners.

Take a look at some of the feature scores that came from the reviews customers left us:

We also saw some fantastic quotes from Webex users on their experiences using Webex.

“Our whole company uses Webex as our preferred messaging application. It is fantastic for keeping us connected when we are all working from different locations, as we can easily chat, call, and meet from desktops or mobiles.” –IT Consultant

“The end-to-end security within the whole Webex stack is a massive plus as well and you know your data is secured from the moment you start typing a message.” –IT Professional

“It’s an easy-to-use application, has the best cost-benefit ratio, is easy to understand and install, and it is also compatible with other Cisco applications.” –Applications Engineer

Webex is the Best Business Collaboration Platform Around.” –Network Services Manager

What’s next for Webex?

Webex continues to innovate with well over 400 features introduced in the last 6 months. Just this month, we announced custom layouts and post meeting summaries in Meetings, Box and Appspace integrations, and real-time calling and messaging analytics in Control Hub. Expect more exciting announcements in the coming months in Webex blogs.

Check out more TrustRadius reviews here. Have your own use case to share? Review us on TrustRadius.

About TrustRadius: TrustRadius helps technology buyers make better decisions and helps vendors tell their unique story, improve conversion, engage high-intent buyers, and gain customer insights.  Each month over 1 million B2B technology buyers, over 50% from large enterprises, use verified reviews and ratings on TrustRadius.com to make informed purchasing decisions.

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What’s new in Webex: April 2021

Post Meeting Summary

How People Insights will help empower a more inclusive and engaging work experience

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

 

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colleagues meeting using Ava Robotics
Webex and walk: Mobile, intelligent collaboration for hybrid work

Youssef Saleh

Guest Blogger

Youssef Saleh is Co-Founder and CEO of Ava Robotics. Youssef is an entrepreneurial leader with a passion for turning ideas into profitable and growing businesses. Prior to Ava, Youssef was SVP and GM of the Remote Presence Business Unit at iRobot, where he was responsible for iRobot’s leading-edge autonomous robots for commercial applications. He also served as VP/GM of Telepresence & Vertical Solutions at Polycom.

Ava Mobile Telepresence is a SolutionsPlus Partner — now available on GPL

The time to bridge the gap between workplace expectations and conditions is now–and every day moving forward. The global workforce has never been more aware, and yet so uncertain. What we DO know is that every single business, to some degree, must account for hybrid collaboration. Regardless of whether it’s for our own employees, customers, partners, or clients, we must do more to enable and empower people to work how they work best. This priority has been past-due for many years.

Cisco’s 2020 Global Workforce Survey reports:

98% of the workforce expects future meetings will involve remote participants.

96% expressed a desire for intelligent collaboration technology.

How companies satisfy the desire, need and flexibility for access isn’t just a Covid-response success metric, its more; adopting and integrating more hybrid work processes and technologies will largely dictate overall viability and market leadership.

Ava Robotics and doctors sitting at a table

Ava and Cisco Webex evolve collaboration technology, together

Since the inception of Ava’s intelligent workplace robotics technology at iRobot, Cisco was identified as the best possible partner to advance workplace productivity. Not only because Ava was built with a full Webex integration for best-in-class video conferencing, but also because Cisco sets the industry standard for secure, trusted technology.

It’s not about wanting to meet. It’s about wanting to be. What happens spontaneously and organically before the meeting, or after the meeting, for example, has always mattered as much as the meeting itself. Cisco and Ava have shared a mission that empowers people to own where and how they collaborate, long before pandemic times. The need to improve the workplace with intelligence, inclusivity, and mobility is not new–but the receptiveness to this technology, is.

See how Ava + Webex expands sales capabilities at real estate leader SIGNA Group

As a member of the Cisco SolutionsPlus Partner network, Ava Mobile Telepresence allows Cisco customers to extend their collaboration capabilities, expanding operations and improving employee/customer experience.  

Ava Mobile Telepresence as a feature of Webex introduces limitless opportunities to expand collaboration for the hybrid workforce.

Global re-evaluation of budget, responsibility, and sustainability

Returning to the workforce survey, 77% of large organizations report that they will be increasing work flexibility. For each organization, “work flexibility” will have its own unique expressions and integrations within their existing technology and workflows.

No matter where a company may be along their return-to-work timeline, the new prioritization for agility, safety, and sustainability will endure. Corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives are no longer in the back seat. However, it’s important to also recognize heightened budget consciousness in these still-very-uncertain times.

Man on screen of a robot

What is so powerful about Ava + Webex, for both customers and Cisco representatives, is its accessibility and ease of use. Ava Mobile Telepresence fits seamlessly into what a business is doing right now. There is no extra framework or new IT resources (human or systematic) to introduce in order to get started.

Also related to new workplace priorities, emphasis on overall experience for both internal and external human resources, is literally changing the design of every workplace. The movement toward more human-centered design is visible across industry workspaces: factory floors, healthcare patient facilities, corporate offices, event venues, real estate properties, and more. And this design must address presence disparity, accounting for those on-site, as well as those who are virtually present.

Ava enables collaboration in Cisco global offices

For successful hybrid work, Cisco outlines three steps:

  1. Support remote employees
  2. Plan a safe return to work
  3. Deliver intelligent workplace experiences

As a feature of Webex, Ava Telepresence Robots deliver on all three of these steps by offering: meaningful collaboration experiences for remote workers, a socially distant, hands-free solution, and intelligent, fully-autonomous robot. In addition to promoting mobile, independent physical presence through our partnership, Cisco embraces and uses Ava technology in their own global offices.

Cisco has deployed Ava robots in San Jose (US), Toronto, Dubai, and Manchester (UK). These robots enabled hybrid work and operations for Cisco prior to the pandemic and continue to connect teams and welcome customers on-site for tours and events. Additionally, Cisco will use Ava Mobile Telepresence to apply their 3-step hybrid work approach in its own offices.

Walk through Cisco IXC Dubai with Ava:

Emerging stronger and smarter

Many businesses are confident that they will, in some ways, come out of these disruptive, uncertain times better than they were–whether it be faster, more open, more dedicated to their people, or, ideally, all of the above. As part of the Cisco SolutionsPlus Partner network, we intend on offering Cisco customers a useful, meaningful way to achieve their hybrid business goals.

To learn more about what Cisco and Ava are doing together, visit our Ava + Webex page, or send us an email at molly@avarobotics.com

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talkshow 3
Remote working in the new normal era: how do you do that?

Remote working will continue. The crisis has shown that far more is possible than we’ve ever imagined. It has significantly reduced the resistance to remote working. Many organizations are finding more ways to reinvent themselves because those who adapt to the new normal have the best chance of entering the post-COVID era with a head start. But how do you avoid returning to the old patterns?

Hybrid working already existed pre-COVID. An example of this is blended learning, an innovative mix of online and offline learning. In the financial world, video banking was on the rise. And in healthcare, people were already experimenting with video consultations. However, there was resistance to change, mainly because of the need for personal contact.

It has become evident by now that we cannot put the genie back in the bottle. Many employees believe that they work much more effectively at home. The idea of being stuck in traffic again is a nightmare for many people. Going to the office remains necessary to ‘connect’ with colleagues, but this does not have to be every day. Many companies are anticipating this and are already disposing of office space.

A crisis: the right time to seize opportunities

Organizations that embrace hybrid working do so because they see opportunities to reorganize work and private life. Sometimes literally: by adapting their offices to meet the social distancing rules. Some have not wasted any time-transforming their business.

Others need a bit more time. Retailers are many of their physical stores but are now making more profit online. The reason is that companies came up with new opportunities. In the sports industry, brands succeeded because they developed and promoted a home workout app.

In care for the elderly, smart glasses are making a comeback. Wound care nurses use those so that experts in the hospital can watch and provide remote support. It saves patients a trip to the hospital, reducing the pressure on healthcare, where parties already struggle with staff shortages.

The event sector sees possibilities in the long term to reach a larger target group with, for instance, hybrid conferences. Both visitors at the location and people at home participate. Event organizers also can invite more (international) speakers if they are unable to travel.

Embrace the positive aspects and leave the past behind

Organizations discover through trial and error what does and does not work. The challenge is to learn from positive experiences and disregard the negative ones. Cisco is deeply committed to ensuring the well-being of its employees. It is important to provide good conditions and resources to ensure a safe environment for remote working, both digitally and physically. The use of video screens prevents employees from spending their days bent over their laptops.

Furthermore, Cisco pays attention to creating a good balance between work and private life. Attention to exercise and taking breaks. The aim is to ensure that the conditions are suitable for every employee to perform their job. At the office, at home, or on the road.

Digital transformation: it’s all about the content

The lesson learned by front runners in remote working is that digital transformation is not an end in itself but a chance. They benefit from new opportunities by putting content first and using technology to support this. An increasing number of people are becoming convinced of this.

Would you like to know more about the impact that the changing working environment has on business operations, work activities, and people? How to stay in touch with customers, students, or patients if you are increasingly dependent on online contact? Cisco has made a talk show about ‘The communicative connection,’ in which we talk to the experts Noreena Hertz, Jet de Ranitz, Francoise Wiedenhoff, Wilbert Mulders, and Kim Dijksman.

Click here and get inspired!

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Meeting fatigue? Aren’t we all experiencing it?

Bridging hybrid classrooms with the Cisco Webex Board

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Talkshow2 and future of work
Working remotely: 6 tips to maintain high involvement

In the new normal, working remotely is the norm. This triggered many positive effects. For example, people are often far more productive at home than at the office and experience a positive work-life balance. However, there is also a downside: the lack of personal contact with colleagues can lead to people feeling lonely. In this blog, we list six tips to help ensure that the positive effects take precedence.

When the pandemic led to a wholesale switch to working remotely, many people suddenly discovered its benefits. No longer stuck in traffic jams and to be better focused. Many remote workers have found a better work-life balance because they now have more freedom to divide their time, now and then go for a walk or do some household chores.

Fatigue is increasing

However, in the meantime, many people who are working remotely are also experiencing remote working fatigue. Primarily through the lack of personal contact. Many people who work remotely feel lonely. Several other drawbacks are also becoming apparent. Some people have difficulty dealing with the boundary between their work and private life. They work longer at home and open their laptop again during the evening.

Man taking glasses off at computer with his head down and taking glasses off

Include welfare as part of a strategy

In the future, people will want to retain the benefits and not be affected by the drawbacks. It, therefore, looks like we are going to continue with hybrid working. This means working at home, on the road, and in the office.

However, ensuring that hybrid working can function in practice without compromising the welfare of people who are working remotely requires a strategy. Of course, no two organizations are the same, but a couple of tips are always helpful to increase involvement and avoid fatigue.

  1. Include moments to enquire how someone is doing. Ask if people have sufficient screen breaks and take enough exercise.
  2. Introduce a buddy system and form couples who keep an eye on each other.
  3. Create moments for small talk before a meeting or at the end of the week with a virtual Friday afternoon drink.
  4. Avoid that people working from home feel less included. Go out of the way to make them feel valued.
  5. Arrange for people to occasionally meet each other in the office without it becoming too busy. This ensures the much-needed variety.
  6. Organize workplaces in the office to meet each other at a distance to brainstorm, eat together or just chat. This results in renewed energy and dynamics.
  7. Find time for remote team building exercises. Connecting and getting to know teammates outside of meetings is important, too.

Gain experience and find the right balance

The new hybrid working is all about finding the right balance. It forces everyone to think about when a physical meeting is necessary and when a virtual meeting is better. Only one thing helps to identify what works: gaining experience.

Would you like to know more about how you can ensure that employees continue to work effectively? Or about which strategic choices are appropriate? Watch our talk show ‘The digital transformation’ in which we discuss these issues with the experts Noreena Hertz, Edwin Prinsen, Patrick van der Duin, Jan van Ginkel, Tim Toornvliet and Kathelijne Drenth.

Click here and get inspired!

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14 ways to refresh your collaboration experience

Introducing Collaboration Systems Release (CSR) 14 for the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) applications system

The feeling in the air this Spring brings a welcome sense of hope and promise, as our businesses and our lives gain a greater sense of “normal” after a year full of extreme chaos. I hope you feel it too. Which makes now a wonderful time for Cisco to introduce our Collaboration Systems Release (CSR) 14, for the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) applications system.

For enterprises and organizations, the importance of a digital strategy, one that elevates the quality of your “work from home / work from anywhere” initiatives has never been greater. This applies to all sectors, from government, education, healthcare, retail and everything in between.

Cisco recognizes the daunting challenge our customers’ technical leadership teams face. You have to reimagine your collaboration and applications strategy for the future, while continuing to deliver innovation, with security, across your network applications landscape. Part of this conversation invariably leads to the topic of cloud adoption, in terms of how broadly to adopt cloud applications, which applications specifically, when, and how will the cloud apps integrate with each other, as well as with the apps that remain on-premises.

UCM is an exceptionally versatile unified communications platform, in that it provides the most complete set of enterprise-class unified communications and collaboration features on the market. UCM supports these features across on-premises, cloud and mixed, hybrid deployments, on a global scale. This makes for a richly rewarding and desirable application for enterprise adoption.

CSR 14 builds value for our customers and partners by combining the Cisco development efforts across all the applications that make up a complete Unified Communications Manager system.

Which means there’s a lot to cover, so I’m going to share at least fourteen improvements we’ve made, to ensure users and administrators get a top-quality experience that serves their everyday work realities now.

Better resiliency for workforce mobility

(1) For mobile workers, CSR 14 supports the latest changes in the Push Notification Services used by the latest iOS and Android mobile OS. Users of the Webex or Jabber mobile apps need their clients to be at CSR 12.8, or CSR 14 to continue to make/receive calls and messages on their mobile clients.

To improve reliability for your mobile users, we’ve added high availability (2) to our Mobile Remote Access feature, using Expressway. In the event of a failure in the data center, users will be able to quickly recover to their back up calling servers. (3) We’ve also added fast failover support for Jabber IM&P clients.

CSR 14 is ready to support handover (4) between LTE and WiFi networks. As mobile users move out of range of their WiFi network, they will be able to automatically switch to their cellular network to maintain their call, without interruption or a need to call back.

UCM 14 provides higher server resiliency and scalability (5), with Tomcat containerization, to ensure web application and client stability. We’re adding the container model to our UCM architecture to bring a higher level of reliability to all your collaboration workloads.

Superior experience for end users

We’ve enriched the calling experience of using the Webex app with UCM, adding features end users will enjoy every day. For example, background noise cancellation on calls, so your callers are not impacted when you’re in a noisy environment. We’ve also brought in features to the calling experience, previously only available in meetings, such as using virtual backgrounds during calls.

All distributed workers will be glad we’ve done the groundwork in CSR 14 for (6) synchronization of UCM phone presence with Webex on the back end, so the presence state and DND settings in your Webex contact list accurately reflect the current status of your contacts.

nurse looking at results on a Webex DX

Beyond the addition of all the new Cisco endpoints and high-quality Cisco Headsets, with patented Clear Voice audio technology, we have added support (7) for the AV1 codec. The AV1 codec delivers high quality video in low bandwidth situations, which happens often in remote work situations.

CSR 14 offers unified messaging support for Google Workspace (8) and increases the scale for Office 365 users, so you can keep pace with your office suite choices.

Safety, security and reliability

We seem to be crossing the curve for getting the workforce back into offices. Administrators are keen to ensure their office environments are safe. Employees can now use their wireless Cisco headsets for touchless login to their shared workspace IP phones (extension mobility).

The new paradigm of mobile and remote users creates new demands from the security and compliance perspective.

We extended SIP OAuth for IP phones (9), to make it super simple to encrypt phones for signaling and media traffic and meet GDPR, PCI and other infosec requirements.

For E-911 compliance, Cisco Emergency Responder (CER) has been available, communicating with your switch infrastructure, to determine the location of your end user phones, to ensure 911 responders get dispatched to the correct location.  Now, (10) with CSR 14, the next time you update your switch infrastructure, CER will automatically migrate your configuration, eliminating the need for manual data entry. We’ve added “write” APIs to CER to simplify E911 management in your deployments.

CSR 14 is the best release to meet the new regulatory requirements around E911 call handling for phones.

For our federal customer base, UCM 14 is already FIPS certified and on path for full UCM DoD APL certification.

Cloud-connected control

One important area of our focus has been on building an effective bridge between cloud and on-premises systems and applications. As a result, last year, we introduced Webex Cloud-Connected UC.

Cloud-Connected UC offers many of the advantages of a cloud platform, while serving your UC systems, whether they reside on-premises or in the cloud. Cloud-Connected UC lets you connect one or more of your UCM clusters to the cloud, so you can enjoy a consolidated view of your UCM systems operations, through your own private Webex Control Hub portal.

The interactive operations dashboard in Control Hub delivers analytics with insights into the overall health of your UC deployment. This brings a broad set of metrics to your fingertips, including details about call quality and any call failures, along with insights into things like asset usage and endpoint inventory. You will gain useful background knowledge regarding feature usage, including mid-call features, and traffic patterns, so you can quickly identify any route optimization adjustments you may wish to make.

Look closer with Web Real Time Monitoring Tool

One way to extend the value of the analytics insight gained with Cloud-Connected UC (11) is through the Web Real Time Monitoring Tool (Web RTMT), which lets you drill-down deeper into the operations of your UCM network. If you see an issue in the operations dashboard, with a single click, you can investigate the details behind the alarm, discover the root cause and quickly begin your remediation process. The new Web RTMT is a browser-based console, with a fresh look and feel you will appreciate.

Cloud migration readiness

Another way to use knowledge gained from Cloud-Connected UC analytics, is in discovering your organizational readiness for a cloud migration. Whether that means a migration from Jabber to the Webex app, or migration from UCM to Webex Calling, there will be a wealth of information available to help make your migration process smoother. You will want to employ our new (12) Migration Assistant tool, to help you navigate the migration process and avoid complex and costly mistakes.

Now it may surprise you that you can get everything I’ve just described in Webex Cloud-Connected UC for free as part of your UC subscription. That’s right. Cloud-Connected UC is currently offered at no charge. So talk to your account team about how you can start using it.

Administrative simplicity

Beyond what I’ve already covered, system administrators will see these additional improvements with CSR 14. First is a substantial reduction in the number of certificates to manage (13), and a reduction in service restarts needed for certificate updates. Plus, you will get centralized certificate management, with a single point of control – Webex Control Hub.

We’ve increased cluster scale (14) and density by 25%, so you’ll be able to configure more users per cluster, thereby reducing cross-cluster management overheads. Customers who have increased their mobile worker count in the past year will see value, as they can use the additional cluster capacity to support more roaming Webex app or Jabber clients and Extension Mobility Cross-Cluster (EMCC) users in their network.

Plus, it is now easier to refesh your clusters on a new data center, on-premises or in the cloud, with UCM 14 support of native tooling (15) for data export and import, during installation. One last point for administrators, we’ve made it even easier for end users to self-manage their own desk phone refresh process.

Ok, so maybe that was more than fourteen, but as you can see, there’s a lot of value packed into CSR 14, designed to improve the collaboration experience for everyone.

To learn more, please talk to your Cisco account team and visit our CSR 14 webpage.

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7 breakout sessions tips from K-12 and higher ed educators

Foster inclusive and cognitive presence in your classroom with Webex

Virtual and hybrid learning during the pandemic has put many educators to the test. While most in-classroom activities don’t necessarily translate to virtual learning quickly, some schools have discovered different approaches to push the same in-person engagement strategies in their virtual classrooms with Webex breakout sessions.

Participants in Webex

Tips to getting remote learning right

Five educators share how to integrate pre-pandemic methods into distance learning:

  • Host trade symposium – High school students who haven’t be able to attend in-person events can learn from working professionals in various fields, such as construction, electrical, plumbing, project management, automobile maintenance, and other professional trades. With multiple breakout sessions running, students can get detailed information about the job skills and educational requirements and tips on what skills they can gain in high school to prepare for the workforce.
  • Organize team competitions – Our school runs a “Battle of the Books” where students learn how to work together to leverage each other’s best reading and memorization traits while engaging volunteers from local military bases and retirees. Students compete based on facts they remember from 15-20 books they have read in the past school year. They meet in one room at their site and join as a group at the beginning of the day. After reviewing the rules and schedule, they’re assigned breakout rooms with 2-3 teams per room. A judge and scorekeeper lead the breakout sessions by asking questions and keeping score. The top two teams in each grade level compete against each other to determine the winner for that grade level.  Kathy New, Colorado, USA
  • Focused group sessions – Our students discuss interview techniques to simulate and practice different management interview styles with multiple interviewers in a COVID-safe, remote way in breakout sessions. The professor separates in-room participants into smaller physical groups and remote participants break out into smaller virtual groups. All participants can return to the meeting at any time. An educator can use a separate personal device connected to the same session to quickly check on virtual groups and provide encouragement and support as they would for in-room participants.  David Arnold, Wollongong, Australia 

Breakout session

  • Foster connections – Break large-setting conversations into individual 1:1s for students to explore ideas they may be hesitant to discuss with the whole classroom. Alternate your students to teach them leadership skills, gradually build their self-confidence, and help them feel connected and empowered during these times. Of course, teachers can visit or remain outside the room to facilitate healthy conversations.  Elane Kalavrias, Ontario, Canada
  • Student choice – Create as many opportunities as possible to empower your students to own their development. Break out your class into topics of interest or project choice to drive a more interactive group work environment during class time. Subject-based breakout sessions can become part of your classroom cadence while your students are learning at home.
  • Prepare with your support staff – Use paraeducators to answer questions or advance ready learners. They can work with small groups in a virtual setting while still being connected to the entire class. Laura Hamill, Michigan, USA
  • Mentoring and coaching – Create a space in every session for private conferencing with students during class time. This space can give students a chance to take a breath and conference with you about a behavior issue, test results, and more. Individual sessions are good for morale and can help you gauge how students are doing emotionally so you can follow up with those who need your support. Breakout sessions can also be helpful for peer review before and after a formal presentation or when students hear the study from a subset of their class. Mary Schlegelmilc, Nebraska, USA

What’s next?

Your students were born in the technology age. Giving them control and the space to show their learning style in real-time will spark their creativity and curiosity to learn more. With breakout sessions, you can seamlessly foster engagement in your physical and virtual classroom. Download the guide to start engaging your students.

Want to share your story? Visit the Webex Community to share and read about others’ successes

Learn more

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About the author

Vanessa PhilogeneStoryteller. Digital experience strategist. Vanessa is obsessed with psychology and human behavior. She leverages empathy to humanize Webex endpoints and features across industries. On the Digital Experience and Enablement team, Vanessa delivers experiences that enhance customer-facing solutions and drive ongoing engagement.

 

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Talkshow with hybrid working using Cisco technology
Hybrid working: three tips to keep it safe, healthy and productive

The future of work is hybrid. We currently no longer need to join the daily traffic jam and can work more remotely. Offices will still exist but will function more as meeting places. This transition demands extensive digitalization, which provides opportunities but also presents many challenges. After all, people have to work safely and without affecting productivity. In this blog, we provide three tips to make a success of the new way of working.

The transition to a hybrid model of partly working remotely and partly at the office was already underway, but this was greatly accelerated by COVID 19. Hybrid working is here to stay. Organizations are now searching for a strategy, a blueprint for the future. Here are three tips to achieve the most significant benefit from the new situation:

1: Facilitate people who are working remotely

Make sure that people can easily connect. Many organizations quickly implemented a digital platform at the beginning of the crisis, to continue to work. They did not bother to check whether it was the best option. For good cooperation, there must be is high-quality image and sound. Additionally, people must also quickly join meetings without having to bother about pin codes and login codes. It must be easy to share a screen or apply a virtual or blurred background. Smart features, such as the automatic transcription of videos and audio files, save users a lot of time.

A good IT infrastructure provides people working remotely with a better user experience and increases security levels. This aspect is essential now as many organizations worry that an increasing amount of digital activity occurs outside the office environment, which was considered secure. With the right connections, a well-equipped network keeps threats at bay and forms a sound basis for data-driven working. This is one way to make better and informed decisions.

2: Ensure a safe return to the office

It is sometimes necessary to meet in person at the office for a brainstorming session or just a project kick-off. It must be possible to make this concerning rules for hygiene and social distancing safely. Much can be achieved by just taking practical measures, such as creating one-way walking routes or reducing the number of desks per square meter. Technical solutions such as the non-touch operation of elevators and smart cameras that check whether there are too many people in a single room can help also.

Man sitting in office with face mask spread apart from the next cubicle

3: Promote personal welfare

Many people thrive on working remotely since they can work undisturbed and with total concentration. But some people take fewer breaks at home or who extend the working day until late in the evening. It also happens that people working from home feel less included. Or that they are too shy to speak up during a busy video meeting. Managers must have the skills to keep people who work remotely involved and give attention to personal welfare. A chat before starting a video meeting slightly softens the lack of contact with colleagues. Technology can also eliminate concerns. For example, smart software that ‘sees’ that someone has raised their hand and informs the moderator that someone has a question or wants to respond.

Would you like to know more about the impact of hybrid working on the future? Please watch our talk show about ‘Hybrid working,’ with experts Noreena Hertz, Kim Grondsma, Ger Baron, and Jacco Saaman.

Click here to watch the video and get inspired!

Learn more

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What’s possible when the worlds of sports and technology play together…

Your guide to sensors and analytics in Webex Devices

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What’s new in Webex: April 2021

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Cisco Hawking Rooms and Devices
Meeting fatigue? Aren’t we all experiencing it?

Meeting fatigue, co-designing, and technology

The best way to fight virtual fatigue is doing what we do in the real world, don’t “die by PowerPoint,” do better – Co-Create!

This is a story about co-designing, running virtual workshops, and co-creating with teams across companies across locations.

Last Winter, I was invited to an event hosted by Vitra that took place in Vienna, with the schedule: “workshop – decoding the office.”

The organizers told me to expect a “design thinking” session with about 150 people. Having facilitated co-creation workshops myself, I was wondering how this was going to work out.  And I must admit, it was a great experience to witness how Tim Reusch (Head of Vitra Design Studio) pulled it off by using an “event” version based on his methodology.

vitra event 1.PNG

 

Design thinking-  joining space and technology

After the session, Tim and I discussed the importance of the interlock of space and technology. During that time, Vitra and Cisco were already collaborating on the Cisco Webex Room Panorama, providing the ultimate immersive video conferencing experience for the modern C-suite.

We agreed on the need to take our partnership one step further, by joining company forces to discuss the marriage of space and technology, using Tim’s design thinking methodology.

Therefore, our Head of Design for Webex Devices, Sondre Ager-Wick, came on board to support. Time got Hendrik Woywod from Vitra Global Sales involved to assemble a diverse group for the workshop.

Webex and Vitra join together for a virtual design thinking workshop

After a few follow-up meetings in early 2020, we agreed to invite 10 participants from each company and aimed for two slots – a kickoff at the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany, and a second slot in the Cisco Executive Briefing Center in Oslo, Norway. We were ready to start, but then all of a sudden the entire world went remote overnight.

The challenge was obvious: We still wanted to run the workshops and asked ourselves whether it was possible to do this virtually – using Webex? And it sure was.

The goal

We had one goal in mind, which was to transform the office. To facilitate the workshop, we split up into four different working groups to focus on the different areas.

The key questions for the Space architects and Technology experts were:

SPACE: When people walk through your office, do they really want to work there? If you can answer “yes” to this question, then you have reached a level of psychological comfort and safety.

TECHNOLOGY: Assume 50% of your co-workers are remote. Can you still answer the previous question with a definite “yes”?

Vitra workshop

 

The workshop

Since Webex is designed for collaboration with distributed groups, we onboarded the Vitra participants to Webex and created a team structure for the plenary session using a Webex Space. The joint introduction session was followed by splitting up the group into four small and diversely staffed working teams.

image28.png

You find your chat messages there, your documents and files, and of course, you can ad-hoc start a Webex meeting. The key was the possibility to have the whiteboarding templates integrated into the platform.

We started with the architectural layout of the new office.

image9.png

Any breakout group member can edit the whiteboard in real-time from any location, and editing can be done by teams offline. A single meeting can be joined from multiple devices. For example, a laptop is being used for the meeting, while the iPad is used for whiteboard edits.

Templates and “Flipchart-like” drawing tools, “stickies” – all the tools you are familiar with from design thinking are included. The Webex Architecture allows flexibility to use all of these across companies and locations.

The facilitator is highly flexible in the reviewing progress on each of the whiteboards without joining every single breakout meeting.

image17.png

When we run these kinds of workshops within Cisco, most employees prefer to join with their Webex devices from home. In this workshop, we were a very distributed group of people joining different locations using different technology. Therefore, it was great to see how technology became an enabler to entirely focus on true co-creation from leveraging diverse views and technologies.

Click here if you wanna see how this looks with a “fancy” device

Some workshop impressions:

Devices

image8.pngimage5.png

Each team assigned a team lead and then got to work on their schedule for four weeks. Afterward, each group presented their outcomes to the overall panel.

Afterwards, it was great to see the amazing results of this invigorating collaboration; as an example, take a glimpse on how the teams structured the scenarios:

dancing wall 2_AH

Many thanks again to the folks from Vitra and Cisco who contributed to this experience. I must admit that this was the first time I could do this myself virtually and across companies, countries, and colleagues, and I am pleased about how well it worked out.

We then agreed to run a second round which focused on two specific topics: “Safe Return to Office” and “Work from Home.” My team member Mathilde Salvi facilitated this round together with Tim and Hendrik.

Fast forward to today, where are we now

Here are a couple of examples of joint ideas that we are working on with customers now:

Dancing Wall + Webex

Many companies adapt to the increasingly unpredictable changes in their markets by creating agile organizational structures. To facilitate this, they require office furnishings that can be easily reconfigured – if possible, by the users themselves. Dancing Wall is a solution for these new working environments.

Dancing wall

dancing wall 2_AH

Kado + Webex board:

Modern offices need to be flexible to adapt to changing conditions. Yet, at the same time, an open office landscape needs organizational structures that reflect the company’s identity and define pathways for movement and communication. This is where Kado Office comes into play.

Kado

Huddle Spaces:

Huddle Spaces will have a considerable stake in the new offices setup. Hence, we explored the following scenarios:

Huddle SpacesA big playground, the home office:

home office

All those pictures look great, but of course, this needs to be experienced in the real world. Another great proof point of this collaboration is the Webex Panorama in the Vitra Showroom:

Vitra officeshowroom frankfurt 4

Back to the co-designing piece

In our Design-Thinking Sprint with Vitra, we managed thanks to the integrated whiteboarding capabilities in Webex. If you want to try this yourself, just download the Webex Client and give it a go.

Webex is an open platform to expand the experience even further, so you can easily integrate co-creation apps.

Here is an example of Miro.com embedded into Webex:

I’d recommend choosing Miro when you want to run workshops with a large number of participants, requiring an assortment of templates supporting a wider variety of work-styles:

Image 1

  Miro on Webex Board

miro board.jpeg

Miro on DeskPro

miro deskpro.jpeg

Now, the world is used to virtual meetings, but in my opinion, the era of co-creation – especially hybrid co-creation – has just started, and exciting times are ahead of us!

THE BEST RECIPE AGAINST MEETING FATIGUE IS CO-CREATION and this is true for physical, virtual as well as hybrid meetings.

See how Webex Devices can help your team communicate clearly and create together in real time

About the author

Alex Braumann joined Cisco in 2000. As Business Development Manager & Collaboration Evangelist the Austrian is covering Technology Evolution and focuses on Partner Enablement, Verticalization and the Digitization capabilities of Cisco Collaboration in EMEAR & APJC. During his career at Cisco, he worked in different Systems Engineering, Sales & Business Development roles in the fields of IP Telephony, Unified Communication and Collaboration.

Resources

The all new Webex

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Making Video Fatigue a Thing of the Past— Webex Devices Deliver 10x Better Experiences

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840 and 860(1).jpg
Deep dive into the new Wi-Fi phones

At Webex One in December 2020, Cisco launched the Webex Wireless Phone portfolio. As smartphones that connect to the network over Wi-Fi, the 840 and 860 deliver a voice, video, meeting and application platform in a mobile formfactor, which has long been desired by our customer base. Looking back at other product offers like the 8821 or 7925 models, it feels like a dream-come-true that Cisco has finally delivered this type of device.

As the son of a medical doctor and the brother of a registered nurse, I’ve seen and heard about many challenges faced by medical professionals. When I was kid, I used to visit my dad’s medical practice and spend time in the front office. Like most medical practices in the United States, my dad’s office was managed as a business. I remember hearing the mechanical clanking of the office manager’s typewriter as she kept the business running on paper and ink. When my dad upgraded to electronic records with the help of personal computers in the mid 1980s, I didn’t realize how that technology shift was a first step that would revolutionize the medical industry (hey, I was just a kid). Since then, medicine has seen a phenomenal shift to electronic data, with devices and applications at the heart of patient care.

Smartphone built for tough workstyles

With the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s medical professionals are facing more challenges than ever. Webex Wireless Phones help eliminate some of the challenges. These phones are built on Android and provide a platform to run applications from major healthcare vendors. PerfectServe and PatientSafe, for example, have both certified the phones for hardware and software compatibility. Other popular medical applications have been certified as well, and more application vendors will certify the devices in the months to come. And because the phones are Google Certified, administrators can push any third-party application to a phone to enable a patient care use case.

Pregnant Mother

Secure and reliable communications

While the phones provide a great experience in a medical environment, they can also be leveraged in other vertical deployments. One of the best features of the Webex Wireless Phones is versatility. Retail environments can benefit from faster customer responses, like employees using a phone’s barcode scanner to check inventory in the store or just answering incoming phone calls to address customer questions. The phones can also help in manufacturing, too, by providing users the ability to share photos or videos with coworkers to decrease production issues.

In addition to software capabilities, the phones deliver an amazing hardware experience.  They support swappable batteries, which means a user doesn’t have to change devices during a shift.  Plus, the phones can be cleaned with disinfectants to reduce the transmission of viruses, which is very important in relation to the global pandemic.  But maybe the best hardware feature is the IP rating of the phones – the phones can withstand drops and the 860 can survive submersion in water up to a meter deep for up to 30 minutes.

The days of mechanical typewriters may be gone, but products like Cisco’s Webex Wireless Phones are here to help people do their jobs, no matter the industry.

Learn more about the Webex Wireless Phone now

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What’s new in Webex: March 2021

Cleaning shared touch-screen devices

Webex Telehealth Connector for Epic: Reimagining connection in healthcare

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Screen Share Analytics
21 screen sharing statistics you need to know in 2021

As remote work has taken off and online meetings have replaced many in-person gatherings, effective collaboration now depends more heavily than ever on having the right software in place.

The best audio and video conferencing solutions allow for in-depth, real-time collaboration, with functionality that extends far beyond simply being able to speak with and see the other participants in a meeting.

Most importantly, they include screen sharing capabilities that enable attendees to show their entire screen or just a particular tab or window. Screen sharing is an integral part of video conferencing software and an important component of remote work, which grew 159% between 2005 and 2019.

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NBC sports and Cisco
What’s possible when the worlds of sports and technology play together…

Hybrid sports and collaboration technology join together

The great Billie Jean King, sporting legend and one of the 20th century’s most celebrated tennis players, once said, “sports are a microcosm of society.”

The idea that sports reflect the best of the world we live in, and capture the human spirit in a common pursuit, really resonates with me.

Though I am not a sporting fanatic, I am a technology fanatic. I see how the two disciplines share common philosophies of human connection, collaboration, and the never-ending quest for excellence. Both sports and technology have the power to bridge divides, forge common ground, and improve the human experience. Sports, like technology, has united nations, communities, friends, and adversaries in the spirit of comradery – pushing the boundaries of greatness and optimism.

Whether on the pitch, on the court, on the course, or on the racetrack, sports are, and will continue to be a huge part of our local and global culture. Technology and sports, together, not only provide a new innovative outlet for recreation and connection, but the power to build a more inclusive world.

Team DSM

 

NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California team up with Cisco Webex in pursuit of hybrid sports experiences

NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California are the latest in a series of strategic Cisco partnerships in the new world of hybrid sports. This partnership, which goes live today, marks the fourth sports collaboration in 2021, between Cisco Webex and major sports empires, such as McLaren Racing, PGA Golf Australia, and German pro cycling team, Team DSM.

For many people, the absence of live sports has been a significant void during these challenging times. Cisco’s mission is to bring sports to the masses, and to make the experience as interactive, exhilarating, and inclusive as the in-person experience.

This partnership with NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California is a natural extension of that mission. Fans can get in on the action with game highlights, player-to-audience interaction, and promos surrounding their favorite Bay Area teams and athletes. Specifically, Cisco is now the official video-conferencing technology partner for NBC Sports Bay Area’s coverage of the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco Giants, and NBC Sports California’s coverage of the San Jose Sharks. Over the next 12 months, fans will see Webex technology in action as part of pregame and postgame video conference interviews as well.

As Jordan Knopf, Vice President of Sales for NBC Bay Area Sports and NBC Sports California said: “Innovation through technology is at the core of live sports coverage and critical to delivering on our commitment to produce the highest quality, most engaging experience for sports fans throughout the region. Partnering with Webex allows us to provide those rich experiences for fans.”

Cisco Webex and the PGA of Australia teamed up to present “The Players Series,’ a new series of tournaments that brings Australia’s leading male and female golf professionals, together with elite amateur junior golfers to compete in the same field for the same prize purse, using technology to enrich the experience for the tournaments junior golfers by connecting them directly to professionals in various mentoring opportunities on and of the course.

The innovation continues

Fans may have missed out on the live sports experience during this past year, however, you can expect that technology innovations will continue to create new experiences, where fans can engage within their communities, and feel connected to their favorite sports teams and heroes. The Silicon Valley is the epicentre of technology and some of the greatest sporting teams in history, so you might say we’re perfectly matched to bring hybrid sports to the world.

Be sure to look for the Cisco Webex logo at the upcoming NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California events!

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Powering People First Blog series that focuses on increasing and promoting personal well-being and building better quality connections and a more inclusive work experience for all

WorldTour Team DSM takes to the road with Webex for a new hybrid sports experience

Creating Exhilarating and Exciting Experiences with Cisco Webex and McLaren Racing

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Personal Insights in People Insights
How People Insights will help empower a more inclusive and engaging work experience

Empowering inclusive and engaging work experience with People Insights

If you tuned into Cisco Live this week, you’ve heard loud and clear that the future of work is hybrid – and the future of collaboration must be more inclusive and engaging to make this new working model successful.

Whether you’re working at home, in the office, or both, teams and projects can pull you in multiple directions. How do you keep from burning out while maintaining an inclusive workplace?

Advancements to the People Insights feature

We’re excited to announce that People Insights is expanding beyond profiles with a new set of features that provide customized insights designed to empower people and teams to thrive in this new era of inclusive collaboration – right from your Webex app. People Insights will provide detailed, private insights to you and your team to help you manage work-life balance, carve out focus time, and develop stronger and more effective working relationships.

Watch the latest episode of Designing the future of work where Jeetu Patel (SVP & GM Security & Applications, Cisco) and Gianpaolo Barozzi (Sr. Director of People & Communities, Cisco Webex) shares with us the genesis and demo of People Insights:

People Insights help prioritize well-being at work

From your collaboration preferences, to meetings you join, and the network you build – every decision you make on how you spend your time and connect with others affects your output.  People Insights helps you reflect on how you spend your time.

  • How often are you accepting meetings you never attend?
  • Are you often sharing your video?
  • How many meetings are you attending during your downtime?
  • Who do you spend the most time with?

Manage your time with Webex

Webex will provide these valuable insights to help teams take control of their time. When teams spend their time effectively and achieve work-life balance, they can focus on the work that matters most, continue to build important connections, and nurture those relationships.

Quiet Hours and People insights

Privacy First

And this information is presented to you and only you. Your personal view of People Insights will be as unique as you are. No one else has this information, and no two views of insights will be the same. Each individual can set personal preferences and goals and take action directly from the Webex app.

Privacy first

Intelligence vs Scoring

At Webex, we believe in empowering individuals and teams with intelligence – not a score. People Insights is a visual representation of how you collaborate and spend your time. Work isn’t restricted to scheduled meetings within your org chart. Work is asynchronous. Our collaboration network and work output are fueled by ad-hoc phone calls, multiple messages, and introductions to new teams and people. By seeing how you spend your time, you can decide what is right for you.

Goal Setting and People Insights

Do you want to be more respectful of other people’s time? Set goals for joining and ending meetings on time, adding agendas to the meetings you host, or respecting others’ downtime.

Do you want to be more engaged during meetings? Set a goal for how often you speak up or turn on your video.

Webex is taking a people-first approach to empower inclusive collaboration and build engaging work experiences. People Insights from Webex will help:

  • enable seamless cross-collaboration
  • ensure individual wellbeing and encourage healthy behaviors
  • enhance work-life balance
  • build quality connections
  • empower diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • maximize time on projects that matter most

Cisco is rooted in our people-first culture and approach, and our product vision is the same. Empowered individuals make stronger teams, and stronger teams build better organizations that innovate and power the economy.

We’re looking forward to working with some of our top customers to help shape the future of People Insights for you!

Go to Webex.com for more information

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What’s new in Webex: April 2021

Reimagine the Future of Work series announcing the availability of solutions that are purpose-built to help companies transform how they work while keeping employees safe, connected and productive.

Cisco Webex Powers Personal Well-Being, Higher Performing Teams and Inclusive Collaboration [Press Release]

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What’s new in Webex: November 2020

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Doctor using Webex video conferencing
Webex Telehealth Connector for Epic: Reimagining connection in healthcare

Telehealth using Cisco Webex Telehealth Connector

Remote delivery of care has been a game changer in the last year; reducing barriers of health equity, addressing delivery disruptions caused by the pandemic, enhancing patient experience, empowering care team’s productivity, and improving health outcomes by increasing access to necessary care.

pregnant woman using Webex Health Connector to communicate with her doctor

Cisco has collaborated closely with healthcare customers and partners in early field trials (beta) to streamline clinical workflow integration, deliver better experiences, and share important telehealth insights in Control Hub.

We’re excited to announce the general availability of Webex Telehealth Connector. Epic is the first EHR to be integrated with the Webex Telehealth Connector and is published in the Epic App Orchard.

Webex for healthcare is purpose built to meet healthcare delivery needs in diverse care settings. Webex Telehealth Connector allows for the flexibility to launch virtual visits from within clinician workflows or as a stand-alone application in a browser that has access to camera and microphone.

Clinician and patient virtual health

About Webex for healthcare

The browser based WebRTC technology does not require browser plugins or force any application installation. The video consultations are scheduled and managed directly from Epic’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. Because of the seamless integration with Epic’s system, clinicians can schedule virtual health appointments and get notified when a patient enters the virtual waiting room. Both clinicians and patients can launch virtual visits right from Epic’s provider and patient applications.

In addition to virtual video visits, participants can share screens to review images, charts, or other clinical documents to facilitate better care conversations. Moreover, the Control Hub dashboard shares insights about the quality of telehealth calls with administrators.

remote healthcare workers using Webex video conferencing

The Webex platform is HIPAA compliant and allows patients to launch virtual visits without storing any personal protected information (as patients are not required to login or share personal information). Webex provides privacy and security around encryption of all communication including securely sharing images or clinical documentation.

As healthcare customers innovate care delivery models, organizations will find new ways to deploy care with speed and agility to adapt and build resilience as they flex between physical and virtual points of care. Cisco’s Webex Telehealth Connector will enable these changes by making healthcare systems more efficient, increasing access to care, and enhancing healthcare outcomes.

Visit Webex for Healthcare to learn more about how your organization can enable telehealth using Cisco Webex Telehealth Connector.

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What’s new in Webex: April 2021

What healthcare providers should do this National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

How can screen sharing be used in healthcare?

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What’s new in Webex: November 2020

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Webex Beta Program
Meet Webex Beta

Introducing Webex Beta

Today, we’re excited to introduce Webex Beta, a new early access program that replaces our Early Field Trial (EFT) and Early Adopter Programs (EAP). Webex Beta provides Webex Admins and Partners a better way to discover and apply for early access to Webex Apps, Devices, and Services, providing you with a unique opportunity to share your feedback directly with our product teams.

The voice of the customer has always been a crucial element of how we design our customer experience, and Webex Beta now ensures it’s an intrinsic part of how we bring our products to market.

If you’re a Webex Admin, you can now discover the available and upcoming Product Beta’s and ensure you and nominated users in your organization can access the latest innovations across the Webex portfolio before they are launched.

Better together

How to quickly create a company culture in a growing business

The Webex Beta program is designed to empower our customers. We value your insights and are excited for you to partner with our product teams to help shape the future of work. Your voice and experience are vital to shaping the Webex of the future and ensuring we deliver your needs.

In return, we’ll ask that you provide continuous feedback and ensure that the full range of users perspectives are represented – it’s a significant commitment you’ll need to make but one that can deliver substantial rewards.

Get to know Webex Beta

As part of your Webex Beta membership, you’ll also have to opportunity to be part of both our Webex Community and Webex Ambassador programs, enabling you to connect with others using Webex in your industry and beyond.

These will provide you with enhanced access to our team and invites to events which are exclusive to these programs.

Our future vision – Hearing every user’s voice 

A key part of the Webex Beta program is ensuring we gather the broadest possible range of insights, matching the diversity of those who use Webex daily. Hearing everyone’s voice ensures our products can be more inclusive and considerate of the full range of demands our customers have.

To ensure we have the opportunity to hear everyone’s voice, we’ll be working this year to expand Beta participation, including the ability for users to enrol directly, with Admins’ consent where appropriate, of course. Learning from users from every industry, line of business, region and ability has been a key part of many of our customer touchpoints, and we’re working to ensure our global customer base is more fully represented in our Webex Beta early access programs too.

How do I join?

As an Admin, getting started today with the Webex Beta Program is simple.

Just go to beta.webex.com and follow our three-step process. We’ll see you there.

Watch the video to learn more:

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What’s new in Webex: March 2021

Relaunch of the Webex Ambassador Program

Innovations from Webex Experts: How Webex Aha! came to be

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FutureVoices
Future Voices featuring stories from students and teachers from around the world

Future Voices Webex campaign

Education is a basic human right for all, and in the last year, the pandemic has only accelerated how we learn – forcing us to try new ways to both deliver and consume. The move to hybrid learning is also opening up new possibilities for future leaders and decision makers to learn and create.

Today, I’m excited to share that we have launched a new and exciting Webex campaign called Future Voices, launching in the UK today, to celebrate students in universities and educators worldwide, and giving them a platform, with Webex, to help them share their stories.

Inclusive future for all

Our focus is to amplify the voices of the Gen Z future workforce as well as their teachers. Our aim at Webex is to power an inclusive future for all by breaking down barriers across geography, language, socio economic level and personality type, giving everyone an equal voice to achieve greater productivity and build more engaged relationships.

With the future of work being hybrid, we believe we achieve more when diverse ideas and workstyles come together and everyone can contribute equally, fully, and as their authentic selves.

FutureVoices stories

Below are just three amazing stories from our young champions:

Zainab – First Year Apprentice is a university student with dyslexia and is using Webex transcriptions and recordings to make learning easier for her.
She is also a first-year apprentice during this pandemic and is balancing her first professional role with completing a degree, all while working from home.

Swen- Professor & Black Belt gamified his curriculum and used Webex breakout sessions to move his martial arts classes entirely online. Not only did he keep his students engaged throughout – but also won a University Teaching Award for his “out-of-the-box” efforts.

Allan- Network Expert hosted training sessions on Webex to turn teachers in rural Kenya into network administrators, enabling them to troubleshoot and fix network problems quickly. The Webex recording feature allowed him to share his sessions with those who could not join live.

Spread the word

Keep an eye on this space to look for more stories coming soon. It’s exciting to be able to share the stories of these young champions and we are humbled and honored to play a small part in elevating their voices.

Join (and spark) the conversation on the hashtag #FutureVoices on social media

Learn more

Future Voices campaign page

Future Voices video stories

We are all learning how to learn

Education Resources

What is distance learning?

Welcome to virtual learning

Cisco Webex Education Connector

Cisco Education Home Page

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Woman video conferencing and using noise reduction
Life happens. Background noise doesn’t have to

The Adoption blog series: Sharing our must-have features on Webex to make your life on Webex a little bit more easier and a lot more awesome

Taking the distraction out of background noise

Working at Webex means I’ve always worked from home (even pre-pandemic). But now it feels different, and I’ve been thinking about exactly why that is–it’s not just that we are working from home, but now we’re living our lives at work. My manager recently described it as “we’re all in the same storm, but not in the same boat.” Personally, that couldn’t be more on point.

A lot has changed in the past 12 months, and while our team used to be focused on general Webex adoption, the needs of our users have changed significantly as the entire world moved to working virtually (for the most part). On top of that, I’ve also changed significantly. I took on my most important role to date: momma.

“Will my team think I’m unprofessional if they hear my dogs barking? What if the baby is crying so loud that I need to stay on mute and not engage as much in a meeting? Will it impact my career or brand?”

Working from home with a family

Charlie was born in July, mid-pandemic, to a changed world–a world where returning to work wouldn’t involve commute traffic, but rather focus on how I manage work time (and more importantly, focus time) amidst family time all in the same physical space—home.

Any parents among you know that returning to work is hard enough, but thinking that your baby’s cries, dogs barking, and day-to-day noises of running a home would be a feature in work meetings adds an additional layer of anxiety. I had visions of trying to soundproof my office, make sure doors were closed, and ask the teenagers in my house to keep it down when I have important presentations.

Webex is here to help

I‘m not alone. We hear from thousands of users in our Webex Community that transitioning to remote work 100% of the time has required an additional layer of consideration in so many ways we never thought about–from the basics of being heard to the advanced challenges of a fully remote team inclusion in brainstorming and more. We’re all in this together and Webex is here to help.

Announcing feature of the month series

Each month, we’ll be sharing our top features to make your life on Webex a little bit easier and occasionally a lot more awesome, starting with noise removal. If you haven’t tried it out yet, you’re missing out.

One day, after turning on noise removal, the baby was…let’s just say “approaching lunchtime” quite loudly and I apologized for the noise. My colleague looked confused: “I don’t hear a thing!”

What is noise removal?

It’s easy to confuse noise removal with noise cancellation. These are very different things! Noise cancellation is all about drowning out distractions (normally delivered via hardware like headphones or headsets by using white noise). Noise removal on the other hand is way smarter. It uses innovative technology from BabbleLabs to intelligently listen to the audio on a meeting and digitally remove distracting sounds. I’ve got to be honest and say I was dubious when I heard about it and worried it would be like many consumer apps I use that try to do the same thing, but the actual result is one person’s audio goes too quiet and I miss what they were saying.

See it in action:

I was amazed that after enabling noise removal, my colleagues could hear my every word despite the doorbells, and then, of course, my two colleagues barking at every car that drove by. I should also probably let you know that my colleagues consist of two dogs—a 16-pound pug and a 110-pound labrador. Everyone needs to be using this!

remove background noise UI and speaker and microphone

It really is very, very cool. If you find yourself working from home, this is a must-try feature from all of us here at Webex. If you’re already using it, share how for your chance to win a Cisco 730 Headset (also very, very cool..and a blog for another time). If not, we’ve made a handy guide to help you turn it on—check it out below.

Download my noise removal guide to learn more

About the author

Image of Heidi RhodesHeidi Rhodes, Leader, Digital Experiences and Enablement Mom. Wife. Passionate about the adoption of cool technology and helping Webex’ hundreds of millions of users all around the world. Heidi leads Webex Customer Success Digital Transformation, Digital Experiences, Training and Enablement Teams and posts from time to time on how businesses and individuals can fully use the power of Webex to connect, collaborate and achieve more.

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The rise of AI speech enhancement & better team collaboration

Experience the all new Webex

Webex Noise Removal- BabbleLabs| Unboxing [Video]

Resources

What’s new in Webex: March 2021

Webex Training Drop- In Session [Live Class]

See What’s New in RoomOS

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Collaboration for the win
Webex lights up green for St Patrick’s Day!

Míle Fáilte (A thousand welcomes) to all our Cisco colleagues, partners and customers around the globe!

We are thrilled to announce that last week, the Great Place to Work ranked Cisco as the Best Large Workplace in Ireland 2021. Participating companies were ranked on their ability to create a positive and supportive workplace environment; with an incredible 91% of Cisco employees in Ireland agreeing Cisco is a great place to work.

“Winning the Great Place to work in 2021 is not only a testament to our employees and leadership but a testament to how Webex has enabled us to continue to grow a culture albeit virtually. Since March 2020, the pandemic has not stopped the Irish team having a fully engaged culture of trust –  what a great place to work is truly built on. Webex gave us a platform, be it on video or through messaging, to enable our employees to be there for each other either professionally or personally. This last year I would never have been able to do my job without Webex, it’s as simple as that!”

Sheila Greaney – Site Engagement Manager

One of the key factors that makes Cisco a great place to work is that each and every employee is encouraged to embrace their local culture. And today, March 17th, our Irish team celebrate St Patrick’s day. A day of festivities and joy for all as we remember the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick.

St Patrick’s day calls for us to don our finest green attire – with shamrocks and ginger beards highly encouraged. We dive deep into what it means to be Irish and dust off our dancing shoes to fully embrace our world-famous traditional music and rich culture. And this year was no different – not even Covid could stop the fun.

Being part of the Cisco family means we are all fortunate to have access to industry leading tools that maximise our virtual celebrations, making them 10X better than being in person and inclusive to our global teams. Here are just a few examples of how our teams made this St Patrick’s day one to remember:

Galway team Webex

Each year, our Galway team transform the Cisco office building green, but the way we work has changed dramatically this year. With Webex becoming our new virtual office, it only made sense that we light up Webex green too. For the first time ever, and for one glorious day only, the Webex you know and love, is turning green. This was available only to users in our internal Cisco trials, but who knows, it might be something we productise for this and other holidays in the future!

Webex lights up green for St Patrick’s Day!

Our internal fun didn’t stop there. The local Webex team created a selection of incredible Irish themed virtual backgrounds. Perfect to get everyone on meetings in the spirit of the holiday. Below are a few examples of what we created. We would love to see what you come up with – use #GRMAWebex to share your St Patrick’s day virtual backgrounds.

Co-workers at Cisco using Irish backgrounds in their meeting

On March 16th we also hosted a St Patrick’s Day Trad Fest – our first virtual St Patrick’s Day Festival where we invited all Cisco employees and their family members to join and learn the history behind Irish music with special performances from our very own Irish traditional Cisco band. All hosted on Webex!

St. Patricks Day Trad Fest

The band covered classics such as ‘The Kesh Jig’ and ‘The Lilting Fisherman’ – and our very own Rory Walsh gave a stunning vocal performance of ‘You Couldn’t Have Come at a Better Time’. The band not only showcased their beautiful talents but were able to share a slice of our great Irish history with their fellow employees world-wide.

Cisco members of a meeting all playing instruments

And last but by no means least, it wouldn’t be a Cisco event if we didn’t have some star presence. Our lucky audience at St Patrick’s Day Trad Fest were blessed with an unforgettable performance from our special guest Noel Hill. Noel is an Irish concertina player from County Clare, who has enjoyed world-wide success and now teaches concertina locally and globally with the help of Cisco Webex. Noel’s stunning performance truly was the perfect highlight to end a fantastic Cisco St Patrick’s day.

We may not have been able to celebrate this St Patrick’s day like we traditionally would but, with the help of Webex we were all able to come together and celebrate our Irish culture as a team, in style! Truly enforcing how Cisco is the greatest place to work.

Don’t forget to share your virtual St Patrick’s day fun using #GRMAWebex

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Get the best video meeting experience with Webex Auto Configuration

Announcing the winners of Collaboration hackathon

Relaunch of the Webex Ambassador Program

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Man sitting at computer looking at screen
What Stanford researchers don’t know: You can meet smarter to reduce video fatigue

Factors contributing to video fatigue

Meeting fatigue is real. And, in the era of COVID, “meeting” almost certainly means video conferencing. Stanford University researchers thought the problem was pervasive enough that they conducted a study to examine why too much video conferencing can exhaust the mind and body in what they say is commonly known as “Zoom fatigue” – although the researchers indicated this applies to all videoconferencing platforms. They arrived at four key factors that contribute to fatigue and even devised a way to measure it with the “Zoom Exhaustion & Fatigue” (ZEF) scale:

1) Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense

2) Seeing yourself during video chats constantly in real-time is fatiguing

3) Video chats dramatically reduce our usual mobility

4) Higher cognitive load is much higher in video chats

While researchers gave some useful tips to counteract these problems, they are only short-term fixes to a problem that is endemic to the current era.

The answer is to meet smarter so you can meet less

Some companies, including at Cisco where I work, are implementing meeting-free days to minimize burn-out. But giving people a break from meetings and then going right back to Zoom fatigue the next day is also not the long-term answer.

The answer is using video conferencing technology to let people meet smarter so they can have fewer meetings on a REGULAR basis.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but over the past year, Webex has been working on ways to help people spend less time in meetings yet be more productive. Some of these innovations include:

  • Using an in-meeting digital assistant to capture transcripts, notes and action items, so you can fully focus in the meeting and get more done
  • Automated post-meeting follow-up enables easy distribution of notes and tracking action items, which may negate the need to have additional meetings to move work forward
  • Advanced messaging and team collaboration features let you continue work projects before, during and after the meeting, so much of it can be done asynchronously
  • Round table & Quick Sync meeting templates give everyone a dedicated speaking slot and time allocation, so no one can hog the discussion which reduces time sink
  • Real-time translation helps to break down language barriers and aids understanding, so fewer meetings are required for additional clarification

 

See Webex infographic to learn more about smart video conferencing

 

My Zoom Exhaustion & Fatigue score is very low

Out of curiosity, I took the ZEF survey just to see how I would score. And not surprisingly, it was very low:  I scored in the 8th percentile in Zoom fatigue, which means about 92% of people have more fatigue after videoconferencing than I do. I attribute that to three things:

  • My comfort with video having worked in the industry for more than 10 years
  • The intelligence in Webex which allows me to meet smarter on video and, thus, have fewer meetings
  • Working on a Webex Desk device, an all-in-one personal collaboration system that is comfortable to work on and contributes to less visual and physical fatigue

See how you score on the ZEF scale. And try Webex for free.

My score on the ZEF scale:

Stanford ZEF Scale Report
My score on the ZEF Scale Report

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