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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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10 Reasons to Upgrade to Webex Meetings 39.10
Webex Meetings update: Deep integrations with Slack and Microsoft Teams, Smarter background noise detection and suppression, and much, much, more…

You’ve probably heard us talk about building bridges, not islands. With this month’s Webex Meetings updates, you’ll see that we’ve done a lot to bring the power of Webex Meetings into the tools that you regularly use – like Slack, Microsoft Teams, iOS and Samsung devices, IBM Video Cloud, and more. These integrations, along with other features, will make your Webex Meetings experience more delightful, wherever and however you choose to have a meeting. And of course, simplicity of experience is always our top priority!

Checkout innovative updates with Webex Meetings: 

    1. Webex Meetings integrations with Microsoft Teams lets you have a great meeting experience from within a Microsoft Teams channel – from scheduling to joining and recording. When users schedule a meeting, all channel members are invited and become notified of the meeting. All end-of-meeting and recording notifications will also be posted in the channel in real-time. This is pending availability of the new MS Teams app in the Webex App Hub.
    2. We recently shared integrations that let you experience the whole Webex Meetings lifecycle within Slack. These further improve your meeting experience from within a channel with features such as user status updates, list recordings for hosts, meeting reminders support, and the ability to launch a Personal Room via a dedicated call button.
    3. Smarter background noise detection and suppression gives you a better audio experience. Webex reduces background noises coming from room video systems while minimizing voice suppression. The balance of these new features allows speech volume to be preserved during noise suppression.
    4. Easily move your Webex meeting from your phone to desktop with Samsung’s DeX dual-screen support. We recently did a demo of Webex Meetings working on a DeX display at the Samsung Developer Conference. Samsung mobile users can switch between mobile or external monitors while in Samsung DeX Dual Mode and then share their screen to a monitor via HDMI cable. This creates seamless ongoing Webex meeting transitions. One more feature: You can also use Samsung’s Bixby voice commands to join a Webex meeting.Samsung mobile users can switch between mobile or external monitor while in Samsung DeX Dual Mode and then share their screen to a monitor via HDMI cable – and their ongoing Webex meetings transition seamlessly.
    5. Share your own video and rear-facing video with dual-camera support on the Webex Meetings Mobile app for iPhones and iPads. With the dual-camera feature, you don’t have to choose between front OR rear cameras. For example, you can have a video call with an expert to troubleshoot a problem at a remote site – like a manufacturing site – and then send your video and the remote site video with the expert in the same video panel. This feature is unique to Cisco.Share pictures from local device file system into Webex Meetings from Android devices. When presenting from your mobile device, you can share photos from your device’s file system and even annotate on the photos.
    6. Livestream Webex Meetings: You can already live stream a Webex meeting to Facebook, which is a business-to-consumer solution. We’ve recently added the ability to more options to live stream to an enterprise audience. Webex Meetings’ recent integration with vBrick Rev and IBM Cloud Video means you have two additional channels to live stream Webex Meetings for large enterprise audiences, corporate townhalls, webcasts, and training, etc. This feature is currently in beta.
    7. Recover your video conference quality more quickly after network congestion and packet loss. Network conditions will not always be ideal. We have enhanced our algorithms so that whenever there is network degradation, Webex Meetings will quickly recover from latency and packet loss within a few seconds to maintain a smooth video experience.
    8. Improved user upgrade experience by decoupling the Webex Meetings desktop app from productivity tool plug-ins like Microsoft Outlook/Office and IBM Lotus Notes. Mac users who do not have administrative rights can now have Webex Meetings desktop app automatically updated. Transitioning to the O365 add-in requires the Outlook plug-in to be uninstalled, so decoupling allows Outlook plug-in to be uninstalled with no impact to the Webex Desktop App.
    9. Share pictures from the local device file system into Webex Meetings from Android devices. When presenting from your mobile device, you can share photos from your device’s file system and even annotate it on the photos.

Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to Webex Meetings 39.10

10. Take a shortcut into your personal meeting room: Introduced in October, Webex.new is now officially supported with a quick and easy way to get into your Personal Room– right from the browser. Letsmeet.new and mymeet.new will also get you there.

For more details on the Webex Meetings 39.10 update, please visit the Webex Help Portal – What’s New in Webex Meetings Suite (WBS39)

Learn More

See all the Webex Meetings updates here

Using a video conferencing tool to manage outside vendor communications

Secure, First-Party Recording Transcripts in Webex Meetings

Satisfy Your Need for Speed with Cisco Webex Meetings

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Remote meeting distractions – and how to deal

Did you know that 87% of remote works feel more connected  to their teams when they use video conferencing? And did you know that 100% of remote workers absolutely detest remote meeting distractions that don’t have to happen?

Ok. That last stat was not discovered in any recent journals or news stories – but we have no doubts that it’s true! All of the benefits that remote meetings offer team members – increased productivity, flexibility for those who are on the go and reduced traveling stresses – are lost if annoying remote meeting distractions derail what teams are trying to accomplish.

Thankfully, several WebEx tools that can help do away with remote meeting distractions. Check out our “top four” list (provided in no particular order – we love them all) and let us know your biggest remote meeting distraction pet peeves.

 

1. Pesky passcodes

 season 3 black and white episode 16 telephone 3x16 GIF

It’s very easy to become distracted during a meeting. And even more so when you’re running late and somehow can’t get into the meeting! Passcodes are often the culprit for this type of distraction.

WebEx’s “Call Me” feature eliminates this worry. With “Call Me,” meeting attendees simply click the “Join” meeting button and then the “Call Me” button. From there, it’s as simple as answering the phone when the WebEx meeting calls. No passcodes, no problem.

 

2. Background noise

What do a barking dog, rumbling lawn mower and a full-on marching band have in common? They’re all just a sample of distracting (and annoying) background noises that can disrupt your meeting when you’re working remotely. Unfortunately, you don’t always have control over what passes by your home office window.

 

Rather than issue the standard, “who’s not on mute?” question, WebEx users with the WebEx noise cancellation feature don’t have to stress. When WebEx detects background noises that could hinder your meeting, a friendly pop-up reminder to mute your phone will briefly appear.

 

3. Connecting on-the-go

Working At A Cafe GIF - Eow Bored Cafe GIFs

 The beauty in working remotely is you can actually get things done and stay connected on-the- go your favorite place – like your local coffee shop instead of fluorescent-lit cubicle. But sometimes you don’t always have your laptop and a strong Wi-Fi connection handy when it’s time to connect to a meeting. Luckily, no matter which device you or other team members use to connect, WebEx’s mobile features make remote meeting a breeze.

From a phone, a tablet – even an Apple Watch – WebEx’s mobile app system provides “on the move’ users the freedom to host and attend meetings. And with the addition of Cisco Spark, remote meetings are never delayed because anyone can join no matter which standards-based video conferencing device they use.

 

4. Meeting crashers

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot WebEx can do if the smallest and cutest distractions are determined to join your meeting. Our advice? Be quick on your feet!

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