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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

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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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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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student sitting on a chair looking at a computer screen watching a lecture for school
Learning experiences powered by Cisco Webex

Digital collaboration tools are enabling activities that until recently required in-person interactions. These new technologies and new ways of learning are reducing geographical learning barriers, connecting learners with educators and experts, and preparing for a future that brings innovation, productivity, and equitable growth across knowledge societies.

In the era of hybrid learning, Webex plays an important role in expanding the imagination and experiences in new ways by bringing remote experts and enabling effective collaboration. Webex is connecting learners with new learning opportunities and experiences to skill, upskill, and reskill to prepare for new roles and activities. It is facilitating an education experience that is inclusive, engaging, and secure.

Student experience

The move to a hybrid learning environment necessitates the need to include a better learning experience. Webex is reimagining the Student Experience with Webex Classrooms and by integrating with Learning Management Systems to help create and orchestrate classes. This along with Cisco Webex Rooms devices delivers interactive and engaging classes in a hybrid setting. Webex is bridging the geographic divide by making collaboration simpler and taking education beyond the physical classroom. Check out how Webex is helping Oak Meadow School create an interactive and inclusive hybrid learning experience.

Employee experience

Further, the shift to Future of Work requires new ways to reimagine Employee Experiences for a changing workforce and nature of work. EdCast’s employee experience (EX) platform’s seamless integration with Cisco Webex enables users to connect with content repositories, consume curated content, and engage with experts. Edcast Bot (Coach Eddy) within Webex interacts with users and empowers employees to discover, access, and share personalized content that improves productivity, enhances skills, and enriches employee experience.

The experience can be enabled by installing it from Cisco’s Webex App Hub. Check out the video to learn more:

Knowledge societies will continue to evolve, and the challenge is not the technology but the intelligence, automation and experiences that prepares and enables knowledge workers. Cisco is investing in Education to build resilience for the future.

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Experience the new Webex for Education- Simple and secure out-of-the-box

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

Webex Integration Partners join Cisco in offers for education 

Education Resources

Welcome to virtual learning

Cisco Webex Education Connector

Cisco Webex Education

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

Virtual meetings and engagement are key

“Before you present to an audience, work the room, engage early and get a feel for how people are showing up for your presentation.” This advice came from a presentation class I attended years ago. I remember actually practicing the exercise in front of the class as I was being recorded. The reality is there was tremendous value in the exercise, and watching yourself on video afterward always felt more awkward than the actual exercise.

The 10x Better Experiences with Webex blog series has shown us that with innovations in artificial intelligence and a relentless focus on user experience, virtual meetings can actually be 10x better than in person. As part of this strategy for Webex, audience interaction and engagement play a critical role in fulfilling this promise.

Slido and Cisco joining together to connect like never before in virtual interactions

With the Slido acquisition, Webex has integrated the ability to connect in ways never seen before in virtual interactions. Whether you are in a weekly Webex team meeting, a town hall of a few thousand, or a largescale global physical, hybrid, or completely virtual event, the new Webex audience interaction capabilities will deliver higher levels of user engagement―before, during, and after your meeting or event.

virtual interactions

My team and I have been using Slido for a while now, and it’s a game-changer. Here are 3 ideas to improve your next presentation and deliver compelling interactions with your audience.

How are you feeling today?

Connecting with your audience early is a great way to understand how they show up and the mindset they are showing up with. Consider using a Webex word cloud to poll your audience and share how they feel. You instantly have your finger on the pulse of the audience and tailor your comments to their mindset!

Slido and Webex word cloud

Interactive Q & A

Cisco Webex ensures that everyone is equally included in a meeting experience at home, at the office, or on the go. Sometimes, audience interaction is better typed than spoken based upon location (or try out Webex noise removal ). With interactive Q&A during your meeting, now everyone can participate equally. In addition, you can enable attendees to participate anonymously for those sensitive questions or topics.

interactive Q and A and Slido

Transparency – Post Meeting analytics & results

With Webex, you have the capability to share the results of your audience interaction during and after the meeting. Providing the results to your audience ensures you value their input and they have been heard. In addition, as the presenter, you can collect post-meeting feedback on the effectiveness of your delivery and the value of the content.

transparency post meeting

Combining the all-new Cisco Webex and Slido’s audience interaction capabilities will make seamless collaboration and inclusivity a reality for meetings and events — whether in-person or virtual.

As a presenter, the audience will feel more connected to you, and your content will come alive. All that presentation training you did over the years on how to be a great physical presenter still holds true, but now you don’t have to be a mind reader and easily connect with your audience when using Cisco Webex and Slido.

If you are currently a Webex customer, get ready for the Slido integration coming this Summer as part of your existing Webex subscription, or try it today for free at Slido.

About the author

Brad is the Systems Engineering leader for Cisco’s Global Collaboration Sales organization. His team focuses on bringing Cisco collaboration technology to life for customers and partners. With 20 years of experience in Cisco’s systems engineering organization, Brad has worked across Enterprise, Service Provider, Web, Gaming and Cloud verticals. A CCIE at heart, he spends most of his time now on Cisco SaaS and application business workflows. As a people leader, Brad is passionate about building high performing, culture driven engineering teams that create and enable technology innovation, deliver on Cisco’s overall growth strategy and exemplify Cisco’s amazing culture. #WeAreCisco Follow Brad on his social channels: LinkedIn Twitter

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What’s new in Webex: May 2021

Get the best video meeting experience with Webex Auto Configuration

The AV1 video codec comes to Webex!

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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

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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!

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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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man whiteboarding using Webex
Collaborate confidently without compromise

The hybrid workplace is here to stay

Over this past year, how we communicate, collaborate and connect has drastically changed. In the blink of an eye, companies were forced to adjust and adapt to a new environment through virtual collaboration tools. Today, as the uncertainty of the future of work continues, organizations have redefined their priorities and placed a large importance on collaborative experiences.

In a recent survey on the future of work, 98% of the workforce believe that meetings will consist of participants working from home. Currently, across just our customer base, approximately 40% of these meetings have at least one external user. To empower an inclusive future, Webex offers a safe, consistent and secure platform that supports and enables collaboration without compromise for users inside and outside your organization.

woman workng on Desk Pro at home

Seamless collaboration without settling for less

Work doesn’t stop at the organization’s door. Every day, companies work with partners, suppliers, consultants and customers. In this hybrid workplace, the most important tool they need is a way to connect.

Bottom line, in order to be successful, most companies need to be able to collaborate outside of their organization without a compromised experience or risk to their organization’s security policy.  By Collaboration, I mean meet, message, call, share files, co-edit whiteboards…you name it. This shouldn’t be a burden on the end-user, it should be the same great experience as when they collaborate internally.

With Webex, participants leverage a unified experience when collaborating with internal and external users. Through a true cloud architecture, The Webex app assigns a unique single identity to each users’ work email address, providing the ability to simultaneously communicate across spaces. Your company’s security policy is still in place, but so is the security policy of the external user’s organization. In short, I have the same amazing Collaboration experience inside and outside my organization with zero security compromises.

In contrast, our competitors’ architecture is reliant on Active Directory, great for internal users, but a patchwork at best for external users. Without a global identity platform, like Webex, that spans across all organizations, users end up being guest users, external users, or in some cases both. As guests, new identities are created for users which dismantles corporate governance for data loss prevention, retention policies, and access to features and content all while providing a confusing, unproductive experience. Imagine investing in a collaboration tool which lost you access to the very services you paid for – such as calling, your calendar, and more!

woman sitting on bench using phone

A unified Collaboration experience with uncompromised security for all users, inside or outside of your organization, is one of many Webex capabilities that enable greater workplace efficiencies across boundaries. Webex can connect you to all the tools and people in a single place. Existing applications are integrated into Webex for a flexible and customized experience, without the chaos of app switching. Through an open platform of APIs, tools like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Miro and many others can be integrated in your Webex experience. Even better, you can also integrate Webex into your other tools for ease across meetings, messaging and calling all while ensuring security and privacy standards are met. Without the daily struggle of opening and logging into several applications, you can now do your job all in one place. Webex provides a seamless Collaboration solution with security built in, not bolted on.

From my personal experience, navigating work from home has been quite the challenge, but with Webex, it has been 10X easier and better than the issues my peers deal with. A typical workday for me can consist of 10-12 hours of video calls. During my typical day, I meet, message and call multiple external contacts from our various partners and customers. I can work with dispersed cross functional teams without any concern of experience issues for users inside and outside my organization. The integration of existing applications continues to help and enable productivity amongst myself and my team while also maintaining security standards. I will also share that my Desk Pro has been a lifesaver and has singlehandedly resolved some of the meeting fatigue that we hear so much about.  With Webex, I know that I can rely on its intelligent features and security to keep my customers, employees and organization safe and productive anytime, anywhere.

As the relevance of email continues to decrease, an emphasis around secure, external collaboration becomes significantly more important. Ultimately, if a customer cares about external collaboration, it is hard for me to imagine them tolerating Collaboration platforms with terrible user experiences and serious security holes. We are all trying to thrive in a fast-moving hypercompetitive world; intelligent and secure collaboration with great experiences may be the difference between our success and failure.

If you are interested in learning more about Webex Security, you can check out Radhika Chagarlamudi’s Blog: “National Security (NSA) Collaboration Guidelines: 5 Key Questions for Assuring Security and Compliance”.

Collaborate safely through purpose-built devices for work, home and everywhere in between

 Enough about security and external collaboration, time to share an incredibly cost-effective way to add Webex Devices to your Collaboration experienceWork is no longer defined by where we are, but rather what we do. The future requires solutions that scale to meet individual everchanging needs and we can provide them. Of the current workforce, 96% want intelligent workspace technology to improve their work environment. Our devices are purpose-built and fused with Webex to enable an integrated software and hardware experience fit for every workspace.

To support the hybrid workplace, Webex is now offering new accessible and affordable ways to purchase Webex Desk and Room devices. Substantial discounts on these devices are available for new or existing customers with a Webex Meetings Active User or Enterprise Agreement. Remember that Desk Pro that I mentioned earlier, you can now get this world-class video endpoint for under $2,500 (without incremental charges like our competitors). This is almost ½ the price you would pay if you weren’t an enterprise wide Webex Meetings customer.

There are so many reasons why I love my Desk Pro, I even travel with it! Here are a few: multiple virtual background options, immersive share to present right next to my content, noise cancellation with Babble Labs, and so much more! Let the Desk Pro help reduce your daily meeting fatigue, now for ½ the price!

For more on Webex Devices, check out a recent blog post by my colleague Snorre Kjesbu: “Webex Devices to Help You Thrive From Wherever You Work — Now More Affordable and Widely Available”.

white boarding on a clear pane

Supporting the needs of all customers with the new addition of Active User 3.0

 Coming full circle, I am pleased to announce that the Active User buying model is now available in Flex 3.0 and Flex 3.0 FedRAMP. Active User is a usage-based subscription for meetings that allows customers to purchase meetings entitlements according to adoption, and closely track the return on your investment. With Active User 3.0, subscriptions can be purchased for a minimum of just 40 Active Users.

For a safe return to work, this is a great place to start your subscription! With Active User 3.0, everyone in your company will have access to Webex and you only pay for what you use. If Active User isn’t the right fit for you, check out one of our other buying models. Flex 3.0 now offers the full package of buying models (Active User, Enterprise Agreement and Named User) to support the Webex needs of all organizations.

We believe Cisco can uniquely empower organizations to succeed at home, work and everywhere in between through an all-in-one secure collaboration solution and world-class integrated endpoints. Webex is your answer for the future of the work.

Download the free version of the Webex app here today and experience secure, seamless collaboration with users inside and outside your organization!

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What’s new in Webex: April 2021

Your guide to sensors and analytics in Webex Devices

14 ways to refresh your collaboration experience

Still need help?

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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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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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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Hackathon deco art
Announcing the winners of Collaboration hackathon

Transforming ideas into reality

The workplace is constantly evolving. The way we work is forever changing and advancements in technology are moving more rapidly than ever before. Innovation is key, but where does it come from and more importantly, how do we develop it into a reality?

At some point we have all had that great idea, that one lightbulb thought that could change how we work, make a process faster or save ourselves some time. The problem is that we don’t always have the resources, background or skillset to make it happen, often leading to missed opportunities. But not at Cisco. This is where innovation is born.

Building on the success of our 2-day Hackathon event hosted in San Jose in July 2019, Cisco SVP Javed Khan held our first-ever virtual Collaboration Hackathon series in late 2020 to early 2021. The series featured one hackathon for our internal colleagues and one for external innovators – organised by Product Manager Ivy Pham. Individuals and teams were welcome to participate regardless of technical knowledge or experience. The only criteria to take part: a passion to innovate and a desire to make a change.

“During these challenging pandemic times, seamless and secure virtual experiences are more important than ever. This virtual hackathon is a fun way our community can come together to develop solutions that will make virtual communication and collaboration ‘better than being there’.”

Javed Khan

SVP/GM, Collaboration 

Reimagining what is possible with our internal hackathon

The internal hackathon was open to all Cisco employees, harnessing the strength of our global workforce to provide diverse perspectives on the future of our industry. As a result, we had over 820 participants with nearly 500 submissions!

Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes. All ideas were welcome at the hackathon, but to help guide our hackers we created 3 key themes – Experience, Next Generation and Cross Architecture.

Experience – Focusing on our end users’ and customers’ experiences. Keeping this open to interpretation, participants could focus on day-to-day activities, operations and even analytics. Basically, keeping our customers top of mind and developing solutions to ensure they have the best experience possible.

Next Generation – The possibilities are endless when it comes to advancements in technology. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have changed how we all work, but we have only begun to scratch the surface. Here participants had the opportunity to create solutions that enable our users to work smarter, not harder.

Cross Architecture – The power of Cisco is the strength of our vast portfolio. Collaboration is just one aspect of this. Imagining innovative and creative concepts to integrate with our portfolio is game changing. This could include security, data, mobility and more.

Here are some of the solutions from the hackathon that blew us away:

Checklister

Webex is a great tool for collaboration via messages. To-do list applications are great tools for tracking ongoing tasks. Checklister would automatically suggest to-do list items to the user and allow editing before storing the message as an action item. The to-do list store could be native to Webex or third-party integrations.

Checklister

Webex Haiku

While business’s adoption of video calling tools for customer service is on the rise, not all people are avid computer users. This translates into frustration when joining Webex meetings. Cisco Webex Haiku is an online drag-and-drop editor for creating your own Webex client portal, as simple and powerful as your business needs it.

See the full list of winners below:

Hackathon Prizes

Global innovation at our external hackathon

We know that great ideas come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes a totally fresh perspective can reimagine how we work and the tools we use. With this in mind, we opened the external hackathon globally to people over the age of 18. Similar to our internal hackathon, we encouraged people to participate regardless of technical knowledge or experience. Everyone with an interest in innovation was welcome. As a result, we were delighted to see an enormous interest in university students signing up to take part (over 1100) – after all, they are the future of our industry.

To help guide our external participants we also provided two optional themes. The first was Cisco Webex and Collaboration with a key focus on the end user experience. The second was social good – creating new solutions that have a positive impact on people, society or the planet. In total we had nearly 250 teams participate and a whopping 60 winners. Below are a few highlights and the full winners list:

Sanitary Pad Dispensing Machine

The idea is an affordable and easy to operate sanitary pad dispensing machine. The project has been designed with the motive of providing 24/7 availability of sanitary pads to women, especially in rural regions where there is a lot of social stigma attached to this particular issue. One of the main objectives of this project was to make the topic of menstruation more mainstream so that parents could talk to their daughters more freely, friends could support each other, and women would not feel ashamed of something that is natural to them and a part of their life.

Webex Knowledge Extractor

This is a tool that integrates with Webex and allows questions and answers to be displayed and indexed for search based on threaded messaging. The dashboard interface will allow the end user to login via OAuth and select a room to be analyzed for Questions which have been answered by experts, then export to Excel or import into external systems for knowledge base articles.

Joey Notifications

Never miss a beat with Joey Notifications in Webex! Joey is the perfect solution to make working from home more people centric. Set reminders to stretch and take care of your health throughout the day. Joey is designed to engage you with little tips such as yoga videos or recipes and uses AI image detection to evaluate your health. Joey Notifications is the perfectly tailored plugin for you and your team!

1st prize

2nd prize3rd prize

These are just a few examples of the hundreds of innovative and creative ideas submitted during the hackathon series. Some of these amazing ideas will be put forward to our collaboration group and considered for further development.

Hackathons are just one of the many events we hold each year to spark innovation within our organization.

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events and one day your idea could become part of our collaboration offering!

Resources

The all new Webex

Ready to make the switch to the new Webex?

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Join a Webex online meeting

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Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

 

 

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3 colleagues sitting around a conference room sharing a report
Are all meeting rooms equal?

Meeting rooms to help teams collaborate effectively

Work has shifted from cubicles to nearly anywhere you can get a Wi-Fi signal, signaling the need to reimagine what the new way to work will look like: a mix of an in-office and remote workforce. Distributed workers and in-office employees need a seamless collaboration experience. Technology will help drive this.

Last year, I traveled to a customer site to demo an early prototype of the Webex Room Phone. I met with the IT team in the conference room they typically used for team meetings. It had a BT/USB speaker and sharing hub, with two devices from different vendors. Unfortunately, their solutions did not have a viable way for me to present content and deliver my pitch to both in-person attendees and remote team members. This team was deploying and managing the larger videoconference spaces and board rooms, but they did not have a simple, high-quality solution to help their teams collaborate effectively.

Webex Room Phone— a seamless experience with Webex devices

This a common theme in many workplaces today. Larger conferences and boardrooms are fitted with elegant solutions, but there simply isn’t budget in smaller spaces. As a result, users cannot transition between spaces and collaborate effectively, and IT administrators cannot plan, deploy, and monitor the technology being used. We address these issues and give users the seamless experience they need with our Webex devices.

The Webex Room Phone is one such device. It helps support a modern workforce by providing:

  • Safe and distraction-free meetings with HD audio. The Room Phone utilizes speaker and mic technology that provides 360-degree coverage for 20’x20’ rooms (and 20’x32’ rooms with wired mics). This coverage, paired with echo cancellation and noise reduction capabilities, enables productive meetings with all team members, remote or not.
  • Easy ways to join a meeting. Do not worry about touching the device. Instead, join meetings through proximity with the Webex mobile or desktop app.
  • Simple management and robust analytics. IT admins can use Cisco Webex Control Hub—a single pane of glass for Webex management—to provision new devices, monitor usage, and troubleshoot issues.
  • So much more than just a conference phone. The Webex Room Phone connects to any HD display, so you can easily share content, view in-meeting participant information, and use digital signage capabilities when the device is not being used.

More than a conference phone

At Webex, we believe that less is more, which is why we’ve focused on packaging the Webex Room Phone in a simple, easily deployable way that provides a consistent experience with all other Webex devices (and allows you to scale this to every room you use). Designed for collaboration, touchless meetings, and an intelligent experience, the Webex Room Phone is so much more than just another conference phone—it’s a key element in the future of collaboration.

Sign up here to join the team behind Cisco’s latest Webex device: Webex Room Phone on Sept 14th to learn more on how it can help you scale your Webex device experience

flyer of webex room phone: helping you scale your WEbex device experience flyer with profile pictures of David Scott, Jessica Ruffin, Subbu Subramanian, and Anthony Nolasco

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How team collaboration technology can work together no matter where you are

Returning to work with Intelligent Room Capacity

Make your voice heard with the User Community Feedback Portal

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How to Determine How Effective Your Collaboration Tech Is
How to determine how effective your collaboration tech is

Effective collaborative workplace culture

For a long time, workplace communication was limited to office intercoms and yelling over cubicle walls. As primitive as these approaches sound, they were the standards.

 

Workplaces now enjoy a litany of team collaboration tools developed to engage remote and in-person employees who no longer limit their productivity to a specific workplace or certain office hours. But no matter where employees are, they want high-quality communication and collaboration tools that are convenient to use.

 

How can small business leaders ensure their team collaboration tools continue to meet that demand? By embracing the spirit of those same tools and creating collaborative workplace cultures.

Benefits of collaboration tools

One of the primary benefits of collaboration tools is that ideas can flow freely and go into action at a moment’s notice. When those collaboration tools are added to a collaborative workplace culture, it fosters the kind of environment in which everyone — and every tool — can truly thrive.

 

To get the kind of insights necessary to ensure your collaboration tech is top shelf, you’ll need to start by getting some answers from your team. That way, employees will fit the tool — not the other way around.

Questions to ask your team

Here are some helpful questions to ask your team:

 

• What tools do you currently use to communicate? Is it a messenger app, or is most of your correspondence via email and other means? You can even open up this question to the communication tools team members use most in their personal lives. Determine how the majority of your office communicates, and it should lead you toward team collaboration tools that engage every employee rather than a select few. You might be surprised by what ideas your team offers.

 

• What’s your preferred mode of remote work? Whether team members are full-time remote employees or just working remotely now and then, they’ll have preferences for how they’re reached. Maybe it’s via phone, conference line, messaging, or video conferencing platform. Use this time surveying employees to find the best remote collaboration tools to foster your collaborative team culture.

 

• What kind of document sharing do you use? More and more platforms offer live editing and commenting features for document sharing. Ask employees how effective those solutions are and how often they leverage them.

 

• How do you track thoughts and take notes? Do your team members put pen to pad and jot down notes the old-fashioned way? Or do they prefer to take notes on their laptops or tablets? What about transcriptions? Do they use their preferred word processors to keep living documents of ideas and insights? Learn their preferences to provide optimal business collaboration tools.

Next steps

You’ll want to ask these questions annually or at least every other year. You can then apply those answers to what’s currently on the market to determine whether you’re getting the best value out of the slate of tools at your disposal. Maybe one — or more — of the team collaboration tools best suited for your team is offered in a stack that you can invest in for the whole staff. That’s far easier and more efficient than using a dozen different solutions from a dozen different providers.

 

Collaborative tools are most effective when they’re easy to use. Learn about the tools that best help your employees communicate, and your business’s ability to produce and collaborate will never falter.

 

Have your own answers to the above questions confirmed your need for new team collaboration tools?

 

Click here to learn more about the offerings from Webex and to sign up for a free account.

Learn More

Delighting remote workers: Why user experience is important

Embracing the rise of remote working

Working smarter: Managing a remote team

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Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to think about how you can fall in love with your meetings again. Cisco Webex Meetings brings teams together, for collaboration that leads to greater business outcomes.
Love your meeting!

Spread the love with meetings

Valentine’s Day is more than just a chance to show affection to a loved one. It’s also a big holiday for shopping and gift-giving, even for single people – sort of like a mini Christmas.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 45% of Americans over the age of 18 (more than 110 million people) identified as single in 2017, a record high. But Valentine’s-related sales have not suffered despite the huge number of singles out there.

On the contrary, they were estimated at nearly $20 billion in 2018, with average per capita spending of more than $143. And it’s not all on greeting cards or chocolates: Gift cards, jewelry, and even pet treats all do big business each February.

What this trend shows us is that there is a lot of love in the air on Valentine’s Day, not just for your significant other, but for everyone you love in your life—and people tend to want to share that through meaningful gifts. This year let’s spread that love even further, into one of the most historically despised, but necessary areas of business—meetings. That’s right, it’s time to start loving your meetings again.

Love it or leave it behind: Why only the best collaboration technology will do

As the Valentine’s Day numbers above illustrate, shoppers don’t skimp on buying something that they think will really impress a significant other or friend. In other words, they don’t usually settle for a second-rate gift. The same principle should apply to tools for team collaboration and communication.

Think of your organization’s current approach to keeping everyone in the loop. Do you have the right technology in place to bring your teams together and keep them collaborating wherever they are? Is it optimized to make the most out of every meeting or communication? Or does it make you want to break up with your meetings altogether?

Name any fundamental flaw with a meeting (too long, not focused enough, etc.), and subpar collaboration technology will only make it worse. Let’s look at five common day-to-day challenges that are preventing effective meetings.

1. Too much multitasking, not enough participation

The problem: Streaming a movie or TV show on Valentine’s Day? It’s possible that you’ll look at your phone or tablet at some point, even while the video keeps playing. The same thing happens all the time with audio-only conference calls, as participants are directing their attention elsewhere. “Sorry, I was on mute” is often code for “I missed what you said since I was checking my email.” Multitasking is hard and bad for focus.

The solution: Setting up a video conference is a proven way to reduce multitasking since it lets everyone be seen. It’s also a good idea for executives and leadership to set an example by not using other technologies during an online meeting.

2. “We could have just covered this in email”

The problem: It’s a common refrain after an unproductive meeting: “This could have been done over email.” But why don’t more meetings just get offloaded onto email? Because email is a very limited communication medium, and not all that efficient. If your inbox is as filled and cluttered as mine, messages can easily get lost and overlooked, plus hours or days can pass between responses. No wonder companies resort to meetings instead, no matter the flaws involved.

The solution: Taking advantage of real-time chat can be advantageous both during and after a meeting. It’s more streamlined and richly featured than email and lets participants get answers quickly and in context. Modern chat platforms also make it easy to search for old content, share files, and conduct digital whiteboarding.

3. The meeting is too difficult to join and engage in

The problem: Sometimes, issues crop up before the meeting even begins. The process for joining one can be needlessly complicated, with required downloads and PINs or limited device support, so that participants need to be in a certain location to join.

The solution: Modern collaboration technology can make it straightforward to get started with any meeting. Multiple devices are supported and joining is as simple as tapping or clicking a button when it’s time. Mute and audio controls also make it simpler for the host to keep things moving once the meeting does begin.

4. There’s uncertainty on who’s in the meeting

The problem: Imagine a conference call with a lot of people on it. Someone starts talking and you have only a vague idea who they are, having only perhaps seen their name in the calendar invite beforehand. Then someone else joins in and you don’t recognize them at all. These gaps can be a distraction in a meeting, especially if the topic contains sensitive information. Also, it’s challenging to get people to participate if you cannot address them by name.

The solution: Increasingly we are seeing AI coming into meeting and collaboration technology, allowing advanced capabilities like delivering instant profiles of meeting participants pulled from social accounts and other directories. Or voice and facial recognition so you can match the name to the face. Accordingly, the meeting can flow better and have better engagement since everyone has some background information on each person and everyone can be addressed by their name. As the use of AI evolves, meetings are only going to get smoother and more productive.

5. Remote workers have too much trouble connecting

The problem: More people are working outside of traditional offices, which is great for flexibility. However, it can be challenging for these workers to keep in touch if the meeting software they’re supposed to use doesn’t work well across devices or allow for easy collaboration.

The solution: Collaboration tools should work equally well on desktops, phones, tablets, and video conferencing systems, as applicable. That way, they can support remote and mobile workers who might take calls on the go, at home, or occasionally at a company office, too.

Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to think about how you can fall in love with your meetings again. Cisco Webex Meetings brings teams together, for collaboration that leads to greater business outcomes.

Is today the day you fall in love? Let’s see, and try Webex for free.

Does Webex Meetings work with any popular learning management systems?

Webex Meetings has added Blackboard Learn to our already extensive list of popular learning management systems. With this integration, instructors can have the full Webex Meetings experience within the Blackboard Learn environment. Aside from being able to hold virtual classes for distance learning, instructors can also have office hours and ad-hoc meetings with students, and even message students – all within the Blackboard learning interface. These integrations give teachers and students a great way to connect within the environment to which they are accustomed.

Learn More

Webex Meetings and Microsoft Teams: Working better together

Webex Meetings January 2020 Update: New improvements and new integrations for the new year

Skip the trip with Webex Meetings

US Census Bureau

By the Numbers Look at Valentine’s

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Illustrated girl with notes
How video improves communication during any conference call

Top reasons why video conferencing benefits communication

Communication is key to business. But too often, communication itself gets in the way of how businesses work. Whether it’s aligning sales and marketing or coordinating on project workflow status, efficient and effective communication can be hard to come by. This is especially the case when companies are dependent on traditional conference calls, which can be limiting.

Communicating on strategy or instructions is improved with screen sharing software, which allows meeting participants to integrate video into the proceedings — the next best thing to being in the physical room at the same time.

Want to drive better internal coordination and collaboration while on a call? Consider these reasons for how screen sharing and video conferencing can improve communication.

Video reveals nonverbal expression

Body language and facial expressions matter. Yet these levels of communication are imperceptible on traditional conference calls. Video can make these nonverbal cues seen, which may help increase productivity and provide a better experience over other forms of communication.

When an office worker calls IT for help, for instance, the technical directions can become burdensome to explain over the phone. Also, with traditional calls, remote IT help doesn’t have actual visibility into the situation. Add video, however, and tickets can be resolved more quickly when IT can explain solutions by demonstrating the required steps or live trouble-shooting. These gestures are invaluable to helping a non-IT expert understand the instructions.

Video helps nurture client relationships

Communication in both sales and customer service is improved when video is integrated into processes. Video conferencing software can pay dividends early on in the sales process when reps can hold face to face meetings with prospects. This dimension of communication can help build trust and credibility — don’t discount the value of eye contact when listening to clients explain pain points or their company culture.

Video helps foster a better client experience, which can move the sales process along. Video also comes into play with customer service and retention. Having video on a quarterly or monthly update keeps the client relationship fresh, while also making it easier to explain performance metrics or other details.

Video facilitates creative team collaboration

It can be hard for a graphic designer to get their visual concept across when restricted to the format of the traditional conference call. While they may be able to see the image in their head, or even sketch it out on paper, the other meeting participants don’t have as great a level of insight, which can stunt collaboration.

Video can help solve this challenge by allowing creative team members to share their ideas and or workshop concepts with other attendees in real time and with the aid of a professional tool. A designer may use screen sharing to cast a video of them using a drawing program, while architects on a call could use a building modeling platform to collaborate.

Video provides indelible records

It can be difficult to record every word said on a conference call, even when meeting participants take scrupulous notes. There’s no such gaps or oversights when using the recording feature on a video call.

The preservation of video is a huge advantage to communication. Records-keeping processes are substantially improved and videos can provide reference for future users. For example, a video recording of a sales demo can be archived for training purposes. Besides helping provide ironclad history of instructions or strategy, video can also help with business continuity.

Video helps power remote workforces

Remote workforces are more the norm for businesses these days, from startups and small businesses to enterprise-level companies. Employers have been pressed with increasing expectations for flexible working arrangements, but they’ve also seen the inefficiencies such setups can lead to. Video-powered conferencing is a way to address those productivity drags head-on by giving remote, home-based, and traveling coworkers an engaging and easy way to communicate on a day-to-day basis.

Team members who are miles apart but working on the same project can use video to provide updates or otherwise coordinate on next steps. Video helps companies avoid some of the major pitfalls companies encounter with remote workforces. Managers who have video-based check-ins can better assess performance and help form bonds with a direct report who they’ve never met before.

Video improves onboarding

Onboarding is a crucial stage for both employees and clients. You want to ensure that new hires have the support and information to be productive, and that clients can realize value or return on investment. Information retention is improved with video, while sales reps or managers have a greater ability to course correct during the early stages of the relationship to avoid common obstacles. Familiarity is beneficial at such stages, but something that traditional conference calls can’t provide with only voice.

Video is a powerful and efficient channel for delivering communication. Businesses can leverage video conferencing and screen sharing in internal and external interactions. Interested in learning more about video features and the software needed to support such implementations?

Learn about our screen sharing solution or get started with a free plan today.

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Blog_Webex_Perks_Woman_Winning_1200x720
Introducing Webex Perks – your new rewards program

Have you heard of Webex Perks?

Cisco Webex recently launched a rewards program that allows our customers to access resources, network with other Webex users, and refer their network to Webex’s video conferencing and team collaboration tools.

We are excited to announce the program is live!

So, how does it work?

Using your Webex account credentials, log-in to the hub and get on-boarded quickly, learning the ins and outs of all the resources available to you. Best of all, Webex Perks is FREE – no additional setup or cost needed. You’ll find tutorials to help you get the most out of your video conference meetings, live training- including webinars and online classes, and fun challenges to help you rack up points and place in the Leaderboard. The more points you earn, the more rewards you can unlock*. And, you can earn BIG points ($20 prize value) when you refer others to Webex Meetings and Teams.

Rewards vary from Webex swag, to drones, to tablets, and even Webex devices. Are you ready to get started? Log in here.

Cisco Webex recently launched a rewards program that allows our customers to access resources, network with other Webex users, and refer their network to Webex’s video conferencing and team collaboration tools.

If you’re new to Webex, try our video conferencing solution free today!

Then use your credentials to log into Perks to start earning rewards!

* Disclaimer: Rewards are for paid Webex users. Free users can still earn points and participate, but won’t be eligible for rewards.

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One decade is coming to a close and 2020 brings in a new year and new opportunities
The future of work isn’t coming, it’s here

One decade is coming to a close and 2020 brings in a new year and new opportunities. In this busy season of holiday parties, copious amounts of shopping, and wrapping up end-of-year projects, people are also beginning to think about new resolutions and new ways to reset and reorient themselves for what this next year has in store.

At Cisco Webex, we’re doing this as well. The phrase, “Future of Work,” has been buzzing for a bit of time, but it’s time to move this from hype to reality and we’re ready. In fact, we’re already there. As we think about this coming year, and as we set goals for what we want to do as a company, now is the time to turn the “Future of Work” into today and seize the opportunities it presents to us.

In an article in Boss Magazine, Cory Treffiletti, Global Head of Marketing for Webex.com at Cisco refreshingly cuts through the sea of buzzwords related to this topic and highlights a few truly impactful trends that are driving this change in the workplace.

He calls out,

“While technology of the recent past has made businesses more productive and efficient, it tended to hamper the true human connection. Think email and even conference calls. The face-to-face interaction was missing. People are starting to realize that a call is far better than email, and a video call, even better. Picking up and reaching out to someone may never be as efficient as typing a message and hitting send, but it is more efficient when you factor in the resulting back and forth that results.”

Let’s consider this: The “Future of Work” is not five years from now, it’s tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. We all have a hand to play in how our businesses will run and what we want them to look like.

Check out Boss Magazine’s article on four trends to keep an eye on in the not so distant “Future of Work.”

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Cisco at SXSW 2019: Cognitive collaboration and the future of work

The Future of Work is Today

Cisco’s Single Platform and Unified App Make a More Human Approach to Transforming your Workplace

 

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Embedding  Webex Teams Meetings with the  Java Script  SDK 
Embedding  Webex Teams Meetings with the  JavaScript  SDK 

We’ve brought  Webex  Teams video conferencing to an open source  JavaScript  SDK, using Cisco and open source technologies, allowing developers to create and customize their own media applications in the web rapidly.

Vibrant Ecosystem 

As the line between the browser and the operating system continues to blur, JavaScript-accessible technologies are becoming more powerful.  WebRTC  is one of the most dominant examples of this paradigm shift, minimizing the barrier to entry for media development,  and it’s on your everyday average web browser. 

Since 2016, an estimated two billion browsers were installed that support WebRTC.  Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all support WebRTC standards, with Edge support on its way. This has empowered developers all over the world to build complex media related applications in the browser of their choice.  It is clear the future direction of video conferencing applications, media exchange, and the like will be built here, right in your web browser. 

Leveraging and Expanding 

We, at Cisco,  are utilizing  this burgeoning technology stack to create solutions in  Webex  Teams for high quality, secure meeting collaboration. In our environment, we see over 90,000 Webex Teams meetings using WebRTC per month. 

Meetings  via the browser makes it possible to engage in real time video communication in Cisco’s powerful media network and with no installations, no browser plugins, and a familiar native app proficiency. In fact,  Webex  Teams  extends basic WebRTC calling to improve quality of service and adapt to network inconsistencies in order to provide the best quality web conferencing experience possible. 

Now we are taking this a step further, bringing  Webex  Meetings to an open source  JavaScript  SDK.  In a collaborative effort, we’ve combined the knowledge of our teams and over the course of a few months have released an open source tool that has all the capabilities of the  Webex Teams Web Client  today, in a flexible API format.  It  is  built to be platform independent, and is supported wherever WebRTC runs, even mobile browsers such as Chrome on Android, and Safari on iOS.  Some example features are joining a  Webex meeting, recording  meetings in the cloud, sharing  your screen, managing  a roster, and accessing  meeting statistics.  Groups  inside of Cisco have already started to bring these custom capabilities to new applications.  

Endless Possibilities 

Developers can now customize and integrate  video conferencing  into their applications rapidly.  The wealth of use cases to create for is endless. Imagine applications that enabled single use calls such as a doctor taking an ad hoc patient call, coordinating meetings with external vendors using just a link, or bringing thousands of people to a simulcast in an instant. What if we brought meetings to the billions of IoT devices and had collaboration from a refrigerator or a car in an instant? The combined power of the SDK and the Webex web clients will make all this possible.  

What’s Next 

We believe WebRTC is an important tool in the present and future of real time media. We are investing in building higher quality audio/video, more flexible and powerful APIs through the SDK, and more unified experiences in the clients through actively developing solutions for these everyday problems. 

We Want You To 

Read the documentation, pull the code, start making applications, or contribute! Everything is available through the  developer portal  today! 

If you’re not currently using Webex Meetings, you can try the free offer, here.

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team collaboration update
November update of Webex Teams

More Emoji’s for More Expressive Messaging! (Windows)

It’s time to get a lot more expressive with your team collaboration messages- we have expanded the emoji picker library! You can now choose emojis from six different categories and color swatches.

Team collaboration update

Introducing the Web Beta Client (Web)

Soon, the first phase of the new web app will be available for everyone. Webex Teams web users will be able to opt-in to the new experience. To start, this is a messaging only application with new messaging features, including improved performance, edit message, in-line threading, quick filters, and improved space navigation. This will be available for everyone to try on December 5th!

Share Your Screen While on a Call using Calling in Webex Teams – Webex Calling (Windows & Mac)

If your organization supports this calling integration, you can now share your screen when you call someone else with a Webex Teams account.

MAM support through App Wrapping (iOs & Android)

Teams Mobile App now support customers who need MAM through a new process. This process is currently supported by both Webex Meetings as well as Jabber. This means a customer or partner who is part of the CCP community can sign a two-way licensed agreement to obtain Teams mobile app binaries and then “app wrap” them using app wrapping tools provided by MDM/MAM vendors, for their own use.


Haven’t tried Webex Meetings or Teams yet? Try for free. 

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

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Engaging a Distributed Workforce
Getting more done in less time with Webex

Engaging a Distributed Workforce

It’s become apparent that the world of work is changing. Our workforce is more global than ever, distributed, remote and driving the need for a new way of working.  In fact, a recent article* that I was reading highlighted while remote work is growing in popularity – it’s making us rethink how, the tools we use to work, how we communicate at work, and even the hours we work. 

Businesses of all sizes want to get more done

It’s a consistent theme that I’m hearing across our customers. Organizations big and small are thinking different about their workflows and employee engagement. Managers and individuals are looking for the best tools available in the market to help them get their job done. Whether it’s a company of 5 starting to build business, or a team within a large organization of 100,000 employees, teams depend on effective tools to get more done. Everyone wants to get more out of their day and every minute of their day; enterprise and small start-ups. The employee experience has become king across business.  

rganizations big and small are thinking different about their workflows and employee engagement.

Cisco Webex Teams offers a smart solution

Cisco has been listening and paying close attention to this workplace transformation. Over the past year, our team has brought together Cisco’s best collaboration technology with cognitive capabilities and layered on top of our unified platform to deliver a modern work experience regardless of customer size.   

Our recent launch of Webex Teams Unified App is a living example of how we are bringing a solution together for both mobile and desktop users. Knowledge workers can literally get their work done from anywhere and anytime via team collaboration tool, Cisco’s Webex Teams. From messaging to file sharing, whiteboarding, video conferencing or simply calling. There is also the People Insights feature which gives users information in advance about the people who they are meeting with.  Overall, the Webex Teams Unified App keeps work moving in one-place and enhances the employee experience.

Webex Teams is Perfect for on-the-go 24/7 access

Personalization and choice on the horizon  

In addition to unifying the experience and enabling mobility, Cisco is bringing personalization to users through our modular capabilities. Very soon, customers will have the option to configure Webex Teams for different type of users.  Maybe a smaller part of the organization only needs messaging vs. other groups that need the broader suite of functionality.  IT will be able to easily configure the Webex Teams to meet the needs of different workstyles among their organizations.  Cisco is simplifying the world of IT and helping them easily deploy and manage Webex Teams via a control option.

Easy integrations to keep work flowing 

Our Cisco collaboration solution doesn’t stop with Webex Teams, we also announced this week an exciting new partnership with Microsoft. Our goal is to enable customers to have open and seamless collaboration no matter what tools they are already using.  And Webex Teams is already integrating across other third-party apps such as Salesforce, Trello and Box – just to name a few.  
 
At the end of the day, we all want to get more work done and in less time. We also want to enjoy the benefits of work life balance. Webex Teams can bring new possibilities to the table and can help us achieve our goals. It’s not about just having great work tools – but it’s about getting the gift of time back and living smarter with Webex Teams. 

Learn more about The Single Platform Advantage for Workplace Transformation

Start with Webex for free today!

#CiscoPS19

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October Update of team collaboration tool
October update of Webex Teams

Pop out chats and spaces (Windows and Mac)

We all love multi-tasking, and this feature will help us do exactly that. Now, you can pop out multiple chats and spaces into new Webex Teams windows. This allows you to focus on those important spaces and conversations without getting distracted by other unread spaces or notifications. This option will be available in the right click menu in your space list, as well as being a quick double click away!

Links! Get your links here! (Windows and Mac)

No more scrolling through chats and spaces in search of those important links or URLs. We’re saving everyone lots of time by collecting all links sent in a space and putting them into a dedicated place. You can find this fantastic new feature by going to your in-space menu (the three dots button menu on the top right or every space) and selecting ‘Links’.

Peek in a Space (Windows and Mac)

Catch up on those unreads later! This feature is for those situations where you see you have an unread message in a space but know you don’t have time to follow up on it yet. You will now be able to right click and select ‘peek in space’ to view the space without marking it as read or sending a read receipt. Performing any actions in the space will take you out of peek mode, as will opening the space as normal.

Out of sight, out of mind – Hide Spaces (Windows and Mac)

We all have those spaces that we no longer need to be part of, but don’t exactly want to leave them just yet either. This month, we are introducing ‘Hide Spaces’, a feature which will allow you to apply a filter to those spaces. This means you can remove a space from your main space list and into a dedicated filter ‘Hidden Spaces’ where you can find it again later if you need too. Doing this means you will no longer receive notifications from that space, allowing you to focus on the important things.

Link your Online Folders to a Space (Windows and Mac)

Webex Teams users now have the option to link existing Microsoft OneDrive and Sharepoint Online folders to spaces. This means we can quickly get to files that are important to your team. Depending on how your admin sets this up, all files shared in the space could be automatically uploaded to the linked folder. Or, you can choose whether to share in the space, or upload to the folder.

Jira Cloud Bot – now with Buttons & Cards (Windows and Mac)
Keep your projects running on schedule with the newly updated Jira Cloud bot for Webex Teams. Now supporting the Buttons & Cards framework, creating and updating Jira issues directly from Webex Teams using the Jira Cloud bot has never been easier. Add it to your Webex Teams and try it out today!

Trello Bot – now with Buttons & Cards (Windows and Mac)
Due date changed? Comment added? With real-time notifications from the Trello bot for Webex Teams, all members of the team can stay in the know. Now supporting the new Buttons & Cards framework, the updated Trello Bot easily allows you to update and create new Trello Cards and Lists directly from Webex Teams itself. Add it to your Webex Teams and try it out today!

Join Meetings Using your Cisco DX Series or your Desk Phone (Windows and Mac)

Is your DX or desk phone registered to Unified CM? You could already make calls using your personal device and now with this update, you can use it to join your meetings. Connect to your personal device and use it to connect to meetings. You can control the meeting from Webex Teams and share content into the meeting.

Share Your Screen While on a Call using Calling in Webex Teams – Webex Calling (Windows and Mac)

If your organization supports this calling integration, you can now share your screen when you call someone else with a Webex Teams account.

Organize your Spaces (Windows and Mac)

Now you have the option to choose how you view your spaces. You can keep spaces all in one list or you can add tabs to organize your spaces. The tabs allow you to view all your spaces, to see a list of spaces with just one person, or to view a list of spaces with groups of people. You’ll be able to easily switch between these views using a new preference in the Filters list.

Quick Access to Preferences (Windows and Mac)

We’re adding some appearance preferences to the Filters list. You can already show your favourite spaces on top and now we’re adding this preference to the Filters menu list. You can quickly switch to see your favourite spaces on top or not and select to separate chats and spaces.

Buttons and Cards (iOS and Android)
A few months ago, we introduced buttons and cards, a feature that makes it much easier for Webex Teams users to share complex information with bots and applications by using form-filling features like drop-down menus, radio buttons, and free from text fields. The response to Buttons and Cards has been overwhelmingly positive, however, the same question keeps getting asked: “Where are they on my mobile client?”

This update sees Buttons and Cards now rendering on both iOS and Andriod. If you are a developer who creates Webex Teams bots, take a look here: https://developer-portal-intb.ciscospark.com/blog/new-buttons-cards-webex-teams to see how you can enhance your bot for greater usability with this convenient feature. It now works on all Webex Teams clients!

Calling in Webex Teams – Unified CM (iPhone, iPad, and Android)

If your organization supports this calling integration, you can use Webex Teams with your work number. So, you can call co-workers within your organization using their phone numbers (or mobile numbers) wherever you can make calls in the app. Or, call other people outside of your organization directly using the phone keypad. People can call you at your work number, and you can answer while on the go.

Calling in Webex Teams – Webex Calling (iPhone, iPad, and Android)

We’re bringing our cloud calling features available in Webex Calling to Webex Teams. If your organization uses Webex Calling, you can use the Webex Teams mobile app for your basic calling needs. So, you can call co-workers within your organization using their work numbers (or mobile numbers) wherever you can make calls in the app. Plus, you can call other people outside of your organization directly using the phone keypad. People can call you at your work number, and you can answer while on the go.

Create, Annotate, and Share Whiteboards (iPhone, iPad, and Android)

We’re excited to bring these beloved whiteboarding features back to our mobile apps! You’ll be able to create, annotate, and share when you’re in a meeting or if you’re just sharing them in a space.

Show Previous Space Name when Space Name is changed (Windows and Mac)

Now when you rename a space, the previous space name appears in the note in the message area. This helps anyone in the space to see a history of the space name changes.

Support for Local Calendars (iPhone, iPad, and Android)

If your administrator enables Cisco Webex Hybrid Calendar Service, you can view your local calendar on your mobile device to the calendar in Webex Teams.

Buttons and Cards (iPhone and Android)

We released support for buttons and cards on desktop a couple of months ago, and now we’re making it easier for you to interact with bots and integrations in Webex Teams for mobile too. When your bot sends information in a space that includes a card with buttons, you can now easily interact with it. For example, with a Jira bot, you can quickly create or update tickets right from Webex Teams.

Automatically Reduce Video Sizes when Sending Messages (Android)

We’re adding a setting to let you reduce the video sizes so you can limit your data usage when connected over your cellular service rather than Wi-Fi. (We released this for iPhone and iPad on July 31, 2019.


Try team collaboration tool, Webex Teams, today!

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

 

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Building a bridge between Webex Meetings and Slack
Building a bridge between Webex Meetings and Slack

*Check out this infographic to learn about the integration.

Tackling Interesting and Complex Problems

Recently, at the Women in Product Conference in San Francisco, I was discussing workplace productivity with fellow product managers from various Silicon Valley companies. We were talking about how much more productive and innovative we are now than we were at the beginning of our careers. We agreed that one of the reasons for the increase in productivity is that the way we communicate with each other cross-functionally is much easier, even if we are communicating with teams located all over the world. We now have many great collaboration tools, such as Webex, that make it so simple! However, we also use many other collaboration tools day in and day out, and it would be so great if all those tools would work together.

The problems that we are working on solving today are super interesting and complex, yet we are able to tackle them head on because we can work with the right individuals, from all over the world, at a moment’s notice. At Cisco, we have a very diverse and globally distributed workforce, so it is definitely important that our communication is seamless and continuous. Of course, we are very lucky that we can use Webex Meetings every day and that the experience is as delightful and powerful as ever: meetings are easy to join on any platform, they deliver an optimal video experience, and provide an amazing mobile experience.

Smooth Transitions with 3rd Party Integrations

At work, we are constantly switching gears. For example, in typical day, I may start early with a customer call with a team in Germany, then join a scrum standup, and then I’m off to a 1:1 meeting with a UX researcher to discuss an upcoming product feature. After my meetings, I usually need to follow up on action items and share files and presentations. Making those types of transitions easy and seamless has been my focus this year as part of the Webex Meetings integrations team. Our team has been creating solutions that make transitions between apps a lot more efficient, for anyone who needs to collaborate smoothly across teams.

One of those cool solutions is the Webex Meetings integration with Slack, which is industry leading in terms of feature depth and experience.

Work Smarter with Webex Meetings and Slack

With the work we’ve been doing over the past several months, the entire Webex Meetings life cycle is now available in Slack. This is huge! If you’re a Slack user, your productivity will increase because now you never have to leave your Slack channel to have a great meeting experience. We’ve been working hard to bring together this amazing integration. Here is what you can look forward to:

Schedule, Start, or Join Webex Meetings directly from Slack

You may be having a lengthy chat conversation about a project in your Slack channel and decide that it will be best to have a live face-to-face discussion. You can schedule a meeting by typing in /webexschedule for regular meetings or /webexschedule myroom for your personal room meetings, then a dialog will appear where you can enter meeting details. This deep level of integration with Slack is unique to Webex.

Or you can start an instant meeting by typing /webex in the command line, which shares a notification to everyone in your channel so they can quickly join.

Start or Join Webex Meetings from your Outlook or Google Calendar

You can also connect to Webex Meetings on your Outlook or Google calendar. Directly join a Webex meeting in Slack through the Outlook or Google Calendar app reminder when a Webex meeting is added to the calendar event. Simply click on the Join Webex Meeting button, but note that the Outlook or Google calendar integration must be in place.

Real-time Webex Meeting Status in your Slack Channel

So that you never have to inadvertently miss another meeting, you will see a real-time Webex Meeting status card once the meeting has started, and you can join the meeting from there. This status card will appear in your Slack channel to remind you of your upcoming meeting, and you can even see who has already joined.

Webex Meetings List

You will also have the ability to see your upcoming Webex meetings list from Slack by typing /webexschedule list. If you are the host, you can start or cancel a meeting from within Slack. And if you are an attendee, you can join the meeting directly from the list. Just click the start button. No other meetings vendor has this level of integration within Slack.

End of Meeting and Recording Notifications

After your meeting has ended, you will see a summary in your Slack channel. If your meeting was recorded, then you will get a notification from which you can play the recording. You’ll also be able to see a list of all your recent recordings.

 

Building Bridges with Webex

So, as you can see, everything from scheduling a Webex meeting, to starting and joining the meeting, to seeing your recording can happen within Slack. This is all done with your convenience and productivity in mind so that you can experience Webex Meetings within the tools you live and love. The Slack integration is one of the many bridges that Cisco Webex has been working on building in order to delight our customers. We are very excited and cannot wait to hear what you think about it!


 

Please visit the Cisco Webex App Hub to learn more about the Cisco Webex Meetings for Slack integration: https://apphub.webex.com/meetings/applications/cisco-webex-meetings-for-slack

 

 

 

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Calling co-workers with team collaboration tool
September update of Webex Teams

Calling in Webex Teams – Webex Calling (Windows and Mac)

Cloud calling features currently available in Webex Calling are coming to Webex Teams! That’s right, if your organization uses Webex Calling, you can now use your Webex Teams app for those basic calling needs. This means you can call teammates and colleagues within your organization by using their work or mobile phone numbers. You can also call people outside of your organisation directly just by using the phone keypad.

Find your Filters Faster! (Windows and Mac)

Filters just became a lot more accessible! Before this update, filters for your space list were found under the search box in the app. They have now been moved to a new position on the top right just above your space list and under the search box. This means that it will be that much easier to filter your spaces by unread, mentions, and so on.

Link your Online Folders to a Space (Windows and Mac)

Webex Teams users now have the option to link existing Microsoft OneDrive and Sharepoint Online folders to spaces. This means we can quickly get to files that are important to your team. Depending on how your admin sets this up, all files shared in the space could be automatically uploaded to the linked folder. Or, you can choose whether to share in the space, or upload to the folder.

A New Look for Webex Teams (Windows and Mac)

We are introducing a new default theme in Webex Teams. This theme makes the app easier to use as well as improving readability and helping us to expand inclusivity to all our users. If you want to choose from one of our other themes, you can find them all under Settings > Appearance (Windows) or Preferences > Appearance (Mac).

For more information on this check out this blog.

Cisco Headsets Support (Windows and Mac)

If you have a Cisco Headset 500 Series, you can now use it to handle your calls or join Webex Teams meetings. You can mute or unmute yourself directly from the headset during calls or meetings, as well as put yourself on hold while on a call.

No more interruptions – Unified CM (Windows and Mac)

With this update, you will no longer get interrupted by incoming call notifications in Webex Teams. This will come in handy if you’re on a call and sharing your screen. This will also work if you have set your status to ‘Do Not Disturb’.

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

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Workers using team collaboration tool
A new look “theme” for Webex Teams— Windows and Mac

In our upcoming Webex Teams September update, we’re making some changes to our choice of themes in the application. So what’s a Theme? Themes are a collection of defined visual templates which allows you to change the style of your desktop application.

We strive to continuously improve inclusive design of the application and as part of this journey we have updated the Default Theme to a Light Theme.

Our new default theme will make Webex Teams easier to use, improves readability, and will continue to expand our inclusivity to all our users.

For users impacted by these changes, you will see an iteration announcement once you log into the updated application.

The new iteration announcement current default theme users will see:

So, What Can you Expect?

If you’re using the Light Mode Theme today, while there will be no visual change to the user, you’ll notice that this Light Mode theme will automatically become the default theme of the application.

If you’re using the current Default Theme today, your application will transition over to the Light Mode theme and with this you will see the 2nd column getting a fresh update, and a new grey background.

This view will now become the default theme for all users.

For users in the Dark Mode theme or using High Contrast mode today, you’ll see no change to the appearance of the application as these themes will remain unchanged.

Choose Your Theme

The new Themes options available from September.

As always, you’ll still be able to choose from other themes under Settings > Appearance (on Windows) or Preferences > Appearance (on Mac), if you’d like to switch.

Let us know if you have any questions and if interested, try Teams for free today.

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team collaboration update
August Update for Webex Teams

Wait until you see the new Webex Teams design! There are lots of exciting new features to look forward to this month…

Say goodbye to typos! (Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android)

Edit Message is here! Is everyone as excited as I am? At last, no more copying, deleting and pasting every time we make a mistake! Now, when we see an embarrassing typo in that message we sent, we can edit it with just one click. This will be very helpful for those awkward situations where you accidently send a message with incorrect information, or before it’s fully typed. It takes the stress off hitting send, right?

Buttons and Cards (Windows and Mac)

Bots and integrations are great! They save us time, effort, and sometimes even provide us with a little bit of entertainment. However, for the less technical among us, it can be hard to figure out how to productively communicate with a bot, let alone build one for yourself. Well, that’s all about to get a lot more straightforward!

Buttons and Cards provide an easier way to interact with bots and integrations. The ‘Cards’ will appear as forms sent by bots in a space. They can include buttons, drop-down menus, radio buttons, text fields… the list goes on! The forms will also look sleek with rich text formatting, columns and even images.

What can beat a nice User Interface with a simple point and click process? Even I can manage that.

Developers can update current bots or build new ones leveraging this feature. A great example of where this is going to be helpful is with the Jira bot. You will be able to quickly create or update tickets right from Webex Teams. For more information, take a look here: https://developer-portal-intb.ciscospark.com/blog/new-buttons-cards-webex-teams

App Alignment – Check out the new Webex Teams design! (Windows & Mac)

As you may have already heard, we are aligning our design across the Cisco Collaboration App portfolio to deliver a unified, consistent experience for our users. This is to ensure that they have a familiar calling, messaging and meeting experience, regardless of which app or device they happen to be using. This update includes several visual enhancements to the look and feel of Webex Teams:

  • The Home icon (where your spaces are) is now going to be a Chat bubble. This aligns Teams with Jabber’s iconography.
  • Your avatar (profile photo) and the menu that comes with it, are moving to the first column. This means you will be able to get to your profile, status, or settings no matter where you are in the app.
  • The ‘Light Mode’ theme is changing a little too. The first column is going to be permanently dark and the second column where your spaces are listed is changing to a slightly different shade of grey.
  • This update brings you quicker access to calling and screensharing. By pulling these activities out of the space activity menu, users are just one click away from starting a call or screen share. You’ll see these options now in the header of a space next to the menu button.
  • Speaking of the menu button, the icon for this (occasionally known as the ‘waffle’ button) has been updated to align with Jabber’s three dot ellipsis.

For more information on the visual updates coming to Webex Teams this month, check out this blog: https://blog.webex.com/team-collaboration/webex-teams-design-update/

Bring your Brand to your Users

The visual updates don’t stop there! This August, we are providing the ability for our users (well, our user administrators!) to co-brand their Webex Teams application with their very own color and logo. Admins will be able to apply their chosen logo and color to the first column – on the left side of the app –where their avatar will now be. The company logo will appear just above the avatar for all corporate users. This allows companies to ensure that both their brand and their corporate identity can be reflected in the application experience they provide to their users.

Find out how to co-brand your app here: https://help.webex.com/en-us/np8ictm/Add-Your-Company-Branding-to-Webex-Teams

Use Virtual Stickies on your Digital Whiteboards! (Windows and Mac)

Since the discovery of technology, pieces of stickie paper coming in all different shapes, sizes and colors were at the heart of all software development. These became commonly known as ‘stickie notes’ or simply ‘stickies’. Stickies are great for brainstorming ideas, creating Kanban boards, or just keeping track of things you need to get done. Now, you can create and add virtual stickies to our digital whiteboards! Choose the color, the text, and the position of the stickie on your board. Combined with infinite whiteboard, the possibilities for stickies are endless! It’s time to get creative.

Seamlessly Forward Messages from Space to Space

I don’t know about you, but I tend to lose count of how many times a day I copy or screenshot a message from one space, search for another space to send it to, paste it, and type some context before finallyhitting send. At last, the answer is here!

This new feature will allow users to forward messages seamlessly from one space to another. ‘Forward Message’ will appear as an additional option on all messages along with ‘Edit Message’. Forwarding a message carries the text across to the selected space where it will be staged identically to a quote. Here, users can add context quickly and easily. For this phase of forward, only the message text will be carried over. This means that content itself will not be automatically forwarded, but you can still attach files or images while in the staging area.

As well as being able to forward to an existing space, users will have the option to create a new space to forward the message into. For those 1:1 conversations that end up needing additional peoples’ involvement, this is a fast way to get them into the discussion while simultaneously including some context.

Calling Enhancements in Webex Teams – Unified CM (Windows and Mac)

As we continue to enhance the calling experience in Webex Teams, we have added lots of exciting new features. As long as your account is set up for Unified CM, your admin can decide to add these features.

  • Conference calls—when you’re on a call with someone else, you might want to add other people into the call to start a conference call right away. You can add up to 8 other people into your conference calls started like this.
  • Call forwarding—if you need to take your work calls from another number, you can set up call forwarding right from Webex Teams. Just enter the call forwarding number, and your calls all ring at that number.
  • Single number reach—you can turn single number reach on right from the app rather than going to the Self Care Portal. With this turned on, you can get calls even if you’re away from your desk. If you need to update the phone numbers, you’ll still need to use the Self Care Portal.
  • Secure calls—you can make secure and encrypted calls if your account is set up to do so.

You’ll also be able to merge, conference, and transfer calls when you’ve chosen your desk phone from Webex Teams.

Getting around your threads just got a lot easier…

You can now access your threads (a thread that started from a message you sent, or a thread which you replied to) under the space activity menu (now a three-dot ellipsis button). This way, you can stay on top of the threads you are involved in easier, as well as find them in a space faster. Clicking on an option in this ‘My Threads’ view brings you right to that thread’s position in the message area of the space.

Support for Cisco Headsets (Windows and Mac)

You can now use your Cisco Headset 500 Series with Webex Teams to join your meetings and handle your calls. Plus, you can mute and unmute yourself directly from the headset in meetings and calls, as well as put yourself on hold if you’re on a call.

Further Enhancements to Contact Cards

You might remember we recently added more information to your user contact cards. The goal of this was to quickly provide people with valuable information about their colleagues. This month, as well as enhancing the visual elements of peoples’ cards, we have enabled the user email address to be a ‘Mail To’ link. Clicking this will launch a new email in the user’s default email client. For those users with phone numbers appearing in their contact cards, their number will now be a click-to-call point for their peers.

Suppress Screensaver when Sharing (Windows and Mac)

Now, if you’re sharing your screen while on a call or in a meeting, you don’t need to worry about your screensaver activating and interrupting your share. The share will persist for as long as you’re connected.

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

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Experience our unified team collaboration app
Webex Teams design update

As you may have already heard, we are aligning our design across the Cisco Collaboration App portfolio to deliver a unified, consistent experience for our users. This is to ensure that users have a familiar calling, messaging, and meeting experience, regardless of which app or device they happen to be using. As you embark on your journey to the cloud in support of modern workstyles, this will ensure that the costs and challenges of user change management are kept to a minimum.

Let’s talk through the design changes you can expect to see in the August 29th update of team collaboration tool, Webex Teams…

Layout and Navigation Transformation

As we continue to align with other apps in the Cisco portfolio this August, we will be moving your avatar – and the menu that comes with it – to the first column on the far-left side of the application. This menu provides some key activities; access to your people insights profile, the ability to alter your presence status, the option to change your settings or preferences, and more. This means that this is an important menu to users, and it’s even more important for everyone to know exactly where to find it. As well as aligning with our other apps, having the avatar menu here makes its contents globally available to users, no matter where they happen to be in the app.

While we’re on the topic of the first column, you will also notice that the ‘home’ icon, which ‘houses’ all your spaces and messages, has been updated to be a ‘chat’ icon. All other icons will remain the same as before.

We know how important it is to be able to take certain actions – such as placing a call – quickly. For this reason, we will be making some changes to the in-space activity menu. Popular actions such as making calls and sharing your screen will now be just one click away. For greater visibility and faster access, we will be moving these actions into the space header. All other space activities will remain in the space menu. It might be worth noting that we will also be changing the icon for this menu, changing it from the ‘waffle’, to a three-dot ellipsis. Great news for Jabber users who wish to move to Webex Teams, and for those who prefer kebabs to waffles. As we add more activities, content and integrations to Webex Teams, we will continue to optimise and improve this space menu design to provide our users with the most efficient way to get work done.

Webex Teams Design changes in August update.

You will notice that this isn’t the only change we’ve made to the top of the app. Things are going to look a little… Sleeker. This won’t directly affect how you work in Webex Teams, but it will make the app look a lot neater. What we will be doing is taking over the top bar of the app so that the colors of the columns below blend seamlessly up into the header.

Webex Teams’ Themes

Another thing to mention is that our light theme is going to be changing a little. The first column on the left where your avatar will be is going to change to be permanently dark. The colour of the second column – your space list – will change slightly too, just to a slightly different shade of grey than before. The main reason behind these subtle changes is that we want a theme that will give our users the option to have the exact same design as Jabber 12.7. This way, should Jabber users decide to start using Webex Teams, they will feel like instant power users.

Webex Teams new light mode

Available in August and becoming default theme in September

In September, this updated light mode theme will become the default selection for Webex Teams users. This is so that both Jabber and Teams users will have the same default user experience. If you want to preview this new theme design, you will be able to do so after our August update just by switching to light mode.

Following these changes, we will be keeping the ‘Black & White’ theme available for a time as a user preference. Later this year, we plan to consolidate our themes to two options. This will include the new default light mode and the current dark mode, which is now the convention in both Apps and Desktop Operation Systems. When that time comes, the ‘Black & White’ mode we see in Teams today will no longer be available to users.

Another key motivation for these changes is Accessibility. Improving visual accessibility in our themes like this is so helpful to the many people around the world with low vision. As the theme enhancements above occur, there will be no changes to the High Contrast mode. We will continue to provide this theme for any of our users who experience challenges when it comes to their vision.

With the exciting introduction of Jabber 12.7 this August, users will find a very similar design update to what we have described for Teams above. With these design enhancements in both Jabber and Teams, the two applications will now be directly aligned. As we continue to move towards a unified experience across the Cisco collaboration portfolio, you will be seeing design alignments like this more and more often.

Jabber 12.7 light mode. Available in August

Bring your Brand to your Users

The visual updates don’t stop there! This August, we are providing our users (well, our user administrators!) to co-brand their Webex Teams application with their very own color and logo. Admins will be able to apply their chosen logo and color to the first column – on the left side – of Webex Teams, where their avatar will now be. The company logo will appear just above the avatar for all corporate users. This allows companies to ensure that both their brand and their corporate identity can be reflected in the application experience they provide to their users.

Webex Teams Co-Branding. Available in August

For more information on the new co-branding feature, please check out our help article: https://help.webex.com/en-us/np8ictm/Add-Your-Company-Branding-to-Webex-Teams

We’re very excited about these design enhancements and the added usability benefits they will provide to our users. The new look and improved interaction are just some of what we have to look forward to. That, combined with the alignment of experiences between Jabber and Webex Teams, provides companies with a seamless transition path for their users.

We’re planning lots more design updates and improvements later in the year, so be sure to subscribe to our Coming Soon page and the Webex Blog site to stay up to date.

 

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team collaboration on the way to work
July Update: Team collaboration made simpler

It’s that time again! Here’re some of the exciting new features you can expect to see in our team collaboration tool, Webex Teams, this month…

Threading Made Easier (Windows, Mac, iOS and Android)

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m having such a great time using threads that I’m starting to struggle to keep track of them all. The good news is, the answer is here! Instead of scrolling for days to try and find that thread where you were chatting about something important, you can now go to your in-app filters to find a new addition especially for ‘threads’. This dedicated filter will show you all the threads you are a part of in chronological order. How’s that for organized?

That’s not all. We’re also adding some visual updates to in-space thread notifications. There will be separate indicators for an unread ‘normal’ message and an unread ‘reply’ in a thread. In addition, a very distinct banner will appear within threads to show which replies in the thread have not yet been read.

The future is bright for threading and we are planning even more exciting enhancements for this feature in the coming months.

Mute Them All! (Windows and Mac)

Is that a dog barking? A baby crying? Someone tapping on their keyboard or mouse?

These are sounds we hear almost every time we’re involved in a large meeting, leading to the host repeatedly having to ask attendees to mute themselves. Valuable meeting time can be wasted,and conversation flows interrupted while trying to track down the culprits of background noise. Well, fret no more! You can now mute everyone at the same time!

Fear not, we haven’t taken away your freedom of speech. For anyone who has been muted, they can unmute themselves, just so long as they have something more to contribute than background noise! Anyone in the meeting can ‘mute’ or ‘unmute’ all, and everyone in the meeting except the host and the person muting will get muted. Don’t worry, if you’ve already muted yourself (and your barking dog), that won’t change if someone chooses to ‘unmute’ all.

Move your call here, there and everywhere! (Windows and Mac)
Remember that time you started a call in a meeting room you hadn’t booked? And how much of a nuisance it was to stop the call, bring your laptop somewhere else, and start the meeting again on a different device? Yeah, we’ve all been there.

Thankfully this great new feature is going to make situations like that a lot less awkward. With the new ‘Move Call’ feature for On-Prem Webex Devices, you can start a call on your laptop and move it to any on-prem device that you’ve paired with. And move it back to your laptop. Or to another… Okay, you get the drift! The option is available in the call control strip under the ‘three dots’ button.

Shrinking Images to Save your Data (iOS & Android)

When I’m using Webex Teams on my mobile, there is a high possibility I’m out and about and not in a place where I have a Wi-Fi connection. This means, when there’s a lot of media being shared with me on Webex Teams, I’m draining all my mobile data. Loading an image could mean not having the bandwidth to reply to a message. The same applies when sending media using cellular data.

Now, we’re going to automatically reduce image sizes when they’re being sent, therefore reducing how much data is used both when sending and receiving them. No more worries about hitting that limit!

Integrations Management

What’s that you say? We can now whitelist third party apps using APIs from developer.webex.com? Excellent news! Admin controls for third party apps are now available in Webex Teams. This allows customers to ensure only apps meeting their security and data handling standards will be enabled for their users. For more details on this great new feature, check out this article.

Exciting new features Edit Message and Buttons & Cards are coming to Webex Teams shortly – for full details of the release, check out our help center: here.


Try the Webex Teams 30-day free trial today. Sign up here.

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

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team collaboration in the car
Team collaboration tool, Webex Teams, to the rescue

“What do you mean there is a flood in the building?!”

My response to a message I had received as I was making my drive into the office to participate in an Adoption Masterclass that my team was facilitating in conjunction with our great friends and partners at Sei Mani.

More than ever, in the wide world of SaaS, true adoption of solutions is what keeps the providers relevant and feeds the innovation engine. It’s no longer about how many daily users you have or how many log-ons you monitor. It’s about how your solution is playing a part in transforming business and assisting consumers in achieving more than they thought was possible.

In the Webex Customer Success organization, we’ve spent the last several months partnering with Sei Mani to bring together all of the tested techniques that help guide customers towards real success with integrating software into their business. The basis of the methodology is the “Pillars of Success.” These pillars will guide you through everything from launch and implementation plans to ongoing management, communications, and stakeholder engagement. BUT FIRST you have a very clear understanding of why you’re deploying in the first place. The Business drivers for Webex pack will give you guidance on establishing SMART business drivers for your organization.

This entire methodology of becoming an Adoption Master is what our Customer Success Managers are using in their customer engagements and is available to everyone!

But back to the flood. . . so much planning and time and effort and sweat and tears went into planning the two-day Adoption Masterclass workshop that we were about to host in our Rancho Cordova hub. People flew in from across the state and even across the pond to make this event successful – and now it could all be at risk because of a flood in the building. I immediately pulled over (did I mention that I was driving??) and was trying to come up with plan b – was there a nearby park that we could caravan to so that we could carry on with the workshop??

Then I looked back down at my phone and thought – WAIT a minute – I don’t need to panic just yet – I have team collaboration tool, Webex Teams– I can easily get the skinny on the real situation since Teams connects me with everyone that I need to get in touch with to come up with our next steps. I jumped into the space where all of the workshop participants had “gathered” over the prior to weeks, to preview the workshop agenda, learn more about the prework and share their excitement about getting together as a group. I quickly posted a message to quell the anxiety that was developing amongst the participants – “should we still drive in?? is the meeting room flooded too??”

I then typed in the name of our amazing Lobby Ambassador and quickly messaged her on Teams – “How is our meeting room? What do you advise??” then I let out a huge sigh when she said that our room was just fine and the “flood” was actually just a leak on the other side of the building. WHEW! I then used Teams to call my teammate and let her know the good news – that we could carry on with our plans – crisis averted!

One last quick message was sent to the whole group letting them know all was well! YES! We were able to move ahead as planned. In less than 10 mins I went from panic to peace and was back on the road, headed into the office.  And the best part? We now have 30+ Adoption Masters ready to share and guide our valued customers on to success with Webex!

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building connections through video conferencing
Build personal connections faster in your video conferencing meetings

Ever wish there were someone on your team constantly working in the background to make your meetings run more smoothly? So did we. Meet People Insights.

Our intelligent data platform continuously scours the web for new information, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to create rich profiles for more than 300 million people and 26 million companies (and counting!), making video conferencing easier and more connected than ever before. With comprehensive, up-to-date intel available right inside of Cisco Webex, now you can always be in the know.

Get up to speed in one click.

Collaborating with someone new, but don’t have time to prep? People Insights serves up the latest information on your contacts including bios and recent news, professional history, and key company info. With big announcements, public company earnings, and more right at your fingertips, you can easily find a quick icebreaker or build a better connection.

Quickly access your internal directory.

At big companies, sometimes even meetings with coworkers can feel overwhelming—especially without the right context. Within your coworkers’ People Insights profiles you’ll find internal directory information like their title, contact info, and reporting structure.

Review and edit your profile.

You know yourself best, and with People Insights you have control over your profile’s content. If you’re a Webex account holder, visit people.webex.com anytime to create or update your profile. You can even hide sections of your profile, or hide everything if you’d prefer to keep your information private.

 

People Insights is now available for Cisco Webex Teams and the desktop and mobile versions of Cisco Webex Meetings. Check out the People Insights adoption toolkit to get started.

To learn more about People Insights read the white paper, People Insights: Creating a Human Collaboration Experience.

 


The Webex Intelligence team develops innovative experiences by leveraging state-of-the-art machine learning, conversational AI, and information retrieval techniques. Interested in joining us? Check out our current job openings.

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team collaboration
June update of team collaboration tool, Webex Teams

Sit back and enjoy the ride with our Webex Teams June update. There is so much happening this month within our team collaboration tool…

Threading – chat within a chat!

It’s here! With our June update comes the highly anticipated Threading feature. We understand that sometimes context can be lost within a space with a lot of participants, especially if the message relevant to you was sent hours ago. Now, it will be possible to reply directly to someone’s message, no matter where or when it was sent in a space.

Replies in threaded messages are composed similarly to normal messages, you can include rich text formatting, emojis, and GIFs. These replies are written in an overlay which appears when you click ‘reply to thread’.  Take a look at what’s coming below:

 Unified Communications Manager in Webex Teams

In March of this year, we saw some Unified CM features appear in Webex Teams in preview-only. This month, the integration is complete, and Cisco Unified Communication Manager native Webex Teams registration will be made available to all, allowing you to seamlessly re-use your existing infrastructure to link your Webex Teams to your work phone. This means you will be able to use Webex Teams to call people inside or outside of the organization using their phone (or mobile) numbers.

Numbers can be input directly into the desktop app using the keypad. This means you can put calls on hold, merge, or transfer calls without needing to leave the app.

Now, your team can use Teams to order that Friday pizza!

 Cognitive Collaboration is here!

We are all very excited to announce the release of People Insights in Webex Teams. People Insights allows you to see relevant and useful information about people before you meet them. Without leaving Webex Teams, you can get an insight into who this person is professionally, where they are based, and much more. Having this information at your fingertips allows you to collaborate more effectively when you meet someone for the very first time, thus allowing you to builda better relationship right from the beginning.

To access People Insights in Webex Teams, you hover over some’s avatar or name to bring up their contact card. The contact card will have an extra option now, right next to ‘Message’ and ‘Call’, which will allow to you view a user’s ‘People Insights Profile’.

People Insights only displays publicly available information in these profiles, similar to what can be found with a quick search engine result for a person’s name. If you’re meeting someone from your own company for the first time, you’ll get lots of additional information like their title, contact info and reporting structure.

See Your Favorites First

Get to those important spaces faster! We’ve split out our space list view to place your ‘Favorite’ spaces at the top of the list, while the others will appear below. This will allow you to see at a glance if there are any unread messages in these favorite spaces. Please note that this feature is off by default and can be enabled through your app settings!

Introducing On-Premise Webex Devices

‘On-Premises’ and ‘Cloud’ are confusing words which we hear thrown around way too often nowadays. Why does it matter if my device is On-Prem/Cloud? I just want to join the meeting on the big screen! Now, we’ve made it easier for you do just that, without having to worry about how everything is connected.

We’ve been able to use cloud-registered Webex devices along with Webex Teams, and now you can automatically connect to on-prem Webex Devices in the same way, using the same Wi-Fi network.

Connect, wirelessly share content, and use the device to join meetings quickly and seamlessly. You can share content and control the device microphone during the meeting.

To see info about how to set this up in your organisation, see Allow Users to Connect to On-Prem Devices.

 Emoji Support on Windows 7

It’s time to turn that frown upside-down 😊. Our Windows 7 app now has access to a new emoji library allowing those users to have a similar great messaging experience to our Mac and Windows 10 users.

Even Smarter Presence

If someone’s status shows as inactive in Webex Teams, it is possible they could still be at their computer, just not in the application itself. With this improvement to presence, users will be active in the application as long as they are active on their computer. We’ve also brought some additional fields to our DND status menu allowing you to be more specific as to how much quiet time you need.

We’ve Redesigned our Mobile App

Our teams have been working hard on redesigning out iPhone, iPad and Android apps, so that they share a common code with our desktop apps. What this means is that we will be able to:

  • Release more features for both desktop and mobile at the same time
  • Create mobile-specific features that let us take advantage of the power of the platform!

You’ll be able to see a lot of these benefits already with some of the new features being released this month, such as threaded messages and appearance themes.

Microsoft Cloud App Security

With Microsoft’s Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) you can gain greater visibility and control across user and admin activities, as well as files in Cisco WebEx Teams. This feature is now in Public Beta.

It enables you to create policies to identify sensitive files and risky activities, so that you get alerted when policies are violated, and automatically apply controls and actions, such as deleting messages that contain sensitive files. These CASB capabilities can be implemented via an API connector.

Analytics and Diagnostics improvements

We’ve added support for Webex Share devices in the Device utilization page and also utilization tracking for the new Digital Signage capability.

For IT Administrators in charge of troubleshooting Webex meetings, now, you can search for these meetings based on Participant email as well as previously supported Host email, Meeting ID and Conference ID.

team collaboration


Check out Webex Teams for free: https://www.webex.com/pricing/free-trial.html.

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

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The webexperience of Cisco Live US
The webexperience of Cisco Live US

Over the past week, all the collaboration tech blogs and social media feeds that cover Cisco have been loaded with updates and perspectives on the various keynotes and product announcements at Cisco Live US 2019. With over 30,000 customers, partners, (and surely some interested competitors!), there was A LOT going on in sunny San Diego. One area that was loaded with activity was the Webexperience Theater – home of the Lightning Talks that were given by various Cisco Collaboration executives and SME’s covering a wide array of topics. Across four days there were 35 Lightning Talks and 7 Executive Talks. To give you a little taste of what we talked about, here are some sound bites from those talk.

Selected Sound Bites from CLUS Lightning Talks

  1. On-Premises, Cloud and Hybrid Calling Evolution…  Wade Hamblin (Director, Product Management): “I want to introduce to you today to the new Cisco Webex Collaboration Cloud.  It’s all about how to deliver your calling, your meetings, your team collaboration, and your contact center solutions across award winning devices with enterprise grade security, open & intelligent platforms to build and deploy on, hybrid and cloud architecture that gives you the flexibility and agility to do what you want.”
  2. The New Webex Calling  Sonali Karnik (Senior Manager, Cloud Calling Product Marketing): “Webex Calling is the integration of the Broadsoft acquisition of cloud calling into the Cisco Webex platform.  So this is bringing together the best of cloud calling with the power of the Cisco Webex platform.”
  3. The Power of the Platform…  Jono Luk (Director, Product Management): “If you look at where Webex is going, we’re helping with education, we’re helping with healthcare, we’re helping with verticals where you have to be able to rely on your platform.  That’s the first and most important quality of the collaboration platform.”
  4. Jabber & Teams Working Together…  Shane Long (Technical Marketing Engineer): “What is Jabber Team Messaging Mode?  It’s a relatively new deployment model of Cisco Jabber where it’s a hybrid approach where you can deploy your Jabber client as per usual with UC Manager.  So you’ve got your rich calling feature set from soft phone, desk phone, multi-line, some contact center features, VDI, etc.  however with Jabber Team Messaging mode we’re taking advantage of the power of the Webex Teams Platform.”
  5. Adopting Webex in EducationSuzanne Phillips (Collaboration Adoption Manager): “As I’ve been talking to teachers, the number one most thing they’re excited about is figuring out how do we allow students to collaborate with each other and give them the tools so that even when they’re in classroom times they’re able to work together and pick off each other’s brains or when they’re at home the learning doesn’t have to stop and they can work on things like group projects outside the classroom. Other things people are excited about Webex is when you can have remote virtual experts join your classroom.”
  6. Webex + Meraki…Jing Zhang (Senior Product Manager of Cloud Calling): “We’ll be building bridges between applications: Jabber, Teams, Meetings.  Bridges between the platforms: Webex Meetings, Calling, and also our on prem and cloud altogether as a hybrid.  And we are also building bridges with Cisco Collaboration and other SaaS services:  Microsoft, Google, and Apple.  Today we are going to talk about another bridge.  Another different type of bridge that is bridging the network (Meraki) with collaboration.”
  7. People Insights… Maureen Vild (Technical Marketing Engineer): “What is People Insights? An AI-driven platform, a massive ingestion engine, this huge database.  This engine is constantly pulling information from the web – public information, on people and companies.  We’re starting with Meetings but eventually it’s going to be across our entire collaboration portfolio.  We’re taking that information, we gather it, we parse in, we attach it to a person, and we put it in Meetings in the form of a contact card.  This is going to transform the way you relate to people in meetings.
  8. Intelligent Video Devices…Scott Edwards (Senior Director, Product Marketing for Webex Meetings, Teams, & Devices): “We want to make that technology become invisible to the end users.  We don’t want you to learn the technology. We just want you to have a natural way and a seamless way to have a meeting experience.  And that’s our goal – to make technology to become invisible.”
  9. Jabber VDI…Bryan Morris (Jabber Product Manager): “So basically what we’re trying to do here is bring the capabilities for a VDI user, or a virtualized user, up so they have a comparable feature set (Presence & Instant Messaging, Desk Phone Control, Softphone, Video) to the full desktop users in your organization.”
  10. Webex Edge…Ken Snyder (Business Development Manager Cisco Webex Worldwide Go-to-Market): “[Webex Edge] is one of the most impactful products in the history of Webex.  This enables us to bring our rich heritage, our powerful Cisco networking best-in-breed solutions and combine that with our Webex platform and deliver that to our customer in a seamless connected experience so they have this true hybrid meeting experience that’s going to optimize their costs as well as drive the best, meaningful meeting experience.”
  11. Evolution of the Unified Client Experience…Lorrissa Horton (VP & GM Webex Teams, Jabber, & Intelligence): “Both [Jabber and Webex Teams] are unified clients in their own right.  They do calling, messaging, meetings, one on-prem, one in the cloud.  What we’ve been doing over the last year is really consolidating all of these capabilities into a single platform to minimize the user experience changes and really the overall change cost to you as an administrator and you as a manager training your employees just to get their work done.  So, we’ve taken the overall user experience, the look and feel, and have really made it common across Jabber and Webex Teams so it doesn’t matter if you’re an on-prem architecture or a cloud architecture, your experience is the same.”

How do you summarize a week’s worth of non-stop content and announcements and messaging across our full list into an 800-word blog?  You can’t!  But hopefully these little teaser sound bites will whet your appetite to learn more! Full videos can be found on the Cisco Collaboration Facebook page.


Experience Cisco Collaboration for yourself and give Webex Meetings or Webex Teams a try for free:

https://www.webex.com/pricing/free-trial.html

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team collaboration tool integration
Team collaboration tool tightly integrates with Microsoft Office 365

Early this year, you may have read how to share, save, or edit the latest OneDrive and SharePoint Online files from Webex Teams. With this, there is no more versioning trouble and no need to leave your favorite app for a meeting, messaging, or whiteboarding. 

And now, with Office 365, Webex Teams evolves your collaborative experience in another context.  

You now have the ability  continue your Webex Teams conversations within the Office application of your choice including Powerpoint, Word, Excel. This functionality is brought to you by the new Webex Teams add-in for Office 365.  

You may have seen and enjoyed it at Cisco Live San Diego, but if not, here’s a glimpse: 

 So, when should you use the add-in?

These are a few of our recommendations/real life scenarios on the best uses of this add-in:

  • When you’re so “in the zone” or extremely focused in the Microsoft Office application that you don’t notice what’s happening around you
  • At times you want to reference messages from Webex Teams
  • When you want to send a quick clarifying question to a teammate 

We are committed to eliminating app switching. 

And there are messaging capabilities: 

To get the info you need to finalize your Office document, you may chat with teammates over Webex Teams in different ways: 

  • Search for an existing space with them 
  • Create a new space dedicated to the Office file work and add participants 

The beauty of this experience is demonstrated at the next opening of that Office file. The same persistent space will be opened magically so that users won’t have to search again for the most contributing teammates. 

 You can open or close this handy add-in at any time, allowing you to see what you need, when you need. Any messages sent or received via the add-in will be consistent in your Webex Teams application. 

And we are not stopping there. Stay tuned for continued updates and as always, let your imagination go- keep asking us for more! 

Free to use:

To enjoy this experience, all you need is both an Office365 and a Webex Teams account.  

If you don’t have a Webex Teams account yet, no worries we got you covered with our free trial.  

If you have a Webex Teams account already, get the Add-in and enjoy it.  

If you want to learn more, you can do so here. 

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luma health video conferencing
Up-leveling patient care with team collaboration technology

In healthcare today, patients are demanding easier and faster access to the care they seek. But current statistics show that when a patient schedules an appointment, the wait time is up to 3+ weeks. This, and other factors result in missed appointments with a cancellation rate at 15-30% in the outpatient setting1.

With this many cancellations, many healthcare providers miss opportunities to fill schedules with other patients who may be available or have an appointment booked further out.

Enter Luma Health. And enter team collaboration tool.

Connecting Patients to their Health Systems

Luma Health is  a company founded to connect patients with their healthcare providers in an easy, mobile-friendly way. The Luma Health Patient Engagement platform gives healthcare systems and providers a solution to interact with their patients along their entire care journey from when they call to schedule an appointment to after appointment follow-ups and reminders about health tips and follow-up care.

Recently, Luma Health has created a telehealth bot integrated with Cisco Webex Teams, Cisco’s team collaboration tool. Webex Teams ensures secure work spaces where people/teams can work, message, file share, white board, and host video conferencing calls.

For Luma Health, this integration means they can set up private “room” within Webex Teams so that doctors can video conference their patients and assess them as they would if they were sitting in the doctor’s office. Additionally, Webex Teams is embedded inside the portal, so doctor’s don’t have to navigate between their Luma Health platform and the Webex Teams application.

Let’s talk about that more…

This Luma Health bot/Webex Teams integration comes most into play in a couple scenarios:

  • When a patient who is eligible to meet via telehealth (determined by their appointment type/existing diagnosis), pre-schedules an appointment.
  • When factors get in the way of a patient making it to a healthcare center (i.e. lack of transportation to get to the appointment-helping reach underserved communities who may not otherwise have good access to health care).

For the patient, the telehealth meeting is easy and painless. The meeting is initiated from the provider while a meeting link is sent to the patient as a text message. No downloads are needed from the patient’s side. Once the meeting is completed, the room is deleted and the recording is exported and stored in the patient records.

Benefits from the integration

Benefits are seen for both the providers and the patients. Not only are healthcare providers able to see more patients, patients that may cancel in-person appointments due to time constraints/lack of transportation can meet with their doctors/providers over Webex Teams video calling. This increases revenue for providers and flexibility for patients, while still maintaining a personal patient/doctor relationship.

If interested in learning more about Luma Health, check out their page here.

Explore ways you can use Webex Teams in your business and start a 30 day free trial: here.


 

1:Source: Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicaid and Medicare Acceptance Rates, Merritt Hawkins, 2014; Harmony Healthcare IT, 2014; How Patients Want to Communicate with Their Physician, 2014.

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Building the foundation for the future of education - Video Conferencing -1
Building the foundation for the future of education

I’ve been a teacher for twenty-seven years, covering everything from common and higher education, to courses for faculty members and corporate trainers. I live and work out of the small town of Howe, OK and love the ability to bring new opportunities to my students. Right now, I’m teaching online classes our regional college throughout the year as well as music classes at the local high school. With the help of Cisco Webex video conferencing, I’ve been able to expand on-going learning opportunities for my local and online students, as well as other teachers across the world. Webex is an amazing conduit for learning that isn’t limited to any specific grade, age or station in life. Here’s how it works…

Setting the stage

Learning happens ‘round the clock, but it’s often hard to schedule opportunities to work with individuals outside of the set class time. It is quite honestly one of the most difficult tasks in my teaching. Available times vary wildly from week to week, and between my schedule and those of my students (both online and in the classroom), their parents, and open facility availability, “get-togethers” are difficult to coordinate. Gone are the days of putting up a piece of paper sign-up sheet outside my office door.

How Cisco Webex Education Connector Works

I need to use a tool where both I and my students already “live.”  The tool that all my classes have in common is the learning management system. This system is where my assignment due dates, grades and quizzes already live. And now, thanks to the Cisco Webex Education Connector,  it’s also how I schedule my office hours at the college, as well as my parent and teacher conferences at the high school. The Cisco Webex Education Connector plugs directly into my course and provides a straightforward way to choose a time, determine a window of “buffer” or “break” between meetings, and give each of my students a unique meeting location, whether on or off campus.

Office hours and parent/teacher conferences aren’t the only use cases. As an educator, I can customize the Webex Education Connector to operate based on my workflow and preferences. From group classroom collaboration, to video conferencing meetings, to office hours, it’s the same process.

Additionally, class rosters are synchronized with the Webex cloud. There’s no worry about who can access what, the connector takes care of all of that.  This means that I can communicate with my students or their parents, share files, and automatically distribute reminders to join classes. As a teacher, I can chat with individual learners or groups, and I can also start a live video call with them whenever they need help. It’s so easy! There’s no external place I need to go to. It’s all within the learning management system. The collaboration tool is organically tied to where the class materials exist.

In just a few clicks, I can schedule all my classes for the school year. I can even delete sessions if I know there are holidays or other events happening. Creating everythingonce, via a single interface, keeps it simple. I can choose to record any or all of my class meetings, and every recording is automatically linked inside the LMS with an encrypted password. As a teacher, I have unlimited recording storage. That means I’ll never run out of “space” in the middle of class. When scheduling a live class, I can set up multiple different hosts or team teachers so my they ca start the session for me.

If you’re considering this workflow, Cisco has created a thorough step-by-step guide that helps the adoption of Webex in your educational environment. It includes promotional tools, lesson plans, and specific tips for teachers, students, and admins! There is no cost for this guide and I encourage you to check it out here.

To join the conversation, check out our Webex Teams space to experience and participate in our live discussion from the webinar. While there, you can also connect with other educators and subject matter experts!

Next Steps

Re-watch our latest webinar session and see more pre-recorded quick classes below!

 

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team collaboration
May update of team collaboration tool, Webex Teams

From industry leading data centers, all the way down to protocol handlers, the Webex Teams product team have been busy again during May…

Context for your Contacts

Starting this month, you’ll have the opportunity to get more context for your contacts when you visit a Contact Card in our team collaboration tool. With additional fields on the contact card you’ll now see manager name, department name, and role title, along with email address and contact number. So, you’ll no longer have trouble figuring out if it’s John Smith from Marketing or John Smith from Finance reaching out to you!

Bring People Together

In the past if you wanted to add more than one person to an existing space, you had to add new contacts one at a time. This was slow and tedious, so we fixed it! Now you can add up to 50 people to a space at any one time, so no excuses for getting people together to get your job done. Just search for your contacts, select each contact to stage them and add them to the space. Pretty simple right?!

Launch Webex Teams from anywhere

There’s a really nice new feature in our May release which delivers support for Webex Teams protocol handlers. This will allow you to embed a link or picture into a webpage (Think of your company directory) or as a signature on your email which when clicked will cross launch Webex Teams and bring you to a 1:1 or Team Space. We’re also delivering support to initiate a Webex Teams meeting through an additional protocol handler. Both great ways to allow you to collaborate quicker with your team.

Check out all details.

Create the next infinite masterpiece

With Infinite Whiteboard, we’re bringing the ability into the Webex Teams app so that as you whiteboard and move toward the edge of the screen you’ll get even more canvas to work with. Hey, why not use our Infinite Whiteboard to create the next masterpiece!

With Whiteboards, we’re also adding the option to share a new whiteboard into a meeting with your colleagues allowing you to get collaboration started faster and we’ve moved your annotations into the same location as whiteboards.

New data centers

As an industry first, we at Webex Teams are delighted to announce the launch of new data centers in Europe to host customers’ identity information and encryption keys which addresses data locality needs without compromising the global collaboration needs of our customers. These data centers augment the existing data centers in North America, which currently host and serve all our Webex Teams customers.

Users can continue to collaborate (message, meet, call) with anyone across the globe using a single, global identity so your experience is unaffected by the location of individuals’ data storage.

Check out more details on Data Locality here : https://blog.webex.com/2019/05/collaborate-across-the-globe-with-cisco-webex-teams/.

Lots happening as usual at Webex Team but there’s even more happening, check out the full list at What’s New page https://help.webex.com/en-us/8dmbcr/What-s-New-in-Cisco-Webex-Teams.


Try Webex Teams for free.

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

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