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New Webex by Cisco Innovations Ensures Organisations of All Sizes are Ready for the Future of Hybrid Work
October 29, 2021 News


Written by: Muhammad Zulhusni, Journalist, AOPG

Today’s work environment demands new levels of flexibility to adapt to changing conditions, a distributed workforce and workflows that extend across your entire organisation, customers and partners. And that is what Cisco is bringing to the table.

Jeetu Patel, EVP and GM, Cisco Security and Collaboration, announced at the recent Press & Analyst Executive Roundtable at WebexOne 2021 that Cisco’s new Webex innovations mark a significant step forward in helping their customers unlock the potential of their hybrid workforces – enabling them to collaborate in new ways and drive an inclusive experience.

According to Jeetu, the global trend of a distributed workforce is the future of work, and this mode of a hybrid workforce is actually more difficult than when everyone is working in the office or from home during the pandemic. “In this distributed world, how do we ensure that more people can participate in the global economy more effectively? So, what we’ve done is we talked to a lot of customers, and there are five key areas where we feel like there are key characteristics that you need to have for a great hybrid work solution,” he added.

The 5 key characteristics include:

  • Flexible: Adapts to any work style, role, environment.
  • Inclusive: Equal experience for everyone.
  • Supportive: Focused on safety, empathy, and well-being.
  • Secure: Secure by design, private by default.
  • Managed: Modern infrastructure, frictionless administration.

Along with these five characteristics, Cisco incorporates them into new innovations across its Webex ecosystem, which is the industry’s first and most comprehensive end-to-end hybrid work solution.

In the last year, Cisco has introduced over 1,000 Webex innovations. And Cisco was pleased to announce that they have been focusing on inclusivity and well-being in order to provide a supportive hybrid work environment:

  • AI-powered audio intelligence without distractions: Webex’s optimise for all voices feature equalises voices to ensure that all participants can be heard, regardless of how far they are from a conference phone device. Speaker selectivity now distinguishes intended speech from background noise in order to eliminate distracting sounds.
  • Reduce burnout and increase team engagement: New Webex Collaboration Insights features assist teams in combating common workforce fatigue and empowering personal well-being. Connections track the top ten people with whom users collaborated on a weekly basis, as well as new titles and locations of colleagues. Personal Insights’ Well-being and Cohesion features provide teams with an anonymous view into work time patterns, sentiment ratings, and focus time goals.
  • Asynchronous communication to reduce meetings: On average, only 48% of meeting participants speak (source: Cisco Hybrid Work Index). Asynchronous communication, such as Vidcast, allows workers to record, watch, comment, and react at their own pace while juggling time zones and meeting overload. Vidcast’s beta is now available to the general public at io, with plans to integrate it into the Webex App in Spring 2022.

Cisco’s New Line of Devices

Along with this, Jeetu announced that Cisco is launching a completely new line of devices:

  • Webex Desk Mini: Workers can easily create a workspace anywhere with the new Webex Desk Mini. It has a 15.6-inch interactive 1080p display, a 64-degree HD camera, a full-range speaker, and a mic array for background noise removal. For the first time, Cisco is offering multiple colour options for the Webex Desk Mini and 24-inch Webex Desk (First Light, Carbon Black, or Woodland Green, Nordic Blue, and Desert Sand Limited Editions).
  • Webex Board Pro 75: The Webex Board Pro includes built-in video conferencing, dual 4K cameras, directional audio, two active styluses, and a 55- or 75-inch responsive display.
  • Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980: A high-end business headset that combines Bang & Olufsen’s timeless design, unrivalled craftsmanship, and powerful sound with Cisco’s integrated meeting controls, Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, and frictionless IT management capabilities to ensure long-lasting, secure communications.

It does not stop there. Cisco is also ensuring that their customers get the flexibility and secured workflows to collaborate from anywhere. Firstly, frictionless communication regardless of device or platform: Webex devices support interoperability with Zoom, Microsoft and Google.

Secondly, continuous workflows with embedded apps: More than 60 partner integrations are coming to Webex to prevent users from switching between apps while in Webex meetings and messaging. Smartsheet, Hacker Rank, Thrive Reset, Miro, Mural, and other tools are already available in Webex. In the coming months, more partner integrations will be added.

And last but not least, visibility into the collaboration experience: Cisco Meraki Insight and ThousandEyes assist IT teams in proactive Webex collaboration experience protection. Meraki Insight provides AI-powered root cause analysis to assist IT teams in locating issues. IT teams gain unprecedented visibility into performance issues by leveraging new ThousandEyes Webex Agents for digital experience monitoring.

The Future With Hologram?

Now, one of Cisco’s most significant announcements is the release of Webex Hologram, the industry’s only real-time meeting solution that uses augmented reality headsets to combine feature-rich Webex meeting functionality with immersive 3D holograms.

“Our mission at Cisco is to empower the 3 billion digital workers on the planet to participate equally from anywhere in the world,” said Jeetu Patel, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Security and Collaboration. “Webex Hologram represents a large step toward our mission of delivering a delivering a work experience so seamless that there is no gap between virtual and in-person collaboration.”

There is no set date for when this will be released but according to Jeetu, “This will be done with an early set of customers and beta, and then we’ll open it up over time.”