Categories: Collaboration Devices

An Industry-First in Workspace AI for IT

It feels new. With the launch of Chat GPT, AI is exponentially more prevalent in the news and in our conversations than it was just two years ago. The reality is, at Cisco, AI is something we’ve been implementing into our collaboration products for more than a decade.

Today, generative AI permeates across the Webex and Cisco portfolio, working quietly in the background to make work better, more productive, and more intuitive. Generative AI in our Contact Center solution makes customer experience interactions more effective. In the Webex Suite, generative AI changes the way employees work, simplifying and streamlining their interactions. In the Webex App, users can translate their messages into more than 100 languages and receive suggestions to change both their tone and text. Users can even converse with the AI assistant, to catch up on missed information; asking questions like “was my name mentioned in this meeting?” or “was Project Alpha discussed?”.

For our collaboration devices, we had the foresight to partner with NVIDIA back in 2015 because we knew the future was AI. Today, we’ve released our third generation of devices with NVIDIA modules; we now have almost a decades-worth of machine learning libraries guiding our newest innovations. In 2024, our devices are so advanced that they eliminate the impact of distance between geographically separated teams. We call this “Distance Zero”. Our cameras intelligently switch between multiple cameras to give participants the feeling of being in the room, even from thousands of miles apart.

Empowering Cisco’s IT Users

I always say that at Cisco, we have two users: the first is the people in the room, using the devices and applications. Our second user is the organization and team that is running our service. We develop technology for both; that’s where Cisco has a unique offering in the market. As it turns out, we know a thing or three about networking and security. We understand the IT experience.

Ultimately, IT’s experience matters greatly; we strive to make it easy to deploy AI-powered experiences at scale across deployments. So, Webex Control Hub is a one-stop shop for IT Admins to manage their contact center, application, and device deployments, with AI quietly working in the background to improve the experience.

An Industry-First in AI for IT Admins

Today, we are thrilled to take it two steps further, with two big announcements for management. First, the industry’s first AI-powered Workspace Ranking. Control Hub will proactively rank workspace issues across global deployments in order of severity, utilizing a powerful algorithm that factors in issues, usage metrics, upcoming meetings, and more.

By listing workspaces that require attention in order of necessity, IT teams can differentiate minor problems from significant fire drills. With it, we’re making it even easier for admins to identify, prioritize, and resolve issues proactively – before they become a fire drill.

For instance, take a look at the first workspace listed above. It’s first on the list, which means it most critically needs attention. We can see that it has 6 upcoming meetings starting at 2 o’clock. If this workspace isn’t resolved by 2:00, that is a significant disruption to productivity. Control Hub has identified the issues in the room, two devices being offline, and IT teams can send resources to resolve the issue before the scheduled meetings begin.

Remotely Access and Manage Devices

Let’s take it one step further. What if you didn’t need to send your IT teams to the room; what if you can save time to resolution by resolving device issues from right where you are? You could fix multiple issues in the time it takes you to walk over.

With the power of Webex Control Hub, your Cisco collaboration devices can now be remotely managed from anywhere. Right from their desk, IT admins can remotely see and interact with the device, displays, and control panels as if they are in the room. The use cases for this are significant: remotely onboarding an MTR device, supporting an in-room user, and even leveraging the ‘self-view’ feature to get a visual of the workspace. To protect our users’ privacy, the device asks any in-room occupants for their permission to remotely-access the device. It’s a powerful new capability and is planned for beta late this Summer.

New Devices Now Orderable

At this years’ Enterprise Connect, we announced two new AI-powered devices: the Cisco Board Pro G2 – a significant upgrade to our Board series featuring a powerful NVIDIA module— and the Cisco Desk Phone 9800 Series. More than a traditional phone, the 9800 is a powerful device for users, IT, and facilities teams alike. In just one affordable desk device, organizations get desk reservations and hotdesking, workplace safety features, and enterprise calling. And great news – the 9861 and 9871 models are available now to order. These new devices are among the most secure, sustainable and manageable devices we’ve ever created – I couldn’t be prouder of the team.

Our aim is to deliver the best, most inclusive experience for our users, and that includes IT. With the power of Cisco’s devices and the Webex Control Hub, AI works quietly in the background, bringing together parabytes of data in-real time. You get a centralized view of your entire ecosystem – users, devices, workspaces, network, software, and third party peripherals – all in one place.

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See more from Webex at Cisco Live 2024:

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Published by
Snorre Kjesbu

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