Categories: Hybrid Work

Inclusive, flexible, secure: Shape the future of hybrid work with Webex

This week I’m in Las Vegas for Cisco Live 2022 – and what an amazing turnout, both digitally and in-person! My Webex team went All In to bring our hybrid work solutions to life in a variety of sessions and settings so participants everywhere can learn about and experience them first-hand. Of all the experiences at Cisco Live this year, the World of Solutions is one of my favorites. There, we showcased new hybrid work solutions for home, the office, and on the go, spotlighting some of our newest and coolest customer integrations – Webex Hologram, Callisto (Webex, Lockheed Martin, and Amazon for NASA’s Artemis I mission), and Ford’s integration of Webex for the ultimate mobile office. Apple and Webex continue to make collaboration magical through the power of Webex and iOS with Move to Mobile and updates to Webex for CarPlay.

 

I also sat down with, Ed Green, Head of Commercial Technology at McLaren Racing, in an IT Leadership session, where we discussed how McLaren Racing has reimagined their workspaces and how McLaren’s F1 team is using Webex to collaborate in entirely new ways. And later teamed up with Chris Stori, SVP/GM of Cisco’s Networking Experiences team, for an Innovation Talk, where we dove deeper into how together, Cisco’s collaboration, networking, and security solutions, are the key to Thriving in a Hybrid Work World.

We’re clearly reaching a new stage of hybrid working.

Over the past few years, video meetings have been the de facto alternative to in-person interactions. And while video meetings remain important, collaboration today is much more than a meeting. Collaboration is about key moments of productive, real-time and asynchronous engagement between people everywhere. This new mixed mode of work presents new challenges that require new solutions and new habits to be formed. The future of work is being shaped now, by all of us, as we learn new best practices that will influence generations of work to come. Understanding the optimal way to get things done for different settings, different organizations, and different interactions requires a fresh look at how people are using these tools, and then evolve or create policies and processes to support this new paradigm.

To support your decisions with insights, Cisco released its new Hybrid Work Index (HWI), a snapshot of user habits and technology usage patterns that are reshaping work. The Index is based on millions of aggregated, anonymized global data points from Cisco’s collaboration, networking, and security platforms. Let’s take a look at some of the key findings.

Participate your way

People are engaging more with inclusive features. Use of Closed Captions in meetings increased by 467%. Real-time translation use increased 164%. Participation in Live Q&A and polling increased by 56%. All of these capabilities facilitate communication and understanding which translates into a much more fulfilling work experience. Going forward, all collaboration platforms will need to move beyond the basics so everyone can participate fully in a way that is natural to them.

Participation also requires equal representation on screen. One of my favorite solutions for hybrid work – and one that customers ask me about most frequently – is People Focus. People Focus is a layout option on Webex Devices and in the Webex App. It uses camera intelligence to enhance the view of the conference room for remote participants using smart cropping to remove excess floor and ceiling space, creating an optimized view where the entire screen real estate is being used. We’ve expanded the People Focus capabilities to include Frames view.

Traditional View

People Focus View

People Focus + Frames View

Frames is a camera control option that uses intelligence built into the device to provide an improved view in any meeting – including those on third-party platforms. Learn more.

We’re also introducing cool, new AI-enabled capabilities in Vidcast, our asynchronous video messaging app. I use Vidcast all the time to share quick updates with Collaboration employees around the world – and I often wish I could change a few words here or there instead of doing a whole new take. Now, it’s possible – with the addition of a transcript editing tab in the Vidcast ‘creator panel’. I can easily edit the transcript text to remove filler words such as ‘um’, short phrases, or entire sentences. The built-in AI-editing automatically clips the video to align with the updated transcript for seamless playback.

Discovering new, relevant content is also getting easier with the addition of intelligent discovery. Most of us are familiar with the ‘Recommended for You’ feed common on streaming services we use. Soon, Vidcast will do the same, providing a feed of videos Recommended for You on your Vidcast homepage based on your teams, preferences, and what else is trending in your organization. Learn more.

Flexible solutions help ensure a great experience for all

Exchanges with people both inside and outside the organization are becoming quicker and more fluid. Today, 1 in 3 meetings include at least one external participant. 84% of messages with outside parties are sent in 1:1 spaces. These trends will continue to evolve. Collaboration tools need to be flexible to support different interactions, work styles, and workspaces – and adaptable to evolve as new working habits form.

That’s how we innovate at Webex. Innovations and enhancement in one area are applied across others. For example, our industry-leading background noise removal capability was first introduced in Webex meetings, then Webex Calling, then Webex Contact Center. And now, we’re taking call quality a step further to ensure that both internal and external calls are free of background noise and extending the background noise removal capability to PSTN calls with external, non-Webex Calling users. So, if you’re using Webex Calling and are hearing distracting noise from an external caller who isn’t using Webex Calling, you can eliminate that caller’s background noise with a single click in the Webex App.

We apply this approach to devices as well. For example, our new Cisco Video Phone 8875 is the first phone designed for hybrid work. It’s great for the home or for shared spaces in an office. And it includes all of the high-quality call and meeting features you’re used to with Webex – as well as the latest hotdesking capabilities. Learn more.

And it can be serviced remotely in Control Hub – which is a big hit with IT Admins and end users.

Free your time by automating tasks

Ensuring technology works perfectly for everyone, all the time, presents new challenges for IT Admins. So we’ve made it easier to provision and configure changes in Control Hub with Templates that can be used to set and apply policies across groups and users. Need to add a new employee to the Active Directory or Control Hub? With Templates, you can automatically add the appropriate group licenses and features to the new employee. If an employee changes roles or leaves the company, no problem. Licenses and policies update automatically, including revoking access when an employee leaves. This automation frees up time enabling IT Admins to focus on other matters.

Spot and fix issues before they impact users

Today, nearly every meeting includes video, which puts new demands on the network and the people managing it. Collaboration is the #1 most monitored application globally. When collaboration slows down, it’s a problem. For businesses to run smoothly, IT teams need visibility across all collaboration apps and devices and access to real-time insights.Control Hub gives IT Admins access to real-time audio, video, and network quality information to help quickly spot and troubleshoot issues.

Finding the root cause of an issue can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Meraki Insight generates automated, specific root cause analysis and remediation steps; with one click, you can go from issue to insight to resolution.

But what if the issue isn’t your network? More than 16% of disruptions come from sources outside the UCaaS vendor. And with so many access points, identifying the source of the problem can be challenging. To help address these issues, we’ve integrated Control Hub with ThousandEyes, Cisco’s Digital Experience Monitoring service, giving Webex Administrators full visibility across the network, so they can spot and fix an issue before it impacts user experience.

 

We’re helping shape the future of work together, with you. A range of solutions to support your hybrid work strategies, great user experiences, in a range of price points, that support rolling out at scale. Learn more.

There’s a lot more news from Webex this week. I encourage you to check out What’s New in Webex.

Sources:

Cisco Hybrid Work Index: May 2022 https://www.cisco.com/c/m/en_us/solutions/hybrid-work/hybrid-work-index.html

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Published by
Javed Khan

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