Tags: Artificial Intelligence, Cinematic Meetings, Cisco Headset 900 Series, Cisco Meraki, Cisco Room Kit EQ, Communications Platform as a Service, Machine Learning, Webex and Apple, Webex and AT&T, Webex Calling, Webex Calling for Microsoft Teams, Webex Connect, Webex Control Hub, Webex Desk Series, Webex Go, Webex Partner Integrations, Webex Room Series, Webex RoomOS, WebexOne, WebexOne 2023
In the last four years, we’ve seen a metamorphosis in how we work, from radical, instant, and global digital transformation through fundamental changes in how we live, work, and connect. And we’re not going back to the way things were before. First, we’d lose all the incredible gains we made, and second, we now see even more potential for humanity as hybrid work becomes our normal.
But implementing hybrid work successfully is hard, and unfortunately, for many organizations, it is broken. Hybrid work is both different and harder than when most people worked in the office or when most people worked remotely.
And we know that, right now, you’re struggling with maintaining your company culture and engaging and building high-performing teams. The role of the office is still changing, and we’re still learning how to be inclusive when some people are in the office and others are not.
At Webex, we’re more committed than ever to helping our customers solve problems like these by helping you reimagine work, workspaces, customer experience, and IT. For the last four years, we’ve worked hard to enhance our portfolio and the underlying Webex platform by adding tools and features to help you navigate hybrid work.
But this year is different because we’ve added pervasive, generative Artificial Intelligence across the Webex platform that powers all of our solutions. We have reimagined and reinvented our portfolio to be AI-enabled, making Webex smarter, more efficient, and easier to use in every way.
At Webex, we’ve been leveraging AI for years, delivering immersive experiences across three main areas: Audio Intelligence, Video Intelligence, and Language Intelligence. Features like background noise removal, people focus, and automatic translations were just the start. But if there’s one thing about the Cisco Collaboration team, we never stop innovating. So now, we’re looking to the future – a future where AI is everywhere and in everything.
Today, I am excited to announce the Webex AI Assistant. This new AI Assistant can help you get caught up on a meeting you are late to in real-time, summarize an hour-long meeting recording into just a minute, or even identify and solve a customer support issue before it’s submitted. We have designed AI in the Webex platform to be low touch or even zero touch for many use cases. Plus, it’s seamlessly integrated into the tools you already love.
An assistant is only as good as its AI, and AI is only as good as its data. Leveraging audio data to populate a meeting summarization is worthless if the audio quality is too poor to be understood for the transcription. This is where our new Webex AI Codec comes in. By leveraging breakthrough technologies, we can deliver remarkable audio quality, even with poor network conditions, while using a fraction of the bandwidth. This is a true end-to-end solution for speech enhancement and highly resilient communications across the Webex platform. Similarly, our recently announced Super Resolution for video enables high-definition video even in low bandwidth conditions. But better audio and video quality are just the beginning.
With AI, most of the industry has focused on text inputs, which Large Language Models (LLMs) use to deliver enhancements like automatic transcription and translation. But richer information comes from audio and visual cues – like tone of voice, facial expressions, and gestures. Non-text cues provide invaluable context around human interactions.
That’s why we have developed all-new Real-time Media Models (RMMs). These RMMs will take multiple audio and video streams and produce rich real-time insights – an industry first! The secret sauce behind AI Assistant is our ability to bring these three pillars of intelligence – audio, video, and language — powered by LLMs and our new RMMs — together into a single, incredible, and incomparable experience. A tremendous amount of data is required to enable these intelligent experiences, and with that comes a tremendous amount of responsibility. That is why Cisco utilizes a Responsible AI framework outlining our commitment to managing AI development in a way that augments our focus on security, privacy, and human rights.
What does it take to make hybrid work, work? It is crucial to promote an inclusive and productive experience for all individuals, regardless of their location or the tools they use. That’s why we have taken a platform approach with Webex. This means that when new capabilities are developed, including Artificial Intelligence, they are available to users across our portfolio. The new AI Assistant is a game changer for productivity and overall employee experience.
Coming soon, your recorded meetings will include automatic meeting summaries with chapters, highlights, and even personalized action items, allowing you to get to the most critical information faster. Automatic highlights and chapters will also be available in Vidcast, our video messaging tool.
In the Webex App, new features like space and message summaries will significantly improve productivity. And if you have ever wanted to rephrase or change the tone of what you are trying to say, the AI Assistant can do that for you with a couple of clicks. It will even be able to translate text into another language. Webex AI Assistant will make messaging effortless.
We all have tools that we love to use. At Webex, we have a long, rich history with Apple, enabling collaboration on the go using the devices you love. From Apple CarPlay integrations to rich native experiences on the iPad, iPhone, and Mac, Webex is designed to work with your preferred platform. Today, we are extending our commitment to integrate with the Apple ecosystem by adding support for Apple TV 4K and the Apple Watch – coming soon.
With all of the tools and devices that a modern collaboration platform offers, calling remains the most fundamental. Collaboration does not work without a reliable dial tone. Webex Calling is more than just a phone on your desk; it’s a comprehensive solution delivered from the cloud, seamlessly integrated into your Webex App, your mobile phone, and even your desk phone. Businesses ranging from large enterprises to small startups, hospitals, government entities, and more already benefit from its versatile functionality. Only Cisco delivers the most robust calling solution for all of these verticals. That’s why over 13 million (and growing) worldwide users trust us with their calling needs every day.
We are taking Webex Calling a step further. To support the needs of businesses that may not require a full-fledged contact center, we’re announcing Customer Experience Basic, a collection of features that deliver call center-like functionality — seamlessly integrated into Webex Calling at no additional cost! Alongside features like the multi-call window and the audio intelligence features you love, we are excited to introduce Voice Queues. With Voice Queues, you can easily support high call volumes with flexible announcement options, welcome messages, estimated wait time messages, call routing, and call-back options. Moreover, everything mentioned is also available within Microsoft Teams through our native Webex Calling integration.
Webex Calling isn’t confined to a desk phone or an app. These powerful calling capabilities are also accessible on your mobile phone native dialer through our Webex Go (BYOD) mobility solution. That means two numbers on the same phone, one for personal use and one for work. It is currently available in the US and the UK and coming to France soon.
In addition, for enterprises looking for a corporate-managed, secure, and compliant mobility solution, we are thrilled to announce that Webex Go with AT&T, one single, business-provided mobile phone number for everything, is available to order today. With Webex Go with AT&T, users can enjoy powerful enterprise-grade Webex Calling on their corporate mobile phones, all delivered over AT&T’s fast and reliable 5G network. Webex Calling is more than just a dial tone; it’s a game-changer for businesses that need reliable, secure, and robust communication capabilities.
Our customers love the Webex Suite for its robust and comprehensive solutions, but they also love it because of the value it provides. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. A recent Forrester Total Economic Impact Survey proves it. With the Webex Suite, companies saved $30 on average per user per month, realizing an over 200% return on their investment. No one else delivers so many innovative capabilities at such a great price. That’s the power of the Webex platform!
The pandemic made it clear that being able to support remote workers is a necessity for most companies. For some, that is a significant change. But what about the in-office experience now that remote is an option? Is it just business as usual? We don’t think so.
Data suggests that 98% of all meetings have at least one remote participant. And with only an estimated 11% of meeting rooms being video enabled , many companies face a big gap in delivering an inclusive employee experience. Our goal is to give organizations the tools necessary to bridge that gap so that distance no longer impacts experience or productivity – we call that ‘Distance Zero.’
I am excited to announce the latest addition to our portfolio of award-winning video devices: the Cisco Room Kit EQX. With the Room Kit EQX, design meets performance and offers some of the most advanced hardware we have ever shipped. It is an easy-to-install package for a flagship room experience. Our groundbreaking Cinematic Meetings, with AI enabled by RoomOS and a powerful NVIDIA Jetson modules, makes the most important meetings feel virtually in-person. Of course, the Cisco Room Kit EQX will join our comprehensive portfolio of devices certified for Microsoft Teams Rooms.
We have also developed a blueprint for an all-new Cinematic Meeting experience to support more boardroom layouts. Campfire meeting spaces allow in-person meeting participants to be seated around four quad-cameras and screens at eye level, enabling the effect of face-to-face collaboration for all participants, whether virtual or in-person, thanks to our AI-powered intelligent framing.
Hybrid Work means also supporting workspaces that might not be as private or controlled as a boardroom. In these instances, it’s hard to beat a great pair of wireless earbuds – built for hybrid work. That’s why we announced the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950 earlier this week. With Bang & Olufsen’s legendary audio quality, adaptive noise cancellation, and enterprise-grade on-ear call control, these are the perfect earbuds for your work calls. These premium earbuds are optimized for the Webex App, Cisco Phones, and our Desk Series. IT will love them, too, as they have Cisco’s industry-leading security and manageability built-in with Control Hub.
For more on how we are reimagining workspaces for hybrid work, check out Snorre’s blog to see what else we are announcing this week.
So far, we have talked about how Webex is reimagining employee experiences with the help of AI. But what about the customer? All of us have had good and bad customer experiences, and we can all agree on what a difference a GREAT customer experience can make. Thanks to the power of the Webex platform, the same intelligence capabilities mentioned above are extended to our comprehensive cloud contact center solutions.
If we were to reimagine customer experiences, what would it look like? We would never have to wait, we wouldn’t need to repeat ourselves, and we would feel like we had a personal concierge who understood our situation. With the help of the Webex AI Assistant, we can now deliver this.
Our self-service capabilities, supercharged with AI-powered virtual agents, allow most requests to be handled digital-first. When a case needs a human touch, the conversation is seamlessly handed off to a live agent who is brought up to speed quickly, thanks to the all-new AI-generated Conversation Summaries. These automatic text and voice conversation summaries ensure context carries so customers don’t have to repeat themselves. We are taking it a step further by giving agents generative AI Suggested Responses, increasing agent efficiency and effectiveness.
Of course, agents need to be at their best in any contact center, which means looking after their well-being. Our all-new AI-powered Agent Burnout Detection allows businesses to proactively address agent well-being by enabling automated breaks, such as Thrive Reset, and real-time coaching after challenging customer interactions.
Great customer experiences are a must for businesses of any size. That’s why we are excited to announce a new offering, Webex Customer Experience Essentials. In addition to Webex Customer Experience Basic capabilities in the Webex Suite, the new Customer Experience Essentials package extends agent and supervisor functionality to customer-facing employees outside traditional contact centers for seamless access to customer experience tools across an entire organization.
With Webex Connect, our Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) solution, organizations can deliver smarter, more personalized interactions across 16+ channels that power rich customer experiences. Today, we are taking customizability to the next level with AI-Powered Personalized Outbound Video for rich video messages that can be fully customized and allow companies to deliver more engaging information.
At Webex, we have the tools available for organizations to reimagine employee and customer experiences. But for that to translate to a successful hybrid work experience, they need to be seamlessly deployed and managed at scale. This falls on the shoulders of IT, often the unsung heroes and sometimes unseen until something goes wrong. That is why we are committed to reimagining IT by elevating its role in transforming organizations.
It all starts with our industry-leading Webex Control Hub. This extremely powerful tool brings administration, user onboarding, licensing, policy management, troubleshooting, rich analytics, reporting, Compliance/eDiscovery, and much more together in one place. Applications, devices, and peripherals across any environment are all visible and configurable in a single portal. Earlier in the year, we announced a new ThousandEyes integration with Control Hub, giving you end-to-end network observability, path visualization, and incredible insights into what’s happening… all the way to the last mile.
Today, we are introducing the next step in network performance insights with Meraki integration. With Control Hub, administrators can quickly troubleshoot Webex Meetings on Meraki networks with quick access to Webex and Meraki data for comprehensive network performance analysis.
Earlier, we talked about how we are leveraging AI to enable incredible experiences for employees and customers. With the power of the Webex platform, those capabilities extend to IT as well, with Webex AI Assistant for Control Hub. IT can now simply ask the AI Assistant a question and immediately receive a response after scouring massive amounts of product documentation and help articles. Thanks to the AI Assistant, IT receives actionable insights easily obtained from large existing data sets. Once again, Webex is transforming the way IT works.
Whether it’s boosting productivity and communication with the Webex Suite, making the office a magnet with Cisco Devices, or delivering connected, personalized experiences with our Webex Customer Experience solutions, Webex by Cisco is committed to helping our customers reimagine employee and customer experiences.
Years of AI innovations have led to a broad set of AI-powered features that are now fused into a single incredible experience in the AI Assistant. Built on the Webex Platform and extended across the Suite, the Webex Assistant delivers on our commitment to make hybrid work, work.
 *Frost & Sullivan, “State of the Global Video Conferencing Devices Market,” October 2022
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