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How to prepare for the return to work

There are lots of questions facing business leaders these days, but the over-arching question is: what does “back to work” really look like? The answer is, there is no simple answer.

What do we mean by “back to work”

The concept of going back to work is actually a misnomer. First and foremost, people didn’t stop working. Overnight, some companies were forced to change where and how their teams worked, but their teams never actually stopped working.  Video conferencing and collaboration tools became the primary means of maintaining productivity. As a result of these tools and their increased acceptance by the corporate landscape, many companies have even reported seeing an increase in worker productivity, with some reporting a 47% increase.*

A second, and maybe even more impactful consideration is, there is no true “back to work.” As recent events evolve, and local, and state authorities continue to respond accordingly (a phenomenon referred to as “the hammer and the dance”), companies are forced to make plans for a flexible, balanced work environment. There is no clear path for when, where, and how people are going to work. That means it is much like schools and the education system, companies are also coming to terms with flexible schedules and continuing remote or distance working. This is the hybrid approach.

Considerations for a hybrid working model

Companies are beginning to offer hybrid working plans. But what does this look like going forward? For some employees who are deemed essential, they will return to the office full time. Others may opt for full-time remote work. And some may blend the two and operate under a flexible location model. In all cases, tools like video conferencing have to be enabled for all employees because of the changing landscape. You cannot just offer video conferencing to remote workers – everyone will need these tools, as team collaboration will happen across both in-office and remote workers. These hybrid models have now proven to be as effective (if not more) than office-based teams, plus companies realize they no longer need to hold onto and maintain such expensive real estate costs.

woman working from home

 

Office space

In some cases, you will see office space move from traditional headquarters in big cities to smaller offices located where their employees want to be or are already located. Why maintain class-A space in San Francisco or New York when you see your employees flocking to places like Truckee, California, or Rochester, New York? Office space in those areas is less expensive, easier to maintain, and is more efficient for your employees to access. You can build remote outposts to give a headquarters-feel to those remote-teams.

Blended workplace

The “return to the office” concept represents the real evolution of going “back to work.” What I find interesting is that the concept of the “office,” no matter the size of the company, will no longer be defined by a singular building, but by a combination of a headquarters, remote offices, and home offices. The connection between the variety of offices is crucial, which is why I foresee companies investing in video conferencing and always-on devices that enable virtual huddle rooms and stand-ups for people in an inter-connected office environment. I also predict people will still balance home and remote office time in perpetuity, allowing for more flexibility as the needs of family and things like distance learning and homeschooling compete with the needs of the workplace. Virtual collaboration tools like document sharing, screen sharing, and more also become valuable because they enable that flexible engagement model for the workplace while ensuring productivity is maintained at a high level.

Tips for maintaining an effective hybrid approach

To sustain an effective hybrid approach, your company should also consider these factors:

  • Are you offering flexible hours to families and people with children?
  • How is IT accessible to remote workers when they have issues with internet connections and VPN?
  • If you offer devices like desktop videoconferencing units, will IT be available to help manage them?
  • Do your managers have regularly scheduled check-ins with team members that go beyond deliverables and allow for inter-personal connections?

These questions are important to ask so that your remote and hybrid workers feel supported, connected, and part of the larger whole.  After all, you want the whole to be more than just the sum of its parts.

Final thought

Make sure you are your teams are communicating with one another about these types of questions so they can adequately embrace this new hybrid work model and be successful in the years to come.

If you want to learn more about Webex and the value, it can provide your business, reach out for more information, or get started with our free offer today.

Source

*Forbes

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Returning to work with Intelligent Room Capacity

How to create a video conferencing agenda 

How to share real-time data with customers through video conferencing

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communication, video conferencing
Self-evaluating the way you communicate

Communication is important within every facet of our daily lives. Body language, tone of voice, and words chosen, can affect how people perceive you, talk with you, and how they work with you. This is why the way you communicate (or don’t) within the workplace can be helpful or costly for your business. Poor communication can result in misconceptions, missed opportunities, delayed projects, decreased morale, and more.

In an article, “How to Self-Evaluate Your Management Communication style,” Leonard Callejo, Director of Webex Online Marketing, walks through several management communication styles and discusses the importance of not only understanding your own style/method of communication, but also that of the people you work with. However, he adds that style isn’t the only factor in consideration. There are numerous methods for communication in the workplace today that can also affect the message that is being sent.

Callejo says, “matching the medium with the message, as well the communication style of your audience, is a key consideration in improving your communication effectiveness. Because in-person conversations may not always be an option, there are many alternate ways to communicate.”

Read further on how you can evaluate your own communication style, and improve ways of communication through other mediums outside of in-person conversations.

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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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MAHEC’s use case: Removing the friction from video conferencing meetings
Using a video conferencing tool to manage outside vendor communications
Secure, First-Party Recording Transcripts in Webex Meetings
How to incorporate good presentation skills into a screen sharing session

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video conferencing solution that removes communication barriers
3 business communication barriers you can break down with video conferencing

Good communication is essential for any growing business, but all too often, it falls by the wayside. Whether due to personnel failings or technological limitations, many businesses struggle with communications, both internal (between employees) and external (between vendors and/or customers.) Proper staff training is necessary to address the former concern, but the latest video conferencing solutions remove technological communication barriers.

If your staff often runs into trouble clearly communicating with clients, vendors, and each other, then your organization likely faces at least one of the following communication barriers – each of which could be easily removed with a reliable, high-performance video conferencing platform.

1. Miscues and misunderstandings

Employees rely on a number of different platforms to share important information and updates with one another: email, instant messenger, and chat-based apps, to name a few. All are great at providing real-time communication, but can be problematic when discussing complicated problems and projects or attempting to convey nuance to the recipient.

It’s not unusual for messages to get lost in translation when attempting to talk about a complex subject over email or instant messenger. Employees collaborating on a project may misinterpret directions, requiring stakeholders to redo that work and causing delays to other project phases.

In other instances where an email containing next steps is sent to multiple people, it may not be clear who is actually supposed to handle those tasks. Everyone assumes someone else is handling the matter, and nothing gets done.

While some of those cases can be cleared up with a conference call, there is still a risk of project stakeholders receiving the wrong message without a visual component. This is especially likely if callers are reviewing reports, spreadsheets, or other documents over the phone. It’s difficult for everyone on a call to know exactly what is being discussed without a visual aid. 

Video conferencing software gives every participant the ability to follow along as presenters run through project documents in real time. They can interject when they want to give feedback or respond to a particular point. Presenter controls can be passed around so every participant has a chance to present their ideas and annotate shared documents with everyone on the line. It’s easier than ever for teams to communicate with that kind of video conferencing software.

2. Missed non-verbal cues

Another communication issue to be mindful about is body language. When employees are sitting in a conference room together, it’s easy to pick up on non-verbal cues like a smirking smile to indicate sarcasm. A good amount of communication is imparted through more than just our words, and that can be easily lost on audio-only conferences and text-based communication methods.

The latest video conference solutions, meanwhile, offer high-definition video so every participant feels like they are standing in the same room as the presenter. Attendees can see every facial feature, movement, and gesture, so no body language goes unnoticed or gets lost in translation. 

That also helps boost the impact of video conference presentations. Even the most dynamic public speakers will have their messages undercut to some degree if people cannot see them. Reliable, HD video conferencing tools put participants right there in the thick of the action.

3. Out-of-sync teams

Telecommuting is becoming the new norm as the remote workforce grows. According to a 2019 Upwork study, nearly three-quarters (73%) of businesses will have remote workers on staff by 2028. Without proper management and robust communication platforms, it will be difficult for geographically disparate employees to effectively collaborate and communicate with one another.

If remote teams are out of sync and unable to work together on shared projects, the benefits of telecommuting could be undone by the resulting productivity losses. Miscues and communication errors could become the norm, resulting in costly mistakes and delays.

Keeping different teams on the same page, regardless of their location, is far easier with the help of video conferencing software. Employees can collaborate in real time, using screen share features to demonstrate their latest progress and invite meeting participants to update and revise documents while everyone’s on the line. 

Offshore teams are never left out of the loop, either: session recording tools allow users to document the meeting and everything discussed so anyone who was unable to attend can get up to speed in no time.

Technological limitations shouldn’t hold your business back from effectively communicating between coworkers, clients, and vendors. The latest free video conferencing tools offer high-quality performance and powerful features for any organization. Get started with your free Webex plan today to remove your organization’s communication barriers for good.

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4 non-verbal communication cues that are important for growing businesses

Effective communication isn’t just about what you say; it’s how you say it and how you present yourself. The frequently cited “7-38-55 Rule,” established by Albert Mehrabian, posits that words only account for 7% of the message we send when communicating with others. Body language (55%) and tone of voice (38%) have much bigger impacts on personal communication.

Non-verbal communication is incredibly important for small- and medium-sized businesses, from interacting with customers to negotiating with vendors and coordinating efforts between employees. Whether you realize it or not, you may be saying more through your body language than your words. Master the art of non-verbal communication, and you’ll effectively navigate critical relationships with clients, business partners, and staff members in person and during online meetings.

These four non-verbal communication cues, in particular, are vital when running or working at an emerging business.

1. Strong eye contact

A lot of communication happens through the eyes. One of the easiest ways to show people you’re interested and engaged in the conversation is to maintain eye contact. Repeatedly glancing at objects on your periphery will make you seem distracted or bored. It can also come across as a sign of anxiety or a lack of confidence, which can turn away clients and business contacts.

Maintaining eye contact tells customers they have your full attention, and that you are completely engaged and actively listening to what they have to say. Good eye contact is one of the most fundamental non-verbal communication cues, but it’s also one of the most difficult to master. Too much can make people feel uneasy, and even something as seemingly trivial as how often you blink can have a huge impact on how you come across to others.

2. Restrained hand gestures

The right hand gestures express your ideas more effectively. Hand movement can make a speaker seem more animated and invested in the subject matter. Used correctly, hand gestures punctuate statements and add a subtle visual component to verbal communication. 

Like eye contact, there’s a fine line to walk with hand gestures. Going overboard can backfire. Excessive movement can come across as overly aggressive and possibly even threatening. 

Make your hand gestures meaningful and deliberate. Unconscious movements like fidgeting, handwringing, running your hands through your hair, or scratching an itch could make you seem anxious or nervous.

3. Situational facial expressions

Your facial expression can sell an idea or undercut it completely. An employee giving a glowing quarterly performance report will be sending a very different message to business leaders if his or her facial expression suggests fear or concern. 

Facial expressions can seem involuntary, but it’s a skill that’s worth mastering to align your non-verbal communication cues with your message. Unlike some other forms of body language, facial expressions are fairly universal across different cultures and societies. Even if two people don’t speak the same language, they can still convey what they’re feeling purely through their faces. 

Who can forget the famous ending to “The Graduate,” when Benjamin Braddock successfully crashes Elaine Robinson’s wedding and runs off with the would-be bride? There isn’t a single word of dialog in the scene: The audience watches as the young, rebellious couple’s faces as their initial joy and excitement curdles into an uneasy sense of doubt about the future and the rash decision they just made. It speaks volumes without uttering one syllable.

Having control over slight facial movements like a raised eyebrow or slight crease in the lips is a major asset, no matter your line of business.

4. Controlled posture

Whether you’re standing to make a presentation, sitting down at a conference table or attending an online meeting, your posture says a lot about you. Standing or sitting up straight conveys confidence and leadership, making good posture important for communicating with both customers and co-workers. Conversely, slouching or letting your shoulders hang forward sends the opposite message, telling your audience that you don’t really believe in what you’re telling them.

Non-verbal communication cues are essential, especially in today’s business climate where so many employees work remotely and team members frequently collaborate over video conferencing software. A robust web conferencing solution helps ensure that your staff has the tools to communicate with one another and coordinate projects. Instilling the value of non-verbal communication will make those collaboration sessions more fruitful.

Get started with your free Webex Meetings plan today, which includes support for up to 50 participants, crystal-clear high-definition video, screen sharing, and much more.

 

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Apollo 11. One giant leap for Webex collaboration
Apollo 11. One giant leap for Webex collaboration

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. While the names of the three-person team – Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins continue to reverberate through all the discussions and remembrances of this mission, it took a team of 400,000 people to make it all happen.

On July 16th, 2019 – Cisco Webex Collaboration will have the extraordinary pleasure of bringing together amazing people who were part of the Apollo 11 Mission to the moon via Webex technology at the Apollo 50th Gala celebration. We will connect astronauts from the Apollo mission with satellite trackers in Australia and recovery personnel from the USS Hornet who, 50 years ago, collaborated against enormous odds to realize one of the greatest achievements in human history.

Can you imagine what they can do with the tools and digital networks of today? Effective communication and collaboration are mission critical in this era for every project, whether scientific or otherwise. With the right vision, determination and skills, anything is possible. With collaboration technology specifically, projects are completed faster, and they help people communicate quickly, ideate, work globally, and build stronger, better relationships. Exciting times are ahead for the next era of exploration and space travel.

Parkes: Collaboration on a Global Scale

President John F. Kennedy issued his challenge on September 12, 1962, stating “We choose to go to the moon in this decade…not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” In saying this, he kick-started a seven-year plan of inspiration, perseverance, and eventually, achievement. (You can read the transcript and more details about his speech at NASA’s archives here.) His speech launched a megaproject that demanded unprecedented technological innovation and interpersonal collaboration, all against a firm timeline. Keep in mind, this was the age of radio and land-line telephones. There was no internet, no mobile devices or personal computers to connect people.

The race to the moon took seven years, much of it in uncharted areas of engineering, physics and literally, space. Looking back, JFK’s speech may have seemed ambitious and seemingly impossible, but that was the point. We know the human spirit never settles for “impossible.”

Although the Apollo 11 mission was primarily a U.S. undertaking, it required the assistance and expertise of people all over the world. Apollo 11 was more than just a moon mission – it represented the ability of global collaboration in the pursuit of innovation and achievement.

One of the finest examples of this is the story of the Parkes Radio Telescope located in New South Wales, Australia, about 220 miles east of Sydney. To ensure consistent communication with the Apollo crew while the earth itself rotated, NASA needed three radio telescopes, globally distributed and equidistant. Parkes was assigned a vital role, supporting the primary receiver at Goldstone in California. You can read more here.

Parkes not only had to collaborate in real time with Mission Control, but it had to overcome extremely challenging local wind and storm conditions during the very moments of the moon landing. Despite these challenges, the Parkes team succeeded in bringing those images to the people of the world, and thus cemented its place as an exemplary collaborator in the already-inspiring history of the lunar mission.

Cisco Webex Collaboration proud to partner with NASA for the Next Space Era

Today, we are Webextremely proud that NASA is our customer. NASA and Cisco Webex are strong partners in achieving the impossible in space exploration. With Cisco’s IP phones, voicemail, and Jabber, NASA connects teams across multiple centers. Cisco Webex Meetings, Webex video devices, and Cisco UCCX help call centers communicate, both internally and externally, proving that boundaries don’t matter. NASA also uses Cisco VoIP and softphone technology at the International Space Station, with the Mars Rover team relying on Webex to coordinate its mission.

Cisco Webex collaboration and communication technologies are proud to play a role in this next wave of space exploration, by helping to erase distance and build stronger connections between human beings everywhere, from Mars to the Moon, to the Earth and beyond.

Come and see history live! Cisco will be broadcasting a live astronaut panel discussion on July 16that 6:00p PT.

Ready to Webexplore the future of possible? Visit Webex.com to learn more on how we can help you reach your collaboration goals.

Webex, the leader in video conferencing. Start your 30-day trial for free.

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Using video conferencing in business
From a power user: The top five considerations for awesome video communications

As a collaboration technical solutions architect and a member of the social media generation, I have grown up on video conferencing – not as a nice-to-have – but as the de facto standard for both business and personal communications. I’m newly married, and my husband and I use video to connect when we are traveling. My mom and grandparents live in Hong Kong and video calls are the only way we can really “see” how one another is doing, and this was so important when my grandmother was ill. But some of the things we put up with in personal video use are not acceptable for business communications.

In my work life, video is virtually the only medium I use to communicate with my team – all day, every day with people from all parts of the world. I am very fortunate as a tech nut to have played with a variety of solutions in the market today, so I know that not all solutions are created equal. I’ve collected some best practices about what makes for a great video call, and I want to share my top five considerations for awesome video communications with you!

Intelligent, integrated video conferencing devices

Video conferencing in the office

When you are on video calls as much as I am, the ability to use powerful video devices that are integrated with the workflow is not a luxury, it is essential – to maximize simplicity and productivity. These dedicated video devices are not just screens that run video. They’re really smart – AI smart. They connect with the meetings apps on my mobile devices and know who I am when I enter the room. I can use the apps to start a call or simply use voice commands and talk directly to the devices. They can count and recognize people and tell me their names. And they can save documents and whiteboard sessions into team spaces so the collaboration can continue long after the meeting ends.

Aside from the hard benefits, the soft benefits are almost invaluable. They say when you can see the whites in someone’s eyes, you actually see the subconscious truth behind what they’re saying. Those visual cues you get from crystal clear video can play a big role in the success of your relationships, and that is one of the key differentiators between being on a dedicated video system versus a laptop with a web cam.

Please be encrypted by default

If you’relike me, you probably have a post-it note or duct tape over your laptop camera “just in case.” But “just in case” is not a standard I want applied to my enterprise video discussions. I want security and encryption to be turned on by default, so every call and every piece of content shared is protected at rest and in transit. Many meeting solutions on the market say they have security, but it is off by default, which means you have to manually turn security on. That’s almost useless in my book and a non-negotiable when considering video conferencing options. I can’t stress this more: Invest in the most secure video option available where encryption is turned on by default!

Look, Ma:  No plug-ins

As much as we hate it, the mundane task of scheduling meetings is par for the course. A solution that lets you easily schedule meetings from a desktop or mobile without the need for a plug-in is a god-send. Other solutions will make you download a plug-in, which means you may have to put up with buggy software or constant upgrades just to have a meeting. The first step of most video conferences is the scheduling piece, so make this as simple as possible! 

True 1-click to join from any device

I am your typical 21stcentury peripatetic professional. I like to work wherever I am, and that means taking meetings on the road is part of the work/life blend many of us practice today. To be effective, I expect my mobile experience to be as consistent and powerful as the one in my office. One of my favorite features on mobile devices is the ability to automatically join, audio muted – a true one-click join! Actually, the one-click join experience from any device is the standard I’m used to – across all devices and apps. It can’t get any easier than that!

 Meaningful innovations

I see cool innovations in video conferencing fairly often, but they don’t have staying power unless they are meaningful innovations. For example, one of the most interesting features I’ve run across is being able to share an augmented reality 3D image that you can manipulate in your meetings! How useful would that be if you were a graphic artist or CAD designer. Some solutions offer features like virtual backgrounds but I’m more impressed by some of the other meaningful features that I use on a daily basis: voice activated controls, automatic noise suppression and directional audio. I love seeing innovation and cool features in video conferencing, especially ones that can add so much value!

If you would like to see these things in action, schedule a live demo with your Cisco sales team :).

And finally, one personal tip:  Video is a relationship accelerator, so just turn on your camera and let them see the whites of your eyes. You’ll get more from your contacts, both business and personal, and they’ll get more from you.


If interested, check out Webex Meetings or Webex Teams for free:

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

 

 

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Video conferencing and AI
Artificial intelligence is a game changer for online meeting experiences

Let’s face it, virtual meetings can be painful. Have you ever joined a last-minute video conferencing meeting only to realize you don’t know who half the people are or what they do? Or participated in a large meeting where someone forgot to hit mute and decides it’s the perfect time to transcribe their doctoral thesis. These are the kinds of meeting experiences that give distributed collaboration a bad reputation, but artificial intelligence (AI) is about to change all of that.

AI has the power to make our meetings more efficient, productive and pleasant. This new era of teamwork is called cognitive collaboration. It’s the application of AI and machine learning to add contextual intelligence to the entire collaboration experience. Here are just a few examples of how cognitive collaboration can transform your entire meeting experience:

Before the Meeting

  • A zero-touch digital assistant helps remove mundane tasks like joining a meeting, calling colleagues and adding people to your call.
  • If you join from a conference room, the device in the room knows who you are and asks if you’d like to join your meeting.

During the Meeting

  • Detailed information about participants’ work history, blog posts, company and links to social media accounts are available directly in your meeting, so you don’t have to search to learn about your meeting participants.
  • Facial recognition lets you put a face to a name, so when there are multiple participants in a conference room, you can easily identify the people on screen.
  • Keyboard tapping, dogs barking, and other disruptive background noises are automatically detected, and the offending party is alerted with a suggestion to mute.

After the Meeting

  • Transcripts of your meeting are available, so you can search for action items or quickly catch up on what you missed in a meeting.
  • Collaboration continues in a dedicated space for internal and external participants where you can share files, meetings recordings and a meme or two.

The before, during, and after scenario I describe above is only part of what we’re introducing into Cisco Webex. You can learn more about cognitive collaboration on Webex.com. And if you’d like to dive deeper into the topic of AI-driven collaboration, read the white paper “The Future of Collaboration: How AI is Transforming the Way We Work.”

 


If interested, check out Webex Meetings or Webex Teams for free:

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

 

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Effective and secure team collaboration
Effective and secure team collaboration

Today, making sure that employees have the collaboration tools they need to drive productivity is key to company success. In fact, 65% of full-time employees feel that remote working would increase their productivity, and more than 55% of leaders are extending their team collaboration to external parties.

Security is top of mind
At the same time, Enterprise IT and Line of Business leaders need to be sure that shared content, which may include sensitive customer and partner information and intellectual property, stays safe and secure. The impact of security breaches from newer and different types of attacks is significant. Based on a recent security study, security breaches have widespread impact: 55% of organizations have had to manage the public scrutiny of a security breach. And nearly 20% of breaches cost organizations upwards of $2.5M to address.

As the head of the security and enterprise product team for the Webex Platform, I have a laser-focus on helping organizations maximize the productivity of their teams, in a way that supports IT needs.

Bringing enterprise file storage and team collaboration together, seamlessly
And so I am delighted to share more about our recent announcement that Webex Teams now supports native integration with enterprise file storage and Content Management solutions, which delivers on both end-user productivity and IT needs. We have started by introducing OneDrive and SharePoint Online integrations and look forward to sharing details of more integrations soon. Now, why is this important for today’s enterprise?

A proliferation of applications
Enterprises are rapidly adopting cloud and SaaS services in their quest to be more innovative, and to harness market transitions to deliver products and services more quickly and at lower cost. Most companies use dozens of SaaS apps ranging from productivity suites like Microsoft Office 365 to collaboration apps like Webex Teams as well as role-specific tools like ServiceNow, JIRA and Salesfore.com, together with file storage systems like SharePoint Online, OneDrive, Google Drive, and Box.

As content gets stored in so many siloed applications, there is not only an impact on user productivity, as people waste time switching between applications and searching for the latest document versions, but also a huge challenge for IT in keeping files secure across all systems.

As I work with Line of Business leaders and security professionals, one request is consistently highlighted: help them address this productivity and data loss challenge. They need a solution where all user documents are ONLY stored in an approved Enterprise Content Management (ECM) or file storage system and where all SaaS apps simply make use of that content without replicating it.

Addressing the application switching headache – and more
Native integration in Webex Teams with Office 365 increases user productivity by eliminating application switching. It lets users share and co-edit Office 365 documents directly from Webex Teams with no need to learn any new applications.

However, our Webex Teams file storage integration solution not only enhances productivity, but also delivers a unique approach to content security. Here is a short summary of the key features:

  • You can create, open, share and edit files from your file storage and sharing system right in Webex Teams spaces
  • You can define who can see and co-edit any shared files
  • You can upload local files and folders from your computer directly into the file storage system from Webex Teams spaces
  • You can ensure that users can always see the latest version of any file
  • Links to shared files are encrypted end-to-end
  • Our integration works with your chosen DLP and CASB solution. So sensitive information won’t fall into the wrong hands by mistake, even when employees are working with others outside your company
  • No additional copies of files are created as they are shared directly in Webex Teams spaces. No file sprawl!
  • Administrators can block personal or unapproved IT OneDrive or SharePoint Online folders, and only allow approved instances
  • You can turn off native file sharing in Webex Teams to route all content through your file storage system of choice
  • You can enable this integration for a select group of employees or open it to everyone in your company

Security and control
As with any feature that we build in the Webex platform, security and enterprise IT needs are top of mind. The setup has zero deployment cost, requiring just a single toggle in Webex Control Hub. And it requires no change to your existing data loss prevention (DLP) policies, or any need to buy additional licenses. Moreover, unlike our competitors, Webex Teams also provides IT administrators with full control, so that they can decide which SharePoint Online and OneDrive domains or Office 365 Tenant they want to use. This means that only IT approved domains are available for use. Which not only removes data loss risk but also protects against Malware threats.

We also allow IT managers to choose to disable storage of user documents in the Webex cloud while maintaining a seamless user experience. All user files can ONLY be stored in IT’s selected file storage system- including file previews. This screen shows how easy it is to configure content management settings.

Figure 1. Defining an approved domain as the exclusive user document store for Teams 

 The integration has already been well received by our customers and partners. A Collaboration Architect at a large multinational mining corporation commented – “Enabling the enterprise file storage integration has opened new opportunities for us to further drive user adoption of Webex Teams across our business and global teams. This helps our users recognize the true value of the application for teamwork by using the built-in co editing features of Microsoft Office 365 directly from Webex Teams. A great step forward for Webex integrations.” 

 For a quick snapshot of the way that the Webex Teams integration can help increase productivity while addressing the needs of IT, take a look at this infographic. 

Learn more and get Webex Teams

 

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team collaboration webinar
Webinar recap: changing the way team collaboration is done

On February 14, we hosted a webinar around huddle spaces and their importance to the future of work and team collaboration.

Alan McGinty, Senior Director of the Global Workplace Innovation Group at Cisco presented on how the traditional workplace, one that looks similar to a cube farm array, is evolving to meet the needs of current workers and the new generation entering the workforce.

But what does this evolution look like?

The quick answer is: people need the right type of space for specific types of work.

A 2-minute recap:

In this webinar, Alan discussed how four large, global workplace trends are validating the need for changes to workspaces. Here they are:

1) Rapidly changing workforce demographic model. The current workplace needs to support four generations in the workplace (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Digital Natives). Baby Boomers are beginning to leave the workforce and 61 million Gen Z’s will be entering workforce (a generation that has grown up with a digital device in hand). Companies need to be able to support their employees in a way they can work most effectively.

2) Demand for flexibility. Work is transforming into what we do, not where we go. People come into an office to engage in culture, be seen, collaborate. People aren’t coming into the office for the free food.

3) Changing work activities. Work is more automated than ever before. The team collaboration we need to support is around innovation/new ideas.

4) Acceleration and advancement of technology. As technology continues to progress, all companies are becoming technology companies.

 

Luckily, we have the answer to solve for these global workplace trends: Huddle spaces.

A Deloitte survey shows that agility and collaboration are key to company success. And that is the precise goal of huddle spaces: for teams to come together quickly and effectively to collaborate and make decisions.

When you think of a team meeting, what comes to mind? A room with chairs, a table, and videoconferencing device?

While yes, this is a type of huddle space, it’s just one in a sea of many. Huddle spaces can take many forms, in many locations. The most important factors are that the technology and the space create a cohesive user experience and empower employees to perform most effectively to do the work they need to do (ie: sharing content, making audio and video calls, white-boarding).

For more in-depth conversation, including information on huddle space analytics and the importance of space design and location for team collaboration, watch the webinar on-demand: here. The slides presented in the webinar are also accessible: here.

Let us know if  you have any comments and/or questions and follow this link here to learn more about Huddle Spaces.

 


If interested, check out Webex Meetings or Webex Teams for free:

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

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Cisco Webex Room Dual
Just say no to conference calls, and yes to collaborative meetings

I’ve been part of corporate America my entire career and have spent the last six years working from a home office. As part of the remote-worker culture, we’re on the phone – a lot. If conference calls are your way of life, you would probably agree not much has changed in four years since YouTube stars Tripp and Tyler created this video to make fun “every conference call, ever.”

As of this past December everything I knew about collaborating with my team has changed. I no longer host conference calls. That’s right. No more random beeping, no more wondering who just joined, no more guessing where to mute barking dogs, no more multi-tasking, no more, “I’m sorry can you repeat that because I wasn’t listening.”

Conference calling is so 2018

I’m new to the Webex marketing team, but I am not “new” to Webex. My previous employers had both been Webex customers. We used the typical VoIP Phones and dialed in with your typical 1-800 number, and used the typical conference codes to start each call. We downloaded the plug-ins and launched Webex Meetings in case we needed to share content – but that was it. I honestly had no idea what I was missing out on.

Since I became part of the Cisco Webex Marketing team, I have not joined one single conference call. We join meetings – and they feel like actual meetings. Crazy, right? We use Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, and Webex Devices every single day to collaborate, brainstorm, and whiteboard.

A whole new world of Collaboration

I wasn’t sure how I would like being on camera every day, but I love the interaction and there’s no turning back. You can feel the difference. You can tell when people have something to say and you can see that people are engaged. In one of my first meetings, I was listening to how Webex Meetings has new integrations for the Education space. Lance Ford was heading up the call. The guy was at his desk, then standing, then pointing at a screen, then moving things around and presenting. All the while the camera was following him, zooming in and tracking his audio. It felt like I was watching the local newscast!

Watch this just to see the cameras zooming and moving… what?!

Then, I visited the San Jose Cisco campus. When you enter any conference room the screen welcomes you and offers to connect and start your meeting… magic! I was immediately connected with zero effort. The room also had a stylus on the table with my name on a screen … begging me to draw something before the meeting started. (Disclaimer: Webex devices don’t beg you to draw things.) Without knowing anything about the device, I could draw, erase, and send a digital copy to my Webex Teams space. More magic.

There were no ancient calling devices with wired microphones that only pick up whatever sounds are coming off the table top. The microphones are hung from the ceiling with built-in technology that knows when to mute and when to listen in.

To top it all off, once the meeting is over, we keep the conversation going in the Webex Teams platform. I am getting added to spaces and am able to catch up without ever asking a question. I can mention people, I can send requests to my team and flag content to come back to.

Maybe I’m easily impressed, but I was one of tens of thousands of folks at my past employers who weren’t using the Cisco Webex suite of collaboration products to their full potential. I had been missing out. I’m wondering how many other end users could tap in to the newest features? Do you even know you have access to them?

Get reacquainted with Webex

If you’re like I was, and are a Webex customer but are still using the platform as a conference line – please do yourself a favor and check out what you’ve been missing. Ask your Webex Administrator to upgrade you to the latest version with entirely new user interface. You won’t have to memorize any conference ID numbers – you push the big green button. Your participants will not have to download anything – ever. Background noises are automatically detected. Content sharing is faster. Annotations are easier. Video streaming is clearer.

There is so much more, you have to see for yourself. https://collaborationhelp.cisco.com/article/en-us/nvby0ee

Learn more about Webex Video Conferencing and try it for free here https://www.webex.com/video-conferencing.html

 

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#CiscoChat: Lead your team into the future of collaboration

Business magic happens when teams have the freedom and space to bring their best work to life.  When you have great meetings, brilliant ideas are shared, plans are made, and work moves forward. That’s what we like to call #MeetBrilliant.

But to make all this happen, you need a strategy. During our @WebEx #CiscoChat on Twitter in July,  Cisco’s own Jens Meggers, talk about the future of business collaboration, shared tips on getting mobile meetings right, and discussed the importance of creating a great user experience for employees.

As Cisco’s Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Cloud Collaboration Technology Group (CCTG), Jens is responsible for managing Cisco’s cloud-focused portfolio of voice, video, and web conferencing that delivers a robust and scalable infrastructure to millions of customers.

Jens believes that great leaders understand that their job is enable their teams to be successful and produce great results, not the other way around. By adopting this new mode of thinking, leaders can bring their business into the future of collaboration. One where technology is seamless, automated and intelligent technology connects helps employees get their job done without getting in the way.

Check Jens’ unique perspective in his Two Minute Take video and catch the highlights from our #CiscoChat in the recap below! Have your own brilliant meeting tips? Share them in the comments or give us a shout at @WebEx on Twitter.

 

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oculus-rift
What’s next in Collaboration?

We’re faced with a world where it’s becoming increasingly harder to keep up with advances in technology and where our brains hardly have the capacity to grasp what the world might look like even 10 or 20 years down the line. At Cisco’s Collaboration Group we naturally spend a lot of our time on what lies ahead – tackling both the giant technology leaps we need to make in the future as well as the incremental improvements we can make to dramatically impact people’s everyday work lives and productivity. In this post I will give a brief look into what we think are some of the challenges that lie ahead in the collaboration industry, along with a peek at some technologies that may help shape the future of teams and their work together.

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