Posts by Category

Blackboard Learn and Webex join forces to expand the reach of education
Blackboard Learn and Webex join forces to expand the reach of education

Webex Education Connector expanding the reach of the classroom

Collaboration in schools just got easier with Blackboard Learn + Webex Education Connector! For education institutes who have Blackboard Learn as their learning management system (LMS), they can now integrate Webex into Blackboard Learn via the Webex Education Connector. This allows the instructors and students to leverage Webex features and capabilities without downloading the Webex app. Instructors can schedule and start meetings within the Blackboard learn interface, while students can join meetings and view previously recorded sessions.  

The full set of capabilities includes:  

  • Schedule Meetings  
  • Start and Join Meetings 
  • View Recordings for past meetings 
  • Schedule Office Hours  
  • Create Teams and spaces 
  • Collaborate (Message, Call and File sharing) with students  

Blackboard Learn and Webex join forces to expand the reach of education

But wait…. there is more!  

In addition to Blackboard Learn, we now also have an in-depth Recording Library. In education, recordings have many valuable uses. Recordings of existing sessions can be re-used in future semesters, they can be used as supplemental material in other class offerings, or as guest lecturer content worldwide Additionally, with the advancement of flipped learning (pedagogical approach to learning where students learn materials before class), recordings enable class time to be used in a different way, focusing on deeper understanding of materials and problem-solving activities.  

The Recording library allows an instructor to create a recording and publish it to their students in other classes with the following capabilities 

  • Allows an instructor to rename, view and delete their own recordings  
  • Ability to host a Webex meeting within a course for the purpose of capturing a Webex recording, without making the meeting it visible to the students immediately  
  • Ability to record a private Webex Meeting recording and share with students in single or multiple classes  
  • Ability for a student to view recorded Webex Meetings that the instructor has shared  

Ability for a student to view recorded Webex Meetings.

What’s coming next 

Since not every educational institute operates via the same methods, upcoming features will include more administration for LMS and granular control over classroom groupings. Administrators using the Admin Panel will be able to control what users have visibility to, whether it includes all the features within the Webex Education Connector or just a subset. This helps ensure compliance with educational regulations as well as simplifies the experience by removing unused features 

For schools using the ‘sections in classroom’ collaboration feature in Canvas (creating virtual teams), admins will now be able to apply divisions so that students in one section will not be able to see the spaces created by other sections. This helps keep student work only in their group, keeping groups focused.

For schools using the ‘sections in classroom’ collaboration feature in Canvas (creating virtual teams), admins will now be able to apply divisions so that students in one section will not be able to see the spaces created by other sections. This helps keep student work only in their group, keeping groups focused. 

Bring the classroom together with collaboration

By partnering with educational platforms like Blackboard, we are always looking to see how we can use collaboration to make the lives of students, teachers and parents simpler, easier and more accessible globally. From the classroom to graduation, Webex has you covered.

To keep up with the latest advancements in collaboration education check out Webex Education Connector site.

For more information, on Webex Education Connector see the following:

Learn More

Building the foundation for the future of education

Improving patient diagnoses with video conferencing

Building bridges between business contacts and human relationships in your video conference meetings

Read more
Webex Room devices on the Webex Platform brings the latest innovations and experiences to end users and admins and we are seeing massive uptake of our cloud first room experiences.
Webex Edge for Devices released

Take the first simple step towards the cloud and get the most modern room device management experience 

Webex Room devices on the Webex Platform brings the latest innovations and experiences to end users and admins and we are seeing massive uptake of our cloud first room experiences. However, we are also seeing that many customers have made significant investments in on-premises calling infrastructure and have media flow requirements that do not allow them to go full cloud quite yet.  

With the recent release of CE 9.10, Webex Rooms customers can now start getting some of the benefits of the Webex Platform through Webex Edge For Devices. This software feature for our Webex Room devices allows customers to link their devices to the cloud without having to migrate calling to the cloud at this point in time. The initial subset of features takes customers one step closer to the full cloud experience. 

By connecting devices to the Webex single platform, customers will gain advantages far beyond the room with Webex Control Hub, which offers the most modern and comprehensive device management portal in the market. Control Hub regularly undergoes monthly updates, which means customers will receive more innovations and enhancements moving forward. 

There is never a better time to go to the cloud than now! We have released the Cisco Webex Devices tool to allow customers to easily migrate their entire on premises deployment fully to the cloud or connect to Webex Edge for Devices in minutes. 

By connecting devices to the Webex single platform, customers will gain advantages far beyond the room with Webex Control Hub, which offers the most modern and comprehensive device management portal in the market.

You can download this tool from Control Hub today and immediately get started connecting your onpremise devices to the Webex Platform. 

All you need is a supported Webex Room device with the ability to talk over HTTPS to the Webex platform. See the following from our security white paper series of how Webex Edge for Devices works. 

The Control Hub features available as part of CE 9.10 are the following: 

* Historical Device Usage Analytics  

* Online/Offline Connection Status  

* Device Diagnostics Messages 

* Cloud xAPI access (https://developer.webex.com/docs/api/guides/xapi) 

* Device Alerts (Diagnostics Messages proactively sent to Webex Teams) 

In addition, the following optional features can be deployed: 

  • Webex Hybrid Calendar Service allows you to connect Office 365, Google or Exchange environments to send OBTP (One Button to Push) events to the device to enable end users to easily join Webex Meetings. 
  • Webex Assistant is a voice-driven virtual assistant that can help your users with calling, meetings, and device controls. Combining Webex Hybrid Calendar Service and Webex Assistant, customers can receive proactive meeting join prompts that allow you to join meetings without touching a button.   

See the full CE 9.10 Release Notes here and get started on migrating your devices to a more modern experience today!

Learn More

Apply branding to your conference devices

Holy cows! (XoWS) Delivering the art of possible with video devices

4 ways IT leaders can lead the charge to create the next-generation workplace

Webex Devices: Transforming Workspaces So You Can Get Stuff Done

Read more
Conferencing devices, Webex Board
New release of Webex RoomOs: The latest on Webex Board

In my last blog, I promised a much richer release. Well, here you have it! The newest Room OS release is very focused on the Webex Board. We are working on some interesting material, particularly for the end-user. Firstly, we have released an end-user guide, highlighting the simplicity of the Cisco Webex Board experience. Following this, we will have videos showcasing how teams collaborate using the Webex Board, which will have everything you need to cover all your creative and collaboration needs with conference equipment in huddle spaces to the boardroom. The timeframe for the release of these assets will be coming in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

When it comes to features, we have a good line-up:

I’ll start announcing the availability of Webex Board for on-premises deployments. I know, this blog is about Room OS and the Cloud, but I think it’s something important to talk about, and shows how important this product is to us.

When registered on-premises, the Webex Board still has everything you need in order to collaborate effectively with your team.

First, it’s still an all-in-one device that lets you:

  • Share your presentations and documents wirelessly
  • Create, draw and digitally whiteboard on a blank canvas, or annotate on any screen capture or document. You then have the option to the share the content via email
  • Have video conferences

We believe in building bridges and not islands, so if a customer is comfortable staying on-premises, they now have that deployment option and when the journey to the cloud is desired, we offer a seamless transition.

One of the features you’ll love on the  Webex Board in the cloud is digital signage. Digital signage is a way to have custom information on the screen by using a web engine, which basically means that as long as the information is on a web page, you should be able to show it in the real state of your Webex devices. That’s right, this feature is not unique to the Webex Board. It also works on the Room series, with the difference that on the Webex Board – the experience is interactive. The signage will show up during half-wake, and an admin decides which page or pages to show.

Virtual assistants are in vogue, and we have our own. Webex Assistant allows users to control our Webex devices with their voices. The idea is simple – instead of reaching out to touch the Webex Board to interact with the device, you can just instruct the device to start sharing by saying: “Ok Webex, start sharing.” The Board is the last of the Webex devices to get this feature – and the list over possible commands is growing quickly.

You read above that you can use voice commands to avoid having to stand up to interact with the Webex Board. Another really convenient option we are introducing from the Board – completely eliminating the need to stand up and walk up to it, is Touch 10 support.. The Touch 10 has to be remotely paired with the Board since the Board doesn’t have a physical port to connect it to, but once you have the Touch 10 paired, you can answer those calls without having to leave your seat.

Following the work we have done with the Touch 10, we also added support for macros and customizations. Now, using a familiar workflow, , you can create macros and in-room controls for the Webex Board. We are always adding more APIs and better ways to interact with them – for example this time we have added HTTP get & post clients.

Until now, the physical Webex Board screen was all the space you could draw and annotate on.. In this release, we added the possibility of having an infinite whiteboard. You can keep drawing and drawing, Just swipe three fingers in any direction and keep drawing – the pinch and zoom and or out to get an overview of what you’ve just drawn.

If you’re not using Webex Teams, but still want to be able to save your annotations, we have now made it possible to save it as a PDF file and send it to any email address.. In this case, an administrator will configure the Webex Board with an SMTP server that will allow anyone using the Board to save their work by sending an email to himself, or any participant in the meeting.

We also have some exciting features for the rest of the Webex device portfolio this month. video on/off is now not only available on the Board – but also on the rest of the Webex video devices. Many customers know of this feature as “video mute”, and it gives more control over the user’s privacy by allowing them to turn off the video with the press of a button. We encourage the use of video, but from time to time we understand that it can make sense to stop the video to avoid unwanted interruptions – like in this case (Funny video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh4f9AYRCZY).

Around a half a year ago, we introduced the Room Kit Mini with the possibility of connecting the device to a USB-C port of a laptop and using it as a USB camera/speaker/mic. In this release, we are improving the behavior of this feature by setting the “do not disturb (DND)” mode on, just when the soft client starts to actually stream something to the device. Otherwise, the device is still available for regular calls, even if the USB-C cable is connected.

Lastly, we are not forgetting our admin friends, and we also have a feature for them. Up until now, in order to activate a Webex device, you had to enter a 12-digit code on the device’s interface, which meant that someone had to be in front of the device to do this job. When we designed this workflow, we designed it with ease of use in mind.Anyone could register a deviceby entering 12 digits, and an admin could send literally anyone to do that part of the job. Now we are allowing admins to actually do it themselves over the network, either with an API or through the web interface of the device. And of course, having an API means we now have ways to script this task, or open for new activation possibilities in the future.

I hope this was as good of a month for you as it was for us. Keep sending us your feedback, and stay tuned for the next post!

Read more
collaboration devices
May release of Webex RoomOS

Hello again. Here I’m with an update for Webex devices for May 2019.

Room customizations are a huge part of our work. We feel proud that Cisco Webex conferencing devices are so flexible and allow customers to enable their own workflows to improve their day-to-day work. Of course, all this is possible thanks to our partners actively creating and deploying device customizations.

We started the room customization journey by providing APIs and in-room controls, soon to add more powerful tools such as macros. Since then, we have found a broad variety of new ideas that our customers are deploying.We are even turning some of them into standard features in our portfolio. Keep your eyes open for some of these features coming in June.

Macros have been available for most of the Webex room devices for quite some time, and with this release, we are introducing macros support for Webex Board.

There’s no difference to how macros work on the Webex Board in comparison to any other Webex device. You still use our provided editor to create your new macros, you still use java script as development language, and they are deployed the same way you are used to.

Hopefully you know already where to look for examples on macros, but if you don’t, please go and visit our web page where we have a lot of information on APIs, and a library of macros that can be used as an example to get you started, or inspire you to create new flows.

Go ahead and start playing and creating some macros on the Webex Board, and let us know if you think you’ve got some pretty good macros to show off.

We have also just released a brand new “Customizing Webex Devices” video series, giving you lots of exciting ways to get even more out of your Cisco conferencing systems. Click here and subscribe to the playlist and of course, let us know if you have any great topics you’d like us to cover.

This was a short blog for May, probably because we have many features in the oven just waiting to be done. June and July will be full of new and exciting features that will keep you testing and playing the full summer.

 

Read more
branding video conferencing devices
Apply branding to your conference devices

Let’s face it, branding is important. Why? Because the brand of your company is in lock-step with how customers, and anyone from the outside looking in perceives the business you do. This perception comes from the visuals you choose, the messaging you provide, and every detail down to your fonts and color choices. These branding decisions are made carefully and consciously, showing your customers (and potential customers) what you care about. The small details matter.

So, why is branding your video conferencing equipment important? Because again, the small details matter. First, let’s show you what this looks like.

video conferencing devices

Your corporate identity… Everywhere

The more people see your brand and associate it with trust, the stronger it will become. Adding your corporate identity to technology devices that reside within your organization creates more opportunities for customers/partners to see and recognize your brand. Slowly, trust can build, just by a simple placement of a logo or image.

Now, you’re wondering … How can I do this?

To give administrators a way to achieve this, we implemented the ability to place a logo in the bottom righthand corner of your collaboration device screen. In addition, for both the awake and the “half-wake” states, we’ve enabled a touch interface that allows admins to upload a Full HD background which replaces our default “half-wake” background.

We have also recently made it easier to apply branding to all of your cloud registered RoomOS devices within Webex Control Hub. Previously to set branding on devices, an administrator would be required to log into the advanced settings of each device to upload and apply each logo and image. We listened to you, our customers, and took your feedback to heart. Gone are the days of extensive processes  that don’t scale beyond a few systems.

To make adding branding to multiple systems easier, we added a new global setting within Webex Control Hub. This setting gives device admins access  to more control in how they apply branding across all their RoomOS devices in their organization. Now, when an administrator provisions a new device, it will automatically fetch the branding images and apply them!

Within the settings menu, administrators now have three values that they can select:

  • Allow all devices to be edited individually in Advanced Settings
  • Use the Cisco default visuals on all devices
  • Upload your company’s brand visuals for all devices

Using this method, we also support the Webex Share and Webex Board, allowing you to apply branding across the entire Webex Devices portfolio!

This is just the start of how we are going to make it easier for administrators to manage their environments. And keep giving us feedback!

Visit our Customized Branding Article on the Webex Help site to learn more.

If you’re new to Webex, see all that’s possible and consider a 30-day free trial!

 

 

Read more
Remote meeting distractions – and how to deal

Did you know that 87% of remote works feel more connected  to their teams when they use video conferencing? And did you know that 100% of remote workers absolutely detest remote meeting distractions that don’t have to happen?

Ok. That last stat was not discovered in any recent journals or news stories – but we have no doubts that it’s true! All of the benefits that remote meetings offer team members – increased productivity, flexibility for those who are on the go and reduced traveling stresses – are lost if annoying remote meeting distractions derail what teams are trying to accomplish.

Thankfully, several WebEx tools that can help do away with remote meeting distractions. Check out our “top four” list (provided in no particular order – we love them all) and let us know your biggest remote meeting distraction pet peeves.

 

1. Pesky passcodes

 season 3 black and white episode 16 telephone 3x16 GIF

It’s very easy to become distracted during a meeting. And even more so when you’re running late and somehow can’t get into the meeting! Passcodes are often the culprit for this type of distraction.

WebEx’s “Call Me” feature eliminates this worry. With “Call Me,” meeting attendees simply click the “Join” meeting button and then the “Call Me” button. From there, it’s as simple as answering the phone when the WebEx meeting calls. No passcodes, no problem.

 

2. Background noise

What do a barking dog, rumbling lawn mower and a full-on marching band have in common? They’re all just a sample of distracting (and annoying) background noises that can disrupt your meeting when you’re working remotely. Unfortunately, you don’t always have control over what passes by your home office window.

 

Rather than issue the standard, “who’s not on mute?” question, WebEx users with the WebEx noise cancellation feature don’t have to stress. When WebEx detects background noises that could hinder your meeting, a friendly pop-up reminder to mute your phone will briefly appear.

 

3. Connecting on-the-go

Working At A Cafe GIF - Eow Bored Cafe GIFs

 The beauty in working remotely is you can actually get things done and stay connected on-the- go your favorite place – like your local coffee shop instead of fluorescent-lit cubicle. But sometimes you don’t always have your laptop and a strong Wi-Fi connection handy when it’s time to connect to a meeting. Luckily, no matter which device you or other team members use to connect, WebEx’s mobile features make remote meeting a breeze.

From a phone, a tablet – even an Apple Watch – WebEx’s mobile app system provides “on the move’ users the freedom to host and attend meetings. And with the addition of Cisco Spark, remote meetings are never delayed because anyone can join no matter which standards-based video conferencing device they use.

 

4. Meeting crashers

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot WebEx can do if the smallest and cutest distractions are determined to join your meeting. Our advice? Be quick on your feet!

Read more