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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!

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Cisco Meeting Server 2.7 Feature Release
Cisco Meeting Server 2.7 Feature Release

Your work days are jam packed, and it is crucial that you have all the collaboration tools and features you need. With the new Cisco Meeting Server 2.7 release, you have two new key features:

  1. Updated online meeting management capabilities
  2. A modernized CMS scheduling experience.

CMS Release 2.7 brings increased meeting management to your on-premises solution with:

  • Pane Placement: Pane placement using Cisco Meeting Management, allows you to choose who goes where in video layouts. With the new pane placement feature, the CMM operator has the ability to hand pick where the participants show up in the meeting layout. For instance, for video conferencing meetings with strict hierarchy, the meeting host can place the most important participant in the top left corner and so on. It locks the participants in a set location for the duration of the meeting.
  • Self-View: The self-view feature allows the presenter to see themselves in the layout, which is great for lectures and emergency response use cases where you want to ensure every site sees exactly the same layout.

TheCisco Meeting Server 2.7 release also modernizes the scheduling experience with CMS:

  • @MeetScheduling with TMS: Office 365 or Google Calendar customers can now leverage Webex Hybrid Calendar Services with TelePresence Management Suite (TMS) for a modernized scheduling experience. When scheduling an online meeting, add the keyword @meet to the location field. Include an on-premises registered video enabled end point for the one-button-to-push, easy join experience. When using @meet, the email invite will include the “how-to-join the meeting” details from any video device, Jabber, WebRTC, or telephone.

The Cisco Meeting Server 2.7 release continues our focus on quality and interoperability with:

  • Skype for Business RDP content quality improvement: Improvements to RDP content sharing enable faster sharing while using less bandwidth for a better meeting experience

For more information about Cisco Meeting Server 2.7 release read the release notes here. For Hybrid Calendar Services see this what’s new page.


Try Webex Meetings for free today.

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team using conferencing devices
September Release of Webex RoomOS for Webex Video Devices

Hello to everyone that is reading this blog. We have been working hard to bring you some new features this month. In the September release, we are delivering new features to our Webex Board and new features for our management suite, Webex Control Hub.

Webex Board Updates

Two-way Whiteboarding

Up until now, when board users called into a Webex meeting, only one board could start and edit a white board. Everyone else could receive this white board as content, but no one could interact with it.

Now, after a lot of work, we made it possible for two or more boards to collaborate during a Webex meeting. Let’s picture this flow. A few remote sites call into a Webex meeting, a couple of boards are in these sites, and in others maybe a Webex Room Kit or any other Webex conferencing device. One of the boards starts whiteboarding, and the second site jumps in to draw some extra information on the original drawing. There’s interaction, there’s collaboration from those two boards, and the Room Kit receives all this as content. Isn’t this a great way of working? You can see the people, you can enjoy the features of Webex devices like speaker tracking and excellent video and audio quality at the same time you are collaborating in a whiteboard from different locations. That’s is just great and simple.

Microsoft OneDrive Integration

Second in the list is the ability to open and view files stored in OneDrive.

Many of our customers are using OneDrive, and we naturally need to provide the best integration with other tools that users need for their basic work. Remember that we introduced WebApps last month? It was with this very same concept in mind. We are a platform, we have to provide a way to improve our customers workflow, adapt and improve to whatever tool belongs to the users workflow.

So, now you can collaborate in OneDrive or SharePoint online documents on the Webex board by opening the files in the files activity of a space.

Stickies

Many of you have heard about stickies. Many of you have seen demos of stickies. Well, stickies are finally here. They will help you in your brain storming sessions. They can help you get your ideas organized with multiple colors and sizes, and you can even interact with the Teams client while editing or working on stickies. True collaboration!

Undo and Re-do Buttons

Last but not least in the feature list, we have a small feature, that we are sure that many will find useful despite been kind of just a small button. It’s re-do.

If you are drawing, and delete something with the undo button, you can now press and hold that undo button to reveal the re-do button, and re do all traces you have undone.

Updated Layout

Finally, the Webex Board is changing layouts. The Webex Board is updating layouts to improve the call experience! The active speaker and the PiPs will always have a clear real state in the screen. The PiPs will no longer overlay the active speaker area, allowing for the active speaker to be in full view at all times and improving the visual hierarchy of the screen.

The PiPs have been updated from circles to squares with rounded corners. You should also notice that the new way to present the PiP is not available in any other device yet, but this is the direction we are moving forward with the portfolio in the near future.

We are sure our users will love these changes, it will make their meeting more comfortable, keeping the productivity Cisco normally provides, but as always, feedback is welcomed!

This change should be in place for October 16.

Control Hub Updates

Advanced Configurations

Now it is possible to configure RoomOS and Webex Share devices from Webex Control Hub through the new Advanced Configurations. Gone are the days that you needed to log into the device web interface to do an advance configuration, such as the default ringtone volume or changing the second monitor role. We know we need to keep pulling in this direction, and offer our admins even more flexibility to achieve their goals, and therefore our next step is to create a framework to support administrators performing these actions in bulk. Just keep tuned, it’s coming soon.

Device Proactive Alerts

We know IT Admin time is valuable and keeping on top of events happening in the collaboration network can be time consuming. A new feature we have released is Device Alerts, this feature allows an IT admin to subscribe to alerts via Webex Teams and when a device goes offline or has an issue an alert is generated. An alert is also triggered when the device comes back online or the issue has been resolved. This should be handy for many of our admins, right?

Great, this is all for now, some new features, some updates, and even a very small peak at the direction we are moving towards.

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

 

 

 

 

 

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Cisco Webex Control Hub
Fast track your adoption with Cisco Webex Control Hub

I’ve spent the last 15 years in the Webex Collaboration Customer Success organization as a student, constantly learning what excellence looks like. I’ve worked with hundreds (thousands?) of Webex customers guiding adoption and identifying patterns of success. I want one hundred percent of our customers to repeat these successes and be able to use our collaboration tools to do more than they ever imagined. Faster. With less friction. With more fun.

Sounds pretty amazing, right? Like I might be about to sell you a sham-wow? Maybe just a little too good to be true?

I used to think adoption success was random. Some customers just seemed to knock it out of the park. Who knows why? They just didn’t have that many tech support cases. Somehow their users would just use the tools. Their utilization would sky rocket way faster than other customers. And then somehow, they were in the news for record revenue quarters, making a huge impact to their communities or for being included as one of the top places to work lists. I used to think they were just lucky, or their end users were just more open to trying new things. Fast forward a decade and I now know it’s about strategy. The smarter you work, the luckier you are.

And I want to help share there strategy with you. First step is putting a solid plan together with attention paid to seven specific areas: Business Objectives, Leadership, Technical Readiness, Use Cases, Communications, Champions, and Measurement. We wrote an ebook to help guide you through all of these steps to make you an Adoption Master. We have a the Webex Community to collaborate and share your wisdom with Adoption Practitioners from all over the globe.

The area I hear customers say they need more guidance on when deploying our technology is on the actual deployment of the technology. In Control Hub you can set up user management to be 100% controlled (which means it’s also manual and more time consuming) or completely automated (which means it’s instant, but not controlled by a human approving every request). Workflows can be integrated. Security, compliance, data retention, APIs, bots, and much more can be customized to meet whatever your business goals are. But sometimes too many choices without a clear path is overwhelming. And if all you get is a rigid set of required configurations, they most certainly will not take into account your specific goals, your company requirements, or what is right for you right now.

When I work with customers I spend a fair amount of time understanding their business objectives. Not their goals for Webex – the goals for their company. What will their business look like in six months if everything happens perfectly? I ask the same thing when I’m working with the IT folks who are setting up their user administration. If these teams are not looped into the goals and objectives, they are not given enough information to know what configurations will drive to these goals. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there” – Lewis Carroll

Below is an example of how we used our own Adoption Methodology Pillars to ensure our project was a success:

Business Objectives

My team’s business objectives were to create a guide educate our org admins on all the capabilities Control Hub offers and then to help these teams configure their Webex experience to meet their needs today and easily evolve as those needs change.

Leadership

We had strong leadership sponsorship that gave us the freedom to create the correct solutions, allow the right team members from across various business units to contribute and clear obstacles as needed.

Technical Readiness

We had an amazing technical readiness group who tested the flows, our recommendations, and put themselves in the shoes of our users.

Use Cases

Before we even started creating the documents or trying to come up with a solution, we created user personas by talking to customers, partners, and customer success members. Our team created use cases from these interviews and as a result we addressed our audience with a catered approach.

Communication

The document itself is a form of communication, but we are also blogging, holding classes, sharing this information with partners, customers, and anyone who will listen.

Champions

We have a strong champions network (that we built in part from our persona building) – but we’re making it even stronger by inviting you to participate: https://community.cisco.com/t5/webex-adoption-community/ct-p/collaboration-adoption

Measurement

And finally to measure the success of this project – we want to track how much more quickly we are able to help our admins move through their own Technical Readiness with this guidance.

My hope is we’ve created a resource that guides you to make the best decisions for your organization’s needs. Not one that dictates one path for all. I hope it’s juuuust right to give you the “why & how” to ensure your Control Hub configurations are set to enable long term frictionless administration and a rock solid (delightful) user experience.

We’re continually evolving this guide as Control Hub incorporates more and more ways to seamlessly integrate into your organization’s workflow. Our adoption team would love your feedback on this asset so we set up a survey in the book to make sure it keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait to hear your feedback (and incorporate it!). https://ebooks.cisco.com/story/controlhubessentials

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