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Woman sitting at her kitchen table on a vidoe conference call on her computer using Webex
What’s new in Webex: April 2021

Welcome to what’s new in Webex! This article highlights new Webex features and capabilities that will be available in April.

In April we’re introducing expanded features and capabilities in Webex including custom layouts and seamless calling to Webex Meetings for continuous collaboration. We’re also introducing rich experiences for Webex desktop and room devices to help organizations in their safe return to the office.

Read more below for information about these capabilities and more.

MEETINGS

MESSAGING

CALLING

DEVICES

INTEGRATIONS

CONTACT CENTER

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

MEETINGS

Custom layouts

Customize your view in Webex so you can focus on the people you want to see.  Two new layout features in Webex let you customize your view and experience: use zoom in and out capabilities to adjust your grid view from 5×5 to 2×2, or anywhere in between, so you focus on the people you want to see. You can simply use the slider at the upper right corner and zoom in to see larger images or zoom all the way out and see as many people as possible.

1 IMAGE Zoom out Grid View_2

The stage view feature lets you customize the stage, giving you more control over who and what you want to focus on simply by moving anyone from the filmstrip onto the stage.

2 IMAGE Customize the Stage View Dark(1).png

Post-Meeting Summary

Play back your meeting recordings without leaving the app.  Meeting recordings are now viewed directly within the Webex app and include your meeting transcripts. With the new post-meeting summary feature, these assets will now be automatically populated in a Webex space, beginning first with the meeting recording which streamlines how you access, view, and share recordings (and in the future, all meeting assets). As the meeting host, once you wrap up a meeting there are two places where you can access your recordings:

  • In the space that you set up for your meeting, your recording will be accessible in the new ‘Recordings’ tab under the ‘Content’ tab.
  • For recorded meetings from your Webex Personal Room, you go to the Calendar view to access your recording.

3 IMAGE Post meeting experience 02 (1)

MESSAGING

Webex app on Linux

For the open-source community, we are pleased to announce that Webex is now bringing you messaging, meeting, and one-to-one calling for at work and educational settings. All the core Webex capabilities in a single app are supported to help you seamlessly collaborate. This is just the beginning; support for advanced calling and a full-featured meeting experience will be added in the upcoming releases.

New send button for messages

We’re making it more intuitive for new users to send messages. A new send button in the compose area gives clear indication on how to send messages (this is in addition to simply pressing Enter on the keyboard). We have also added instructions above the send button to show how to create a new line in your messages (Shift + Enter).

SendButton-cropped.png

Video Playback Enhancement

Change how you view videos in your spaces. Video playback enhancements transforms how you access videos on the Webex mobile app. All videos are now clearly identifiable and easier than ever to start, pause and move to full screen all from within the app. We have also streamlined the process to forward videos to other contacts or spaces.

Optimize shared content, streamline pause and resume capabilities

Webex automatically optimizes your shared content for text, image, or video for better experience. When you share a video, you’ll no longer need to select a higher frame rate to share. Webex automatically determines the optimized settings for content share, selecting best frame rate and resolution for your content type.

IMAGE A sharecontentoptimize.jpgWebex will also streamline content pause and share capabilities. Need to skip ahead a few slides or even jump to another presentation without stopping?  In April, Webex will let you pause your share while you navigate to content you’d like to feature — participants continue to see the last shared slide until you resume the share. Changing slides or presentations occurs in the background, unseen by the participants and helps you present a smooth and flawless presentation. These features are also available in meetings.

Webex streamlining content pause and share capabiliites

CALLING

Webex delivers business class calling from the cloud. New features are added each month to allow users get the best calling experience.

Seamless escalation of SIP calls to Webex Meetings

Webex enables continuous collaboration from a simple phone call. If you’re on a call, you can now elevate the call to a full-featured meeting with a few clicks of the keyboard without anyone going on hold. Invite additional attendees you’d like to join the discussion. They’ll receive a notification to join the meeting, and from there all participants can take advantage of AI transcriptions, real-time translations, notes and action items, and recordings. You can even move calls to a meeting when you’re talking to people outside your organization. Available on Unified Communication Manager in April and coming soon to Webex Calling.

Move call to meeting-merged

Support SSO on mobile (UCM)

As a remote worker on a mobile device, users will have an improved user experience with single sign-on (SSO). The first time you enter the Webex app or when your login expires, you’ll enter a one-time username and password, and you are able to collaborate.

DEVICES

Control the Room USB camera via a remote control

Webex devices will automatically frame the person in front of the camera, but sometimes you want to focus on an object or a specific area of the room. Now you can manually control the camera on Room USB devices with a TRC6 remote control. You can use the remote control to pan, tilt and zoom the camera.

IMAGE B remote usbWeb-app xAPI integrations

We are adding the open-source JavaScript XAPI library to the web engine on Webex devices. Users will now be able to improve and install UI Extensions and/or local web apps with access to JavaScript content. This opens new opportunities to create new scenarios and macro automatic to create richer web apps.

INTEGRATIONS

Work faster with Webex in Box

Need to collaborate live on a Box document? Start or schedule a Webex meeting or share content in a Webex space, without leaving Box. The new Webex integration with Box enables face-to-face communication and easy content sharing, so that you can focus on getting your job done faster. Check with your IT or Box Admin if you don’t see Share file with Webex in your Box account. (Available for Windows and Mac)

Box_ Sharing_in_Meeting

Share Box files on mobile on Webex

You can now share, preview, and view Box files from the Webex mobile app. (iPhone, iPad, and Android)

IMAGE H MOB 1.1 Share from Box

Appspace integration for digital signage

Appspace is now an official Cisco partner for digital signage and will be available as an integrated option in Webex Control Hub. Guide your teams and visitors on their return to the workplace. View the latest guidelines, business critical data, town halls, meeting space schedules, training content, and more. Tailor communications for conference rooms, huddle spaces, and in-home devices. These functionalities can now all be adapted and viewed within Webex Control Hub.​

CONTACT CENTER

Webex Contact Center APIs

Offer customers tailored, specialized experiences powered by Cisco’s underlying video, audio and collaboration technologies.

In April,  Webex Contact Center will provide API to support capabilities to:
· List and download media captures for your agent-customer interactions
· View statistics on your agents
· Get statistics for one or more queues
· See all open and closed tasks filtered by channel type, organization, or time frame
· Use AI APIs to convert speech to text and get AI insights from a conversation

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

If you are an admin, Webex Control Hub places management, monitoring, troubleshooting, analytics, edge, and hybrid services across all your collaboration resources in one pane of glass.

Workspace Location and Floorplan Summary

Managing collaboration resources in a hybrid work model can benefit from quick, easy, and straight to the point data. With workspace location and floor plan summaries, you can visualize your workspaces both geographically and locally in Webex Control Hub.

IMAGE C Workspacelocations_ControlHUB

Real-time analytics: Calling and Messaging

In April, Webex Control Hub will include real-time analytics for messaging and calling expanding real-time analytics across the suite of services. Analytics are designed with a user-friendly layout with key performance metrics, contextual filtering, and faster load times.

IMAGE D Calling Analytics

IMAGE E Messaging

Live Meetings World Map View

Webex Control Hub will present a geographical view that shows all live meetings and connected data centers. With this visual tool, IT Admin can easily identify live meetings with potential network quality issue and use advanced troubleshooting tools to proactively address.

IMAGE F Live Meeting Map

Meeting Participants Map View

A geographical view of a single meeting and the connected data center offers details to quickly zero in on affected meetings using Webex Control Hub trouble shooting capabilities.

Historical Metrics API

IT Admins will be able to pull Webex calculated metrics for Messaging and Device services instead of having to calculate themselves. This allows admins to access metrics consistent with those used in downstream business apps by IT.

Manage security and compliance: Configure and enforce file size limit in Webex spaces

Enforce file size limits for file uploaded to Webex spaces to meet your compliance guidelines. Webex Control Hub allows organizations to configure the file size limit that can be supported by their downstream 3rd party compliance tools used for corporate data archiving.

IMAGE G Filesizeenforcement

Manage security and compliance policy: Admin can block users from joining external Webex meetings

Keep your conversations secure and internal with a simple Webex Control Hub setting. For industries, such as financial and public sector, where employees handle sensitive data, admins can configure settings, so users don’t have meetings external to their organizations. While many companies use firewalls and other complicated methods to achieve this, Webex gives admins the flexibility and simplicity of achieving this higher level of security with a simple turn of a knob in Control Hub.

For more information on all of these features and upcoming updates to Webex, please visit the What’s New Articles for Webex Services

Resources

The all new Webex

Ready to make the switch to the new Webex?

Learn more

Here’s what’s new in Webex

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Read more
Elton John Aids Foundation
Scaling glamour. Delivering hope. Our partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

You’re invited to the Academy Awards Pre-Party to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation! Tickets for the party can be purchased on Ticketmaster

The Oscars is, of course, an iconic awards show that attracts a yearly audience of millions. It’s also the occasion of glamorous entertainment industry parties and events that offer their own distinct allure. I’m excited to announce that Webex is partnering with the Elton John AIDS Foundation to make this year’s festivities more inclusive – though no less glamorous.

Webex hosts pre-show special open to supporters

On the evening of April 25th, the night of this year’s historic virtual Oscars ceremony, Webex will be sharing one of the most iconic pre-parties of the awards season live with film fans far beyond the confines of Hollywood. The Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Academy Awards Pre-Party has always been an exclusive, Super-A-list event: an exclusive draw for celebrities and their VIP guests. Now, through the power of Webex, all the glamour and spectacle of this pre-party will be available live and online. The party is inclusively open to a much wider virtual audience: people willing to provide financial support to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Every donation goes towards supporting AIDS awareness and research.

This year’s event will be hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris, alongside Elton John and David Furnish, and features a full evening of entertainment, including a performance by GRAMMY-winning artist Dua Lipa. But it’s not just about spectacle: this particular Oscar pre-party has always been about delivering hope. Every year since 1992, Elton John has hosted the party to raise money for his AIDS Foundation. AIDS is still with us today with 38 million people living with HIV globally. And this year, the Foundation focus on raising money for at-risk young people living with HIV, specifically.

Webex helps to scale the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s mission

Historically, this private event has been held onsite at the Oscars and had been limited to 1,000 guests. This year, the party is moving off-site in a serious way: through a special arrangement with Webex, this year’s fete will be hosted an unprecedented four times to accommodate different time zones and regions’ Oscar broadcasts. The “guest list” in 2021 has been expanded to accommodate 100,000 guests per region. This opens up the possibility of having as many as 400,000 attendees. Every one of you will now have an opportunity to be included in this event brought to you by Webex.

We’re honored and humbled to be part of this partnership: for us, it makes a lot of sense. At Webex, our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all – by breaking down barriers across geography, language, personality and socio-economic levels to give everyone tools to achieve greater personal expression, as well as build more engaged relationships. The pre-party is a great example of how Webex empowers incredible organizations like The Elton John AIDS Foundation to scale their mission to collaborate with a broader range of interested – and interesting – people.

Webex and the future of hybrid events

While it’s true that humans will never stop meeting in person, we believe that the future of human interaction is hybrid, with a genuine sense of presence for all participants – that is the instinctive knowledge that there are people occupying the same three-dimensional space as you. And in the future, we’ll see even more sophisticated hybrids that focus on that sense of human togetherness. This pre-party with the Foundation –and other events like it — is only the first step in this endeavor. Webex is committed to continue to deliver further innovation and growth for businesses looking to scale and be more inclusive in their future collaborations.

Join me at the pre-party on April 25th to raise awareness about AIDS and support the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Glam is highly recommended, but optional.

Tickets for the party can be purchased on Ticketmaster

Cheers!

Aruna

Learn more

Neil Patrick Harris and Dua Lipa Join Elton John and David Furnish for the 29th Annual Elton John Aids Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party [Press Release]

Future Voices featuring stories from students and teachers from around the world

Creating Exhilarating and Exciting Experiences with Cisco Webex and McLaren Racing

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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Man thinking and on a Webex meeting
What’s new in RoomOS – March 2021

It’s officially springtime, and the days are getting lighter and warmer. We are announcing 2 new features in RoomOS this month, to make it easier to admit people into a virtual meeting room and to book a physical one. Perfect for the hybrid workplace!

Admit all from devices

Whenever people try to join a locked meeting, they are placed in the lobby to wait for the host to admit them. Previously, hosts had to let people in one by one, but we’ve made it available for hosts to admit everyone who’s waiting in the lobby with a single click. This feature is already available in the Webex app, and implementing this for Webex Room devices helps to bring the Webex experience in closer alignment. Learn more by visiting the help article.

Man thinking and on a Webex meetingRoom booking inside of the room

Last year we announced the Cisco Webex Room Navigator. This intuitive, touch panel offers instant connections to video conferences, room controls, content sharing, and room booking. We are now making it possible to use the Room Navigator inside of the room to book ad-hoc meetings. This is not replacing an existing user experience, but rather adding a new and more immediate alternative to do on demand scheduling of ad-hoc meeting rooms directly from the Room Navigator. If you want to see it in action, you can see a demo here. If you need help with this, please check out the help article.

Worried about touching shared touch devices? We got you. Simply use your voice to book the room. With in-room booking, you can extend your booking or book a room for a spontaneous meeting. If the room is available, Webex Assistant books the room for you. Check out the help article here.

woman on Webex using booking feature

We kept it short and sweet for March, but stay tuned – we have a lot of good things coming.

Learn more

See how you can take your meeting experiences to the next level

Resources

What’s new in Webex: March 2021

Webex Training Drop- In Session [Live Class]

See What’s New in RoomOS

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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Silhouette of Business People Posing by Window
Relaunch of the Webex Ambassador Program

Webex Ambassador Program

I am beyond excited to announce the relaunch of the Webex Ambassador Program. Our ambassadors are highly knowledgeable and the backbone of our Webex Community. Whether they’re sharing best practices, offering suggestions on project plans, answering technical questions, or presenting at Webex Community events, Webex Ambassadors add unparalleled value to Webex, the Community, and Webex users and admins.

Webex Ambassadors are lighting the way for seamless collaboration in their organizations while also sharing valuable feedback and knowledge with fellow Webex users and admins so they too can quickly accomplish their goals. Sound like you? Read on.

At Webex, we truly believe in powering an inclusive future for all. Part of this means building a product that betters the lives of our users and gives customers an experience they love. As the VP of Customer Success for Webex, I am always thinking about the success of our customers. If they’re unable to use Webex to simplify how work gets done, to meet their goals, or to collaborate effectively, it doesn’t matter how good we think our products are. Period.

We understand that our customers are our most valuable asset. They help drive smart innovation and their voices provide insight into how we can do better. We listen to their voices closely, so much so in fact, that we drive high-velocity adoption by harnessing the power of their voices and their vast knowledge.

Webex Ambassador Logo

Where customers go to share, learn, and amplify their voice

The Webex Community is where you’ll find these users, admins, adoption champions, and ambassadors. They act as the voice of the customer and share best practices, give feedback, and build knowledge among fellow community members to help make Webex even better.

Customers can easily make the jump from purchasing Webex to adopting and loving it quickly, all in the Webex Community. We connect customers using Webex with those responsible for adoption planning, integrations and deployment, and the Webex teams creating the collaboration vision of the future. This allows everyone to ask questions, share ideas, project plans, and best practices. With over 70,000 members, numerous customer events, and speakers discussing everything from adoption to technical walkthroughs, the Webex Community truly is your go-to space to discuss all things Webex.

Meet the Webex Ambassador Program

We recognize and reward our most active Webex fanatics in many ways, including an invitation to join our newly launched Webex Ambassador Program. This program is all about listening to the voices of our users to gain an understanding of their experience and how we can make it better.

Webex Community members make the best ambassadors because they’re on a mission to help others and to help Webex be the best product it can be by offering unique insights that help us deliver fast-paced iteration. Ambassadors use their voices to share intelligible and actionable insights with our product and adoption teams, which helps us create the best possible products with clear and scalable adoption blueprints.

So, what’s in it for you? When you become a Webex Ambassador, you’ll get:

  • Tailored learning paths for users, IT admins, and adoption advocates
  • Rewards and recognition for sharing knowledge and insights
  • A chance to influence future Webex innovations
  • Opportunities to amplify your voice

As you continue to learn and share your voice, the more access you’ll gain to advanced classes to continue your learning. You’ll also get the opportunity to meet with the Webex teams designing the collaboration tools of the future.

What kind of ambassador are you?

Whether you’re just starting out or know everything about Webex, we have varying levels of ambassadors based on education. You’ll start as a Webex Power User and work your way up from there. Check out each level below.

Webex Ambassador

As a Webex Power User, you’ll gain access to a tailored learning path that will teach you everything you need to know about Webex and help you achieve the next level as an Associate Ambassador.

As an Associate Ambassador, you’ll dive deep into the details of effective technical and adoption practices. People at this level are typically leaders in the Webex Community.

Can you then level up to be a Professional Ambassador. You’ve already been tested on the most advanced levels of Webex products, including driving outcome-based adoption and workflow integrations that help drive continuous collaboration.

The top tier of our ambassadors—the Webex Experts—is a group of nomination-only members who comprise the top one percent of our program. They meet with our business regularly to influence our innovations, present at Webex Community events, and co-create adoption materials alongside our team.

This elite group builds bots and integrations, share real-world use cases, and drive innovation here at Webex. They even created the Aha! Portal that allows customers, partners, and internal teams to submit feature suggestions to our product teams. You can read about how this came to be in this blog.

 Our ambassadors provide invaluable feedback, insights, and innovations to Webex, so we invest heavily in them and their development. We provide professional development, education, and networking opportunities for our ambassadors to ensure that we are providing equity and access for everyone.

Sound like you?

To join the Webex Ambassador Program and hundreds of other Webex users, visit to sign up

About the author

Gaurav Verma

gaurav verma

Meet Gaurav Verma, VP of Customer Success on the Cisco Collaboration Team. Gaurav has a wealth of industry experience that he uses to drive high-velocity, customer-first adoption here at Cisco. He’s passionate about creating high-value customer experiences through the development of culture, by leveraging new strategies and technologies, and by undergoing fast-paced iterations.

 

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Get the best video meeting experience with Webex Auto Configuration

A broadcasters How to Guide to live stream Webex 

Live streaming with Webex Meetings for your virtual events: What’s new and how to use it

Still need help?

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Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

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woman sitting at table
What’s new in Webex: March 2021

Welcome to what’s new in Webex! This article highlights new Webex features and capabilities that we have recently introduced and those coming in March. 

This month we’re introducing expanded features and capabilities in Webex including a preview of realtime translations in meetings coming later this year. We’re also introducing new hybrid calling options and rich experiences for Webex devices via Webex Edge services to help customers on their journey to the cloud. 

Read more below for information about these capabilities and more, including details on the Webex app.

MEETINGS

MESSAGING

CALLING

DEVICES

CONTACT CENTER

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

COMING SOON

MEETINGS

Moderated unmute mode

Control who can be heard in a Webex Meeting with moderated unmute mode. Now you can directly unmute attendees, like young students, who can’t unmute themselves. (Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android) 

IMAGE 1 Moderated Mute Mode -2

Q&A support for Webex Meetings

Conducting a training session or briefing where you need to moderate Q&A so questions are not lost in the chat window?  Now Webex Meetings allows participants to type their questions into Q&A panel so they can be answered by the host or cohosts. 

IMAGE 2 In-Meeting Q&A 1.0_light

 

MESSAGING

New files experience

The improved file experience makes navigating files faster and easier. You can easily drag and drop files into the chat window, switch between list view and grid view, and other quality and visual improvements. (Windows, Mac and mobile) 

IMAGE 3 List view for files - WIN

Moderate team spaces

Bring the moderator experience to your team spaces. You can now control who can join the team spaces you moderate, add existing moderator options to these team spaces, and move moderated spaces into a team. (Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, and iPad) 

IMAGE 4 – moderate space desktop)

Enter a 9-digit code to connect to a device

In situations where proximity is not available, you can now pair to a device using a 9-character code. For instance, if you’re on a guest network, simply get the 9-digit code from the device and enter it into the Webex app device panel. Once paired to the device, you can use the device for audio/video, wireless screen share, and device control. (Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android) 

IMAGE 5 Paired with the device with 9 digits code_light@2x.png

CALLING

Webex deliver business class calling from the cloud.  New features are added each month to allow users to get the best calling experience  

Below, we’ve indicated which calling service each new feature applies to. If you’re not sure what calling service you have, see Webex | Find Out What Calling Service You Have 

Hybrid Calling with Webex Calling

Webex is enabling hybrid calling migration journeys from on-premises PBX to native cloud calling services site by site, or user by user while offering a full collaboration suite of meetings, messaging and contact center capabilities. 

Centralized dial plans  

  • Configure advanced Enterprise dial plans to optimize on-network call routing via Webex Calling. Create dial plans to route calls between cloud-native users and on-premises PBX users (Cisco Unified Communications Manager or 3rd party solutions), simplify calling and enable extension dialing across the whole organization as part of a hybrid journey to the cloud. 

 Geo-redundant routing policies for enterprise trunks  

  • Geo-redundant routing policies for enterprise trunks allows admins to scale call traffic to the PSTN using trunk groups across enterprise sites for greater scale and higher availability. 

Call media optimization for Webex Calling (ICE)  

  • Keep media on-premises and improve call performance for calls between Webex app users for Webex Calling. This helps business decrease bandwidth usage, reduce latency, and improve quality performance.  No extra hardware or configuration support is required, Webex Calling architecture and Webex app will support ICE to automatically improve call performance. 

Webex app with Unified Communications Manager (UCM) 

Record your phone calls  

If you’re set up by your administrator to record calls, you can now start, stop, pause and restart recordings (pause and restart via UCM Cloud only) as needed during your call, providing flexibility and greater control. If the call is being recorded, the recording continues if you move the call to another device, merge the call with another active call, or make it a conference call. As always, a visual indicator light will be visible to let you know when a call is being recorded.  (Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android) 

IMAGE 7 In call-audio call recording.png

 

Calling presence
IP phone and Webex app status for on-hook, off-hook and do not disturb (DND) are synchronized for UCM calling.    Set your status as Do Not Disturb (DND) on Webex App, and your IP phones will also be set to DND. This synchronized presence results in a more complete view of your contacts availability across your enterprise.  This requires admin support to on-board UCM nodes to cloud-connected UC.  

Image 8 UCM calling presence in Webex App

Simplified redirect URI for single sign-on 

Webex app users with UCM calling can experience simplified sign-on options.  With this update, users only have to log in once to use both UCM and Webex app calling services.  End users accessing an external browser for single sign-on, can cross launch the Webex app using an SSO redirect URI when the Webex app is registered with UCM calling.  This requires Expressway X14, to support MRA usage.

DEVICES

Webex Edge for Devices: Meeting experiences 

Webex Edge for Devices enables your video device to join Webex meetings natively.  Extend cloud only Webex Meetings features for devices to your on-premises deployment including:  bi-directional whiteboarding, advanced mute controls, facial recognition and name labels, host controls and more.  

Immersive Share: Get the best out of your presentations 

Deliver more engaging presentations, by placing yourself in front of any content you share from your computer. The presentation and video are both sent in the content stream so you will stay in focus until you stop sharing. This is available on the Desk Pro through the floating content bar. 

IMAGE 9 Immersive share

5×5 grid view for meetings  

See all your meeting participants in one screen.  New 5×5 grid layouts will be available for Room Series, Board Series and Desk Pro.  Supported for switched meetings only. 

 

IMAGE 10 5x5 - Room.png_AH

Get a fast meeting start: Admit all

Get your meeting started quickly.  With the new Admit All feature, the host and co-host can accept everyone waiting in the lobby at the same time, by pressing a single button

IMAGE 11 Admit all.png

Background noise removal and audio enhancement 

Get an outstanding meeting experience, even in a noisy environment.  Now available on the Webex DX80 device:  background noise removal and voice enhancement.  Noise removal processing is done locally on the device which means the feature is available in Webex meeting, 1:1 calls, even 3rd party meetings. 

IMAGE 12 DX80 - Noise cancelling

Full language keyboard layout 

Every language available for the device’s user interface will now have a keyboard layout as well. 

IMAGE 13 Full language keyboard 1

Layout menu improvements 

Easy options to select your screen layout preference.  A new, more modern layout menu displays the different options available for layouts on each device. 

Picture 14_AH

Cisco Webex Wireless Phone – 840 

 Introducing the Webex Wireless Phone 840 a ruggedized Wi-Fi smart phone for the frontline worker.  The 840 is IP65 ruggedized, both water and dust resistant with a 4” gorilla glass touch screen.   The phone has an 8MP camera with grid view, 5MP front camera to easily capture images on-site.  Shift work communications are made easy with a swappable battery, plus enterprise grade voice quality, app integration, Cisco security, and registers to Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) as a native device. Learn more  

IMAGE 15 840lifestyle.jpg

CONTACT CENTER

IMImobile acquisition completed 

IMImobile’s suite of products and solutions contributes to Cisco’s customer experience-as-a-service (CXaaS) vision.  Learn more here  

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

If you are an admin, Webex Control Hub places management, monitoring, troubleshooting, analytics, edge and hybrid services across all your collaboration resources in one pane of glass. 

Webex For Government: FedRAMP authorized 

Webex for Government is now FedRAMP authorized.  Government users can enjoy the all new Webex for calling, meeting and messaging.  Learn more here 

Getting started with Webex Control Hub 

New to Webex?  Take advantage of getting started resources on Webex Control Hub.  Control Hub acts as a coach to help IT admins adopt best-practice setup, adoption and performance measures through a scoring mechanism. 

D0_ Claim domains.jpg

 

Report scheduling capabilities 

We’re making it easier for IT administrators to automate the execution of multiple monthly reports.  Now you can schedule reports through Webex Control Hub to run automatically in recurring fashion. Frequency can be daily, weekly or monthly. 

Analytics- Video Mesh  

In March, Video Mesh real-time analytics will be available in a new user-friendly layout, that includes contextual filtering and faster load times. Understand call join times, meeting usage overall and by client type as well as call-overflow so you can optimize performance with Webex Video Mesh. 

IMAGE 18 Video Mesh - Engagement

Trending: Proactive notification alerts for audio and video network quality 

Proactively take action based on insights gained from daily and weekly network metric alerts.  Understand network quality trends at a site-wide level or specific location. 

UCM Cloud notification service (UCM Cloud) 

An IT admin or partner can select, from a list, proactive notification of events and alarms, to accelerate troubleshooting and remediation of issues occurring outside the UCM Cloud system, such as an enterprise network issues, or on-premises equipment issues. 

COMING SOON

Real-time translation for Webex Meetings 

In late March, Webex will begin a trial of real-time translation – from English to 100+ languages (note not all dialects included in translations). That means, non-native English speakers and/or hearing-impaired participants can choose closed captioning translation from English to one of the 108 additional languages supported from Afrikaans to Zulu . Real-time translation aids understanding and creates a more inclusive meeting, where language no longer be a barrier to great collaboration.  More information on the trial will be on Webex.com, including any restrictions, later this month. See it in action:

For more information on all of these features and upcoming updates to Webex, please visit the What’s New Articles for Webex Services

Resources

The all new Webex

Ready to make the switch to the new Webex?

Learn more

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Read more
Workspaces
Your guide to sensors and analytics in Webex Devices

You may already know that Webex Devices provide a great collaboration experience for people working from home or in the office, but did you know they are also equipped with powerful sensors?

Sensors aren’t just for data enthusiasts or those responsible for workplace optimization and safety. They can provide critical and timely information to employees which can drive behavior, build trust and at the end of the day, create an amazing workplace experience.

Have you ever been in a meeting room that felt crowded or stuffy and you just needed a few minutes to break away? Sensors, analytics, and automation solve this issue by giving people the information they need to make informed decisions about where and how they work.

A common argument against sensors is that they are expensive, difficult to install and require a team to track, manage and optimize spaces. That may be true for ad-hoc devices, but Webex Devices come equipped with powerful sensors out of the box, so you can easily gain the insights you need to optimize every workspace at no extra charge. It’s all included in the video conferencing device — no extra installation, no data scientists, just reliable insights.

We recently discussed how sensors and workplace analytics can help deliver a safe return to the office. Now, let’s take a closer look at how various roles can benefit from sensors:

The office worker

For users, the complexity of sensors, data and analytics are always hidden. For example, if there are too many people in a room or the air quality is poor, the sensors in the Webex device will measure the conditions and an alert can be delivered straight to the video conferencing device, a Webex Room Navigator on the table or even a 3rd display.

The messages and warnings are fully customizable so organizations can adapt messages to the characteristic of the room. For example, the alert can notify people in the room to open a window if there is one, use another room and provide direction to the closest available room, or reduce the amount of people if the threshold limit is reached. The possibilities are endless, and it can all be automated, so no one has to sit in front of a screen all day monitoring and manually alerting people.

The HR and facilities representative

If you are in human resources or the facilities department, Webex sensors and analytics enables you to know if workers are staying in a healthy environment and whether the criteria for comfort, safety and energy are met. And historical data and insights are reported directly into the Webex Control Hub Workspace tab so you can have a full view of how environmental factors are trending.

Sensors and analytics in Webex Control Hub
Fig 1: historical environment metrics
historical utilization metrics
Fig 2: historical utilization metrics

Optimizing workspaces with Webex sensors

Webex Devices provide various types of sensors for ensuring safe and productive workspaces. These are the sensors available today:

1) Presence & people count for real estate optimization

Spaces are rarely used to their full potential; they are often overused or underused which can lead to productivity loss. Some rooms could be divided, while others should be augmented. Space optimization has a direct impact on energy and the cost of real estate, but more importantly on employees’ productivity and wellbeing. People count in Webex Devices uses AI to accurately detect humans, whether they are facing the Webex Device or not. This data makes it easy to plan and optimize spaces based on usage trends.

People Count Sensing
Fig 3: People count sensing used to regulate the room density

 

2) Temperature & humidity for reducing the risk of virus transmission 

Temperature and humidity need to be thought of simultaneously because the one affects the other. While temperature is mostly a human preference, maintaining a temperature of 21 to 25 degrees Celsius for a person sitting still is deemed productive.

Research also points at regular burst of cold air to improve productivity. With regards to humidity, we need to be more prescriptive. Usually, humidity levels between 30% and 60% are recommended, as it’s considered most healthy for humans.

Itchy eyes, throat irritations and respiratory symptoms have been associated with unfavorable humidity levels. And more recent studies also show that the level of humidity has a direct impact on the propagation of the Covid-19. They suggest maintaining relative humidity levels between 40% and 60%.

3) Air quality & VOCs for preventing air saturated with pollutants 

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are present in furniture and carpets, cleaning products, perfumes, when food is cooked and in human breath. When they accumulate in a room, they can cause irritations, headaches, and loss of concentration which results in discomfort, productivity loss or even danger.

Poor air quality can often be circumvented with better ventilation. Tracking people count and air quality simultaneously can also help you find root causes and possible adaptations.

The Webex platform APIs also enable the automation of these processes, so the data can be rendered and acted upon. Both the Webex Desk Pro and Webex Room Navigator are enabled with TVOC sensing. Values reported in the Control Hub follow UBA reference levels and indicate 5 different levels of air quality.

4) Noise measurements for designing comfortable spaces

Noise at work is one of the major causes of dissatisfaction. It can hinder productivity, focus, memory retention and mental arithmetic.

Webex measures two types of noise, the overall noise produced by people, tools, and the building itself, and the ambient or background noise produced by the HVAC systems, for example. Isolating noises will help better understand the kind of annoyances people are confronted with and how they can be resolved. The WELL Building Institute recommends no more than 35dBA background noise in conference rooms.

5) Good acoustics for improving intelligibility and reducings strain

Bad acoustics in rooms generates reverberance that causes fatigue. Meeting rooms with glass walls are a typical example. The WELL standard recommends reverberation times of less than 0.6 second in conference rooms.

While this is uncomfortable for workers inside the room, it is even more so for people who are on a call and sitting in the far end where it becomes difficult for the brain to process and separate sound sources. We’ve all experienced this “speaker in a box” feeling.

Webex Devices measure the RT60 (reverberation time) on a regular basis without emitting testing sounds.

In addition to these environment sensors, Webex Devices can also report on the activity and status of a room. APIs give access to information such as: ongoing calls, presentation sharing in and out of call and booked rooms., This information can be used to better understand how rooms are used.

The right sensor at the right place

Analytics from Webex Devices come from multiple sensors within our device portfolio. People count is an attribute of the Webex Room and Board series. Usually located against a wall, centered and at bodies’ height, it is the best placement for recognizing and counting people. Air quality, temperature and humidity on the other hand are located inside the new Webex Room Navigator, on the table, and closer to where people are sitting, hence reporting conditions as they are experienced by people themselves.

Sensor Information in Navigator
Fig 4: The sensor information displayed in a Navigator on a custom panel
Sensing capabilities supported in Webex Devices
Fig 5: Sensing capabilities supported in Webex Devices

 

In the past, organizations concerned with environment health and space optimization invested in sensors for the workplace, but for many, the cost of acquisition, integration, licenses, and maintenance was often a deterrent. With Webex Devices, rooms enabled with collaboration technology now double as a smart sensors hub and provide the analytics and insights you need to continuously monitor and optimize spaces.

Webex Devices have sensors built-in, securely reporting on your network and into a dashboard — so don’t wait, get to your Webex Control Hub now and watch those Workspaces in action.

To learn more about sensors and analytics, read The Collaboration How-To Guide for the Hybrid Workplace.

Learn more

Innovations from Webex Experts: Making Devices even better

Securing users and devices in Webex

Cleaning shared touch-screen devices

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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Innovations from Webex Experts: How Webex Aha! came to be

The Webex Ambassadors Program is a global community of Webex loyalists who receive custom Webex learning paths to help further their careers, earn rewards, and influence the future of collaboration. Our Webex Experts are a top-tier group of members who offer thought leadership and act as counsel to our product and customer adoption teams. In this series, we’ll explore their contributions to the Webex ecosystem and hopefully inspire you to do more than you ever imagined possible with Webex.

The story of Webex Aha

Let’s look back a few years to 2017. We attended regular meetings with the Webex product teams where any of us could give feedback in live sessions and in Webex spaces about new opportunities to improve our products. We would share perspectives, suggest and build integrations and bots, and offer ideas for new features. Teams would take notes, try to prioritize ideas, and then attempt to circle back once they committed to or abandoned an idea. Sometimes, we’d get an update that an idea had been slated as a project, but most of the time, there wasn’t a standard way to communicate whether our ideas were falling into a black hole or actually helping.

This process simply wasn’t working. With so many voices in such an informal setting, it was hard to articulate and quantify the impact and urgency of a request. We wanted to create a systematic way to provide product feedback while helping our teams prioritize requests. This is where we — the Webex Experts — stepped up.

Webex gave us complete autonomy to scope the problem, come up with a viable solution, and ultimately, implement the solution. Once we got approval from Josh Reola, our Webex Ambassador sponsor, and product management executives like Damien McCoy, we explored the group’s needs and the needs of the products teams we were hoping to serve.

We set out to solve a challenge, but we also wanted to provide a mechanism for the Webex product teams to quantify the importance of a specific feature request and streamline the decision-making process. The end goal? Speed up how long it took to get from idea to implementation to innovation. We wanted to drive Webex innovation at the speed of light.

Finding the best solution to a big problem

The first step was to research platforms that would address our numerous needs. After evaluating a few platforms, we settled on Aha! Roadmap Software. We then designed and built the Webex Idea Portal on the platform, taking into consideration the needs of both the product teams and the feedback provider. This allowed us to determine the proper fields, workflow, and process to submit and receive feedback in an automated manner. We also wanted to build a system component that enabled a crowdsourced voting mechanism. This let users add more detail or use cases to give more color to the initial idea request.

Add a new idea

After implementation, we used the Webex Idea Portal to provide feedback to the Webex product teams. We made a few tweaks along the way to modify and add fields based on our experience and the needs of the product teams. The portal housed all requests in a single place where we could prioritize ideas, follow up with submitters, gather more information, and where the product teams could easily gauge urgency. It greatly improved communication, which helped to quantify how long an idea would take to implement.

Because of this and the success Webex saw on the platform, they converted the portal to a corporate-wide tool that was rolled out to internal Webex sales teams and Cisco partners in March of 2018 (less than a year after it was built).

This portal has became a standard tool and was one of the most effective ways for all stakeholders to give input to the Webex teams. Partners, Webex Experts, and internal sales teams could all submit their ideas, vote on them, add customer names, submit additional details, and track their idea’s progress. Product teams were finally able to access this invaluable feedback in one place.

Virtual Background

As Webex Experts, we have unique opportunities (like that with the Webex Idea Portal) to influence and impact the direction of Webex products. This project gave us all the opportunity to optimize a process that significantly improved a critical business process for Webex. We were all excited about the impact it had on Webex.

Damien McCoy’s take on the business impact

When the feedback portal idea was brought to our executive team, I was fascinated, but certainly not surprised. Our Webex Experts have always been problem solvers and transparent about how our products could better serve them. Because of their history of excellence, I was quick to endorse this product and couldn’t have been more impressed with how well they were able to execute a brilliant idea.

The Webex Ideal Portal that our Experts built on Aha! helped us uncover quite a few use cases we had never considered and gave us the unique opportunity to hear perspectives from varying industries. We were gaining an understanding of our customers’ needs, which has been invaluable.

Up until this year, we were gathering feedback in the portal from Experts, partners, and internal teams. But what about our customers? Their voices couldn’t be heard in the portal because they didn’t have access. So, when we launched the Webex Community in May of 2020, we opened the portal to a much broader audience. Now, anyone who uses Webex can utilize this portal to make their voices heard. This level of feedback would not have happened without the work the Webex Experts put in.

Our product teams can now listen to our customers, users, partners, and our Webex Ambassadors. They can respond to and prioritize feedback and ideas. Beyond this, the Webex Idea Portal has given us a way to interact, get all the necessary details, and build direct relationships with those who have generated and contributed to ideas. It allows for open-source ideas and the ability to prioritize, streamline, and speed up innovation.


Webex User Community

In closing

Some of our very best ideas come directly from the Webex Community. We evangelize our Webex Ambassadors to crowdsource solutions to common problems and to share use cases and challenges. I cannot overstate the value our Webex Experts (like Chris, Matt, and Thomas) provide by co-creating solutions alongside us.

If you love finding solutions to problems and want to join an incredible group of talented Webex fanatics, enroll early in our Webex Ambassadors Program. Level up your knowledge. Your network. Your voice.

About the authors

Chris Capasso

Chris Capasso

Chris Capasso has been a Webex Expert since 2017. Find out more about his accomplishments, his experience with the Webex Ambassadors, or his areas of expertise in the Webex Ambassadors directory

Matt Spool

Matt Spool

Matt Spool has been a Webex Expert since 2017. Find out more about his accomplishments, his experience with the Webex Ambassadors, or his areas of expertise in the Webex Ambassadors directory.

Thomas Vidgar

thomas vidgar

Thomas Vidgar has been a Webex Expert since 2017. Find out more about his accomplishments, his experience with the Webex Ambassadors, or his areas of expertise in the Webex Ambassadors directory.

Damien McCoy

Damien McCoy

Damien McCoy: Damien joined Cisco in 2011 initially delivering market growth for the Cisco Jabber product line and was part of the early team building Webex Teams to support the shift to team collaboration in the cloud. He now leads our growth team as the Director of Product Growth at Webex, partnering with customers to deliver workplace and employee experience transformation strategies. When he’s not at his desk Damien enjoys the Atlantic Ocean and local wilderness with his local Sea Scout group.

Learn more

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Make your voice heard with the User Community Feedback Portal

Still need help?

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Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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Webex video conferencing meeting with colleagues using Webex Devices
Innovations from Webex Experts: Making Devices even better

The Webex Ambassadors Program is a global community of Webex loyalists who receive custom Webex learning paths to help further their careers, earn rewards, and influence the future of collaboration. Our Webex Experts are a top-tier group of members who offer thought leadership and act as counsel to our product and customer adoption teams. In this series, we’ll explore their contributions to the Webex ecosystem and hopefully inspire you to do more than you ever imagined possible with Webex. 

Webex Expert Bobby McGonigle makes using Devices easy 

As an introvert, I never expected to be as active in the Webex Community as I am. Once I got involved, I learned so much from other members, but I also enjoyed addressing challenges, building knowledge of new use cases, and practicing developing in the Macro Editor.

Before I became a Webex Expert, I began my career as a video conferencing service technician in 2017 with a mere three months of IT experience. I worked previously at a local grocery store as a deli clerk for seven years but landed a great internship, which landed me my current role.

At the time, we had approximately 200 Cisco endpoints online, half of which were online at the medical school while the other half were scattered throughout campus. Since then, we have added nearly 200 more Room Devices and within Central IT/Admin, I have personally installed nearly 60 percent of those new systems—jumping from 12 to 130 systems. We also have 13 other schools that are implementing their own projects.

As we continued to grow, my team’s ability to support users became less manageable. We were a small but mighty team of three, but we were never able to get our users to get through training. Instead of scheduling further training, I made it so easy for users to use the rooms that absolutely no training would be required.

How? I taught myself how to write JavaScript and how to use the new Macro Editor, which allowed me to fix common issues. This gave my team the freedom to dive into higher priority tasks. When the Macro Editor was first released in CE9.2, I didn’t know how to code, so I self-taught myself on my train commute every morning and evening. This is how I was able to create new and better experiences for our user community.

Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles to overcomes was teaching users the difference between a telephony number and a SIP address in Webex invites. Users thought the call button was for traditional phone numbers (no matter how many times we explained that it was for both). To address this issue, I created a school-wide macro—the Launch Meeting button—that matched the users’ expectations when they entered a room.

When users selected the Launch Meeting button, they were greeted with an option that only required the meeting ID. The @so&so.com was added automatically. Students either had a Webex link or an invite from a different solution, but they were all able to join meetings without issue. After implementing this solution, I shared it with Webex Experts and published my work on Github so anyone could use my code. I even made one that works on 80+ Sx10’s, even though the Macro Editor doesn’t exist on those systems.

Computer set up with devices
Enrico’s USB lab

Another project I worked on, and one of my favorites, is my Tic Tac Toe game. It shows how you can use macros to change the user interface dynamically to help streamline the user experience. All collaboration doesn’t need to be solely work-related; building relationships with colleagues is just as important, so I wanted to create a game for coworkers to enjoy together in a conference room.

Now that I have a few projects under my belt, I have started working with Cisco’s very own Enrico Condedera on his Project USB. We have learned from fellow experts like Jordan Eliason and his USB Dante project for the Room Kit Mini and John Austin, which has led us to make a few revisions to our own project. I have also been asked by Dustin Baker of the Webex Devices team to contribute a Join Zoom example to Cisco’s Devnet.

I have learned so much as a Webex Expert, but what I really value is the ability to give back. I have been able to do so not only in my professional role, but also in the community I have built with fellow experts, Webex product teams, and everyone else using Webex Devices. It has been such a fulfilling and fun experience.

Enrico Conedera, Webex TME, partners with Bobby to improve products at scale

I couldn’t help but laugh when I learned that Bobby’s work experience was primarily as a deli clerk. My first real job was as a Pest Control Field Representative, also known as an exterminator. I single-handedly fought off all the cockroaches of Santa Monica. Once I got sick of the cockroaches, I began working with Cisco. I came in from the audiovisual side, sneaking in with the Tandberg acquisition. With so many smart network people around, I had to up my game.

As a technical marketing engineer (TME), a big part of my job revolves around ensuring that our products are usable in the field. When COVID-19 hit, video collaboration changed seemingly overnight. Suddenly, every conferencing provider was busy, and everyone needed to collaborate visually. The result? Rapid growth of island technologies that don’t actually talk to each other. For example, Zoom users can’t talk to Microsoft Teams users or BlueJeans users. Pexip and others like it had already specialized in acting as gateways between these islands, but with COVID, Cisco Webex users were getting invited to meetings on other conference services and couldn’t attend.

Until very recently, we existed primarily in a world where we could interoperate with other video conferencing manufacturers like Poly or Lifesize, using standards from the ITU-T and IEEE. The need to be able to meet with customers, partners, and supply chain organizations, became even more critical. Our solutions needed to be easy to meet regardless of the conferencing solution.

To solve for this, Eivind Fiane Christensen and other product managers brought together people from many different disciplines within Cisco to design a new product, the Room Kit Mini. The ability to join any other conferencing provider while using the Room Kit Mini’s intelligent camera and beam-forming mic array was a major requirement for launch. This feature, known as USB Passthrough, was a big step in the right direction.

Existing Room Kits didn’t have the hardware capability for the USB Passthrough, so I looked into the Vaddio AV Bridge product set. I wasn’t too familiar with it, but I was somewhat certain that I could hook it up to a Room Kit Pro and have that same feature: the ability to use your laptop to connect to Zoom while using SpeakerTrack, PresenterTrack, all the microphones and loudspeakers, and the screens that were already part of the Room Kit Pro installation. I then realized that I could do this with all of the Room Kit endpoints. That was a cool moment.

While it took me a while to figure out how to do this, I got it working manually by running API commands one by one to reconfigure the systems to work while I needed it for the USB Passthrough. All I needed was a macro to automate everything. But how? I don’t know how to write macros.

I reached out in a Webex Teams space that I had created to see if anyone could help me write the macro and that’s how I met Bobby. I knew what the macro needed to do, and he knew how to write the macro to do everything required. JavaScript is fussy, but Bobby made it look so easy.

It didn’t take long for us to release a V1 of the macro. It worked remarkably well and has enabled ease of use for third-party USB capture devices for our catalog of video endpoints. This technology even works with some of Cisco’s older products, like the MX700, MX800, and SX80. In our V2, it will include more options for third-party USB capture devices and more documentation on setup and usage.

The most difficult part of the whole process was configuring the software application to use the correct USB camera and microphones but knowing that I have Webex Experts like Bobby eases my mind. Our experts help us solve problems like this so much faster.

Enrico's science project for a passive USB gateway
Enrico’s science project for a passive USB gateway

In closing

Some of our very best ideas come directly from the Webex Community. We evangelize our Webex Ambassadors to crowdsource solutions to common problems and to share use cases and challenges. We cannot overstate the value our Webex Experts (like Bobby McGonigle) provide by creating integrations and co-creating solutions alongside Cisco. Join the USB project with Enrico and Bobby here

If you love finding solutions to problems and want to join an incredible group of talented Webex fanatics, enroll early in our Webex Ambassadors Program. Level up your knowledge. Your network. Your voice.

About the authors 

Enrico Conedera

Enrico is a senior engineer in the CTG Business Unit at Cisco Systems.
He has worked in the audio-visual field for over 30 years, for companies such as Electronic Arts, PictureTel, Polycom, MCI, and Tandberg. Having been with Cisco for fifteen years, he concentrates on Cisco Best Practices for Audio Visual Integration.
A former professional musician, he is a singer / songwriter, plays piano, and runs sound for live concerts.

Bobby McGonigle

Bobby McGonigle

Bobby McGonigle: Bobby has been a Webex Expert since 2019. Find out more about his accomplishments, his experience with the Webex Ambassadors, or his areas of expertise in the Webex Ambassadors directory.

Learn more

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Securing users and devices in Webex

Cleaning shared touch-screen devices

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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Layout selection on Webex Board
What’s New in RoomOS – February

After a quiet January, we have really upped our innovation engine to bring you 8 new features to enhance your collaboration experience, whether you are in a meeting or wanting to whiteboard or share your screen, or curious as to what a full cloud meeting experience is.

Webex Edge for Devices updates

Native Webex Meeting Experience for Webex Edge for Devices

We are now offering a steppingstone towards an experience that is closer to the cloud experience. With Native Webex Meeting Experience for Webex Edge for Devices, you can enjoy cloud features on your devices registered to the edge when you join a Webex Meeting. Your device will join a Webex Meeting natively, giving you access to all the features that were previously only available in the cloud. Think multi-way whiteboarding, facial recognition with name labels, advanced mute capabilities and host controls.

Webex Edge for Devices Software upgrades

With cloud-managed software upgrades, your Webex Edge for Devices linked devices get upgraded automatically when a new RoomOS software version is available. In order to enable Native Webex Meeting Experience for Webex Edge for Devices, your devices need to be cloud upgradable. This is in order to make sure that any change to the cloud service will be noted by the on-premises endpoint, and don’t disconnect or disrupt any workflow.

In-meeting experiences

Transfer Host and Presenter Roles

When using Webex, it is easy to “pass the ball,” meaning that the meeting host can give special privileges to whomever is going to present. We are now making this available for Webex Rooms devices. This makes it easy to keep the meeting going when the original host needs to leave – they can simply assign a new host, and the meeting can keep on rolling. Check out the help article here.

Transfer Host and Presenter Roles

Request Unmute

There are situations where it’s your turn to present and you’ve forgotten to unmute yourself. Instead of someone announcing to all participants that you’ve forgotten to unmute yourself, we have added an option for the host to send a message to the person who is muted to request them to unmute themselves. The person who is muted will get a notification saying:“You are being asked to unmute yourself.”  Visit the help article to learn more.

Presenter Host and Presenter Roles_1

Closed Captions

We are all about inclusive collaboration experiences and making virtual meetings 10x better than in-person interactions.  That’s why we are excited to introduce closed captions on our devices. Today’s workforce is multicultural, and cross-border collaboration is the norm. By bringing in closed captions to your meetings, you are making it easier for people with hearing impairments to understand what is being said. Additionally, by having both auditory input, being able to see body language through video and closed captions increases the chances of understanding and being understood. Learn more by visiting the help article.

Improved co-creation, layout and content sharing experiences

Shape recognition

We have added a beautification tool to help make the shapes you draw on your whiteboard on the Webex Desk Pro or Webex Board a bit more precise. When you draw certain figures, the whiteboard will detect it and re-trace them with more accuracy. For example, it will complete a circle or straightening a square. If you want to learn more you can check out the help article for Webex Board Series or Webex Desk Series.

Layout selection on Webex Board

The Webex Board series has always had a different layout than the rest of the Webex Rooms portfolio. We are now aligning it to the rest of the portfolio, providing most of the regular layout families to the Webex Board. At this point, this is only available for transcoded meetings. Further, transcoded meetings on single-screen devices will receive a wide PiP with up to 6 participants in view. Click here to learn more.

Layout selection on Webex Board

Improved share flow for Webex Desk Pro

If you haven’t had a chance to try the Webex Desk Pro yet – you are missing out. This is a truly brilliant device, and we are making the content sharing experience even more intuitive. We have added the share button to the floating content bar and your self-view area, making sharing easy. Tired of asking whether people can see your screen? With this new improved share flow, you will get a red border around your screen to let you know that you are sharing. Easy as anything.

Sharing Web Apps in call

A few months back we made it available to launch a web app directly from your Webex Board Desk Pro’s home screen and interact with them using the touch display. We have taken this one step further by allowing you to also use these web apps during a call! The best thing is that everyone is in on the experience – devices without a touch interface can receive and see whatever web apps you are sharing too. The help article can be found here.

That’s it (and that was a lot!) for February. I hope you will make good use of these new features. Until next time!

Learn more

See how you can take your meeting experiences to the next level

Resources

What’s new in Webex: February 2021

Webex Training Drop- In Session [Live Class]

See What’s New in RoomOS

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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woman at computer with puckering kiss face and floating hearts
Valentine’s Day: How to be together, even when you can’t be together

Good ol’ Valentine’s Day.

 

A day marked by roses and the celebration of love.

A day to express how you feel more than any above.

Some people love it, they even propose.

Others despise it… You know how it goes.

While I can’t change your feelings towards this particular day.

I thought I’d offer advice. Use it if you may.

It’s for couples apart, and for couples together.

It’s for single people too. Or people under the weather.

I’ll give you a hint because I don’t want to be misleading.

It’s about Webex! I hope you’ll keep reading.

Virtual Valentine’s ideas

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we wanted to compile and share a few virtual Valentine’s ideas for any situation you are in this year. Use video conferencing to plan a date, or a get-together with friends!

For a first date

If you’re in this boat, props to you! A first date on Valentine’s could feel like a lot of pressure (maybe not, considering who you are). Take the pressure off a bit, and consider a virtual first date!

Idea: Choose a restaurant with your date and then order food from that place. You’ll be experiencing a meal from the same restaurant together. You could even turn on the same playlist and dress up like you normally would when meeting someone for the first time. Who knows, this Valentine’s day could be the start of your forever love.

A person sitting on a couch with a computer

For the couple that can’t be together

Are you long distance and can’t be with your significant other on Valentine’s Day? Here are a couple ideas to keep the romance alive on this special day.

Idea 1: Order a special box of chocolate for both yourself and for your significant other. Sign on to Webex and have a chocolate tasting together.

Idea 2: After a dinner, choose the same movie and have a Teleparty. Netflix has created a new way to watch TV/movies with others, from your own home. Teleparty synchronizes your video playback so you can watch the same movie at the exact same time.

For those that want to double date

One double date idea that you can do from the comfort of your own home is a cocktail and dessert date.

Idea: Have one couple choose a cocktail to teach you how to make. And the other teaches how to make a dessert. Send all the ingredients needed so each couple can grab them beforehand, and then hop on the video conference, turn your cameras on, and you’ve just created your own version of a cooking class! You’ll get to teach the other couple how to make one of your favorite drinks, or favorite desserts. And you get to be together, virtually!

Here is my favorite drink and dessert.

For a Galentine’s night

Webex is also perfect for a Galentine’s night! You can see all your girlfriends, without leaving your house! The best part is, you can stay comfy in loungewear (unless you want to dress up).

Idea: Wine and cheese night. Pick up a bottle of wine and your favorite cheese/cheeses and crackers. Then, drink and eat like you were together in person. This may even save you more money than going out to a restaurant. You can even set your virtual background to something like this. See others here.

Women drinking wine and video conferencing

For really anything else

Don’t want to go anywhere or really plan anything?

If you’re going to be at home but still want to see friends, consider hosting an “open house.” Send all your friends the link to your meeting, turn your video on, and let them pop in and out for a period of 1, 2, 3(?) hours during the night! This could be a chance to see and catch up with all the people you love, from the comfort of your own home.

Like I mentioned before, some people love this day, others hate it. But really, any of these ideas can be used year-round, for any occasion!

We want to spread the love here at Cisco Webex and hope we helped you think of some fun ideas to have an amazing virtual Valentine’s Day!

If you end up trying one of these ideas, share with us on social media by using the hashtag #LoveOnWebex and stay tuned, as we will share our favorite!

Learn more

How to have fun, virtually

Keeping our distance doesn’t mean we can’t stay close

3 tips for managing a virtual get together

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Best Practices: How to Work Remotely [Live Class]

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Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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What's new in Webex- February 2021
What’s new in Webex: February 2021

New features and capabilities to enable a more inclusive way of working

Welcome to what’s new in Webex! This article highlights new Webex features and capabilities that we have recently introduced and those coming in February.

This month we’re highlighting key features for users and IT admins.

For users, we’re introducing more features that help turn talk into action, plus expanded options that help you setup Webex features to match your workstyle preferences.

For IT administrators we’re introducing new real-time analytics to help you spot key trends for usage and adoption, quality and performance, and usage and engagement trends.

Read more below for information about these capabilities and more.

MEETINGS

MESSAGING

CALLING

DEVICES

INTEGRATIONS AND INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

MEETINGS

Turn talk into action: Post meeting summary notification

Looking for a quick view of your meeting results?  Webex Assistant is standing by to help you quickly summarize your meeting and get the team engaged with highlights and action items.

When meeting assets are produced (recording, highlights) using the Webex Assistant, the meeting host is presented with a pop-up window immediately after the meeting ends. The popup contains a summary of the meeting (number of highlights, transcript, and recording, if any), and an option to quickly share the post-meeting assets to invitees with one click, or view more details about the post-meeting assets.

Note, if autoshare (a setting found under Preferences > Scheduling) is enabled, pop window would not be shown.

Post meeting hook_Webex Assistant@2x

MESSAGING

Simplify content sharing with OneDrive or SharePoint file access options for all space members

Easily share access to OneDrive or SharePoint online files with everyone in the space. No need enable individual access in OneDrive or SharePoint.

CALLING

Webex delivers a complete business phone system, powered from the cloud.  New features are added each month to allow users get the best calling experience.

Below, we’ve indicated which calling service each new feature applies to. If you’re not sure what calling service you have, see Webex | Find Out What Calling Service You Have.

Expanded calling features allow you to align to your workstyle preferences.

Manage call distractions: Set your preferences to mute or decline call notifications when in meetings.

Reduce distractions when you’re in a call or meeting. You can mute notifications for incoming calls so that you don’t see or hear someone calling you. If you have voicemail set up, they can leave you a message and you can return important calls later. The call still shows up in your spaces list and your call history.

Manage call history view:  Delete one, multiple or all call entries in right click menu of call history. After you’ve returned a missed call, you can delete the call from your call history. We’re also helping you reduce clutter by implementing a limit so that your call history only shows the last 200 calls over the last 30 days.

Auto answer tone notification for Agents

Optimize contact center agent experiences with auto answer tone notification. When contact center agents have their phone line set to auto-answer, you’re automatically connected to incoming calls. When you hear a tone (zip tone), you’ll know that you’re connected to a new call and that a customer is listening. The Webex app, powered by UCM call control, will play a zip tone to let agents know when an incoming call is connected.  Supported on Windows and Mac.

Administrators can get more information about automatic answering in the Deployment Guide for Calling in Webex (Unified CM).

Mobile audio enhancements for Webex

Mobile audio enhancements for Music Mode (original audio) and to remove background noise distraction

Webex app for mobile now supports consistent experiences across desktop and mobile modes.

  • Background noise removal: Worried about background noise in your call or meeting?  Don’t be. Join your meetings and calls without worrying about noisy keyboards, doorbells, or online learning happening in the next room.  Now on mobile, users can pick up phone calls while in busy environments and not worry about competing background noise.
  • Music mode – new mobile app options. Want to play music during your meeting or call? Music mode preserves your microphone’s original sound when using your computer for audio, making virtual concerts or music lessons even better.

Park and retrieve your phone calls

Call park and retrieve is now supported across all Webex cloud calling options (Webex app, Webex Calling service, Webex w/UCM).

In retail stores or service shops, customer calls often need to be moved between different departments or groups. Users can park a customer call on a designated extension number, then announce the extension number via intercom for help. Other users can retrieve the call by simply dialing the parked extension number on any other phones.

Park and retrieve your phone calls

DEVICES

Webex continues to add features to enable common app and device experiences to support more hybrid work scenarios.

Shape recognition in whiteboards

Tidy up your drawings on the Webex Board.  Your freehand squiggles can now be turned into perfect common shapes automatically, with shape recognition on the Webex Board.

Webex Board

Layout Selection on Webex Board

New to the Webex Board – Get the same experience as our other Webex room devices and choose the layout that makes sense for your meeting – including Grid View, Active speaker and more.

Layout selection on Webex board

 

Managing roles and mute controls during a meeting from your Webex device.

Request Mute/Unmute

Streamline meeting house-keeping items. The meeting host can send a request to a muted participant to unmute without having to say it in front of everyone in the meeting.

Change in-meeting roles from your device       

Late for your next meeting, but the team is still deep in discussion? Now you can change in-meeting roles from your Webex device. This feature allows you to make someone else the host of your meeting directly from a Webex Room system. This way you can leave the meeting without ending it for everyone, as someone else will take over your role as the host.

Improved share flow for Desk Pro

Webex Desk Pro now has a new, improved sharing experience. The new, simpler user experience makes it even easier to quickly share the content you want on your calls.

Webex Multi-Content Solution

Gathering the right expertise, at the right time, and in the same room can be hard. With the Webex mulit-content solution for video devices, you can gather different remote experts to work together as an integrated team. By dynamically sharing content in high-quality whilst still maintaining a video-first experience, the speed and precision of decision-making increases.

Display content from up to four different sources in your meetings with this powerful solution powered by the Webex Room Kit Pro and Cisco Meeting Server.  Perfect for connecting remote experts who need to make decisions quickly, while analyzing data from multiple sources. For example, the Webex multi-content solution for Healthcare is helping remote specialist providers to reduce time to diagnose cancers, improving patient outcomes and reducing stress and uncertainty for families.

Webex Multi-Content Solution

INTEGRATIONS AND INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

Pager Duty Bot

Quickly triage business-critical incidents with your team on Webex via PagerDuty Bot. Unlock the ability to create, acknowledge, and resolve PagerDuty incidents directly in a space. You can automatically generate a focused incident space to ensure everyone stays up to date with incident statuses and progress.

 

Outlook Alert

Stay on top of your inbox with notifications in Webex from the Outlook Alerts for Microsoft Office 365 bot. With this update you’ll be able to receive notifications for important emails and outlook calendar invitations. You can set up rules to receive emails in Webex, maybe emails from a specific customer or emails with a particular subject. Create a Webex space for each customer where you and your team can focus on responding to them. The Outlook Alerts bot does it all! Check it out here.

Twitter Bot

Subscribe to tweets from those you follow at the click of a button and receive updates in a Webex space

Twitter Bot

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

If you are an admin, Webex Control Hub places management, monitoring, troubleshooting, analytics, edge and hybrid services across all your collaboration resources in one pane of glass.

Webex Meeting Quality Realtime Analytics

Webex Control Hub can pinpoint quality issues, self diagnose adoption challenges, and help IT take actions to improve the user experience.

Redesigned data analytics in Webex Control Hub bring what’s most important for IT front and center with real-time analytics that are refreshed every ten minutes.

  • Meeting Quality Analytics Page
  • Meeting Engagement Analytics Page
  • Meeting Participants Analytics Page
  • Meeting Audio Analytics Page

Watch the video unboxing of this new analytics dashboard or view the infographic for more detail:

Webex Calling: Localized experience for user management and announcements

Is your global team multilingual?  Now Webex Calling allows customer administrators to set the language availability for announcements.  Auto attendant, call queues, voice portal, and individual voicemail prompts will now support announcement updates in new languages.  Use Webex Control Hub to localize end-user calling announcements for a more inclusive collaboration experience.

 

Webex Emergency Calling admin options

Support for Cisco Emergency Responder (CER)

Calling in Webex (UCM): Emergency Calling Enhancements provide greater flexibility for large locations and extension only users.

Users automatically share their location in the case of an emergency.  IT administrators can enable location monitoring for users and their emergency services from Webex (for example, 911).  Call location is automatically shared with emergency responders. Supported for user apps across Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android.

 

Webex Calling: Emergency call back number assignment:

Configure Emergency Call Back Number (ECBN) and therefore the Emergency Service Address (ESA) independently from the Outgoing CLID configuration.

 

Calling in Webex (UCM): Webex support for Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST)

Create more options to ensure your users can make outbound calls even when their local site loses connection to your Cisco Unified Communication Manager call control.

Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) provides Unified CM with fallback support for Webex users. Cisco Unified SRST enables routers to provide call-handling support for Webex apps when they lose connection to remote primary, secondary, or tertiary Cisco Unified CM installations or when the WAN connection is down.

For more information on all of these features and upcoming updates to Webex, please visit the What’s New Articles for Webex Services

Resources

Switch to the new Webex app

Ready to make the switch to the new Webex?

Learn more

What’s New With Webex: Tools, Devices and Insights Designed for the Future of Work

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What’s new in RoomOS: January

Happy New Year! I hope you are ready for another year, and another round of RoomOS updates. So, without further ado, let’s get straight into it!

Raise hand

Ever had the problem of being in a large meeting and desperately wanting to ask a question without interrupting the speaker? Or ever held a presentation and wanted to get live feedback without having multiple people speaking in tandem leaving nothing but an inaudible mess and loads of untangling to understand who was first? With our new Raise Hand feature, these scenarios are a thing of the past. Meeting participants can simply click the Raise Hand icon on their device, and their names will show up in a sidebar in chronological order, depending on who raised their hand first. Only the first person that raised their hand will have their name displayed on the screen, and the counter on the side will increase with every person that raises their hand.

This also allows the speaker to know when someone raises their hand, and how many questions there are, as the counter on the sidebwr increases. The meeting host can then go to the roster list to unmute whoever has their hand raised. This makes giving and receiving feedback that much easier. If you want to learn more, check out the help article.

Two women in meeting using the raise hand feature in Webex

Far-end camera control

This is a feature that has been requested in many verticals. You ask, we listen and deliver. It is now possible to control the camera of cloud-registered endpoints from the far end. For privacy reasons, this is not available for devices in personal mode, only in shared mode. It couldn’t be simpler – you simply choose the system to control from the participants list, and turn off best overview for the system that you want to control. Click here to learn more.

Cloud upgrade for Webex Edge

We are making easier to manage software upgrades for devices registered to Webex Edge. These devices are now able to upgrade their software directly from the cloud. This feature also gives you clear information in Webex Control Hub about deployment dates, and there is no need to manage upgrades manually. Administrators can choose whether they want to opt in on the feature. You can learn more about this by visiting the help page.

 

Cloud upgrade for Webex Edge

Transcoded layouts for DX/MX/SX

Our previous portfolio of MX, SX and DX devices will get transcoded meeting in Webex Meetings. What this means is that our more advanced layouts, such as 4×4 and 5×5 will be available for these devices. This also allows single-screen devices to get a wide stream with up to 6 participants on-screen whenever you share content. The help article can be found here.

6 x 5 grid of profiles on Webex device

That’s it for this month – but stay tuned, as in the next few months we will be giving you loads of the features announced at WebexONE, aimed at making video meetings 10x better than in-person interactions.

Learn more

See how you can take your meeting experiences to the next level

Resources

What’s new in Webex: January 2021

Webex Training Drop- In Session [Live Class]

See What’s New in RoomOS

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

 

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Moderating spaces in a team
Moderating spaces in a team

Today, if you are a member of a team, you can join any space within that team. There are no restrictions. In some cases, the information of a space may be sensitive or confidential, and it might be necessary to restrict access to that space from other team members. It wasn’t possible to do this before, but from this March, it will be.

With this update to the all new Webex app, we are introducing the ability to moderate the spaces of a team. Read on to find a description of how exactly the moderation of a team’s spaces will work.

Moderating a team space

Click for larger image

You will moderate a team space in the same way you moderate a normal space today. On desktop, go to the in-space settings of a space via the cog menu, select ‘Moderate space’ and confirm. On mobile, go to the in-space settings, select ‘info’ and toggle the option to ‘Moderate’ the space. You will become the moderator of that space and have access to all moderator capabilities. You will then have the option to choose to promote other space members as moderators. Users can do this by going to the ‘People’ tab and right clicking on a user on desktop or long pressing on mobile.

In the in-space settings menu, you will have all the usual moderator settings available. On desktop, these include the ability to turn off @all mentions in the space, turn on announcement mode, archive the space, remove the space from the team, or remove the moderation of the space. Moderators are also the only ones who can add new users to the space or remove current space members. They can also control the contents of a space with the ability to delete other user’s messages. If you are the last moderator of a team space, the option to ‘Leave’ the space is disabled. You must first either unmoderate the space or promote someone else to moderate it.

With this change, you could also choose to move a normal space that is already moderated into an existing team. Webex | Move a Space into a Team explains how you do this. Note that to move a moderated space to a team, all space moderators must be members of the targeted team.

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Joining a moderated Team Space

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As mentioned earlier, moderating the spaces of a team allows for ultimate control over who can access those spaces. They are tethered to the team, but it is the space moderators who decide who can be added. Normal team members do not have the ability to self-join a moderated space, they must request to be added. Team moderators, however, have the highest level of control inside a team. This means they can self-join any moderated team space as well as promote themselves to be a moderator of that space.

Click for larger image

It will be clear which spaces are moderated when you are inside a team. Any moderated team spaces will have a key avatar in the team space list. When a normal team member selects an unjoined, moderated team space from this list, they will see a new view which explains that the space is moderated along with the space moderators’ avatars. On desktop, you can hover over those avatars to bring up their contact cards while on mobile, you can select ’view moderators list’. To join the space, the user needs to contact one of these moderators and request to be added.

Guests – who are any users outside of the team – can be added to a moderated team space by the space moderators. Guests cannot be made moderators of a moderated team space.

Team moderators

As stated above, team moderators have the highest level of control over a team and all spaces inside that team. This includes both normal spaces and moderated spaces. If you created the team, you are a team moderator. That user decides who to promote to join them in moderating that team. See Webex | Roles on Teams and Spaces for more information on roles in Webex.

Unlike ordinary team members, team moderators do not have to request to be added to a moderated team space. They see the key avatar in the team space list, but when they click on the space, they get a different view to what ordinary team members see. They see the option to ‘Join’ the space, meaning they can self-join any moderated space of a team. Once inside a moderated space, a team moderator can decide to take control of the space by promoting themselves to be a moderator. They do this by going to the ‘People’ tab and right clicking on themselves.

Click for larger image
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Moderated team space with no moderators

If a team space moderator is the last moderator of that space, they cannot voluntarily ‘Leave’ the space. The option is disabled for them until they assign another moderator. However, it is possible for a moderated team space to enter a state in which it has no moderators. There are three ways in which this can happen.

The first is if the user decides to ‘Leave’ the team, which removes them from all spaces of that team. The second is if a user is removed from the team by a team moderator. The last way is if the user is removed from the organisation and, subsequently, all their spaces. If that user happens to be the last moderator of any spaces in a team, then those spaces will enter a ‘no moderator’ state.

It’s important to note that the space left with no moderators will stay inside the team and it will stay moderated with access still restricted from other team members.

If this happens, it is up to a team moderator to resolve the situation. For the team moderators only, the affected space will pop to the top of the ‘unjoined’ spaces list, it will become bolded, and have an indicator on the space bricklet, which together alert that there is action to be taken on that space.

By clicking on the affected space, the team moderator will see text which informs them that the space has been left with no moderators as well as the option to join the space. The issue is resolved as soon as the team moderator enters the space, as in this unique scenario, they are automatically made a moderator of the space.

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An ordinary team member who is not in the ‘no moderator’ space will not notice this situation unless they attempt to join the affected space. Then, they will see that there are no moderators in the space and that to join, they will need to contact a team moderator.

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A team member who is inside the ‘no moderator’ space will only see that the space is left with no moderators if they click on the ‘People’ tab. In the place where moderators should be, there will be some information informing them the space has been left without moderators. In this case, they should contact a team moderator to resolve this.

Click for larger image

Allowing the moderation of team spaces unlocks a whole new world of possibilities for making and managing spaces in your organisation. It’s important to understand that this is not just one feature, but instead is the key to unlocking moderator capabilities across all spaces in your Webex app.

See what else you can do with Webex Roles on Teams and Spaces

Resources

Switch to the new Webex app

Ready to make the switch to the new Webex?

Learn more

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

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Webex technology ecosystem – The gold standard for video conference experiences with Webex Devices

Overview 

With so many 3rd party integration options in the video conference marketit can be hard to know at a glance what the best product integration is. What are the best room booking applications out there? What is the best LCD display that works well with Webex Devices? 

Here in Oslo, Norway, not only do we have Red Dot award-winning devices, we are also building the best meeting experiences through our new Webex Technology Ecosystem program – technically certifying partner integrations for Webex Devices. Our open platform allows our technology partners to create integrations to the Webex Platform to best solve customer use-cases. In order to provide the highest levels of security and best end-user experiences, the Webex Technology Ecosystem Program was created to validate third parties that their integration is adhering to our security, user experience, and supported API methods. In addition, the benefits of certifications include an online community and Cisco product team support, validated tests done by a 3rd party firm, AVDR, and overall helping drive down integration costs. 

We launched two logo tier designations to certifications:    

  • Webex Certified  A third party solution that has achieved the most stringent of all testing by the Webex Device Business Unit. 
  • Webex Compatible – A third party solution that meets the minimum requirements for integration.

Moving forward, there will also be a third-tier for certification which will be a self-supported knowledge base community that will soon launch on the Cisco Webex Communities portal.   

Cisco approved products & vendors 

Below you will find the solutions that have achieved certification status. Currently, there are only two Certified categories: Displays and Intelligent Workplaces. The other categories will only have Compatible logo status. As we progress, we aim at adding more categories and technology partner solutions to the Certified logo. 

Webex Device certified and compatible categories 

  • Cameras 
  • Content Experiences 
  • Collaborative Workplace 
  • Displays* 
  • Easy Join Services 
  • Intelligent Workplace* 
  • Room Booking 
  • Team Communications 
  • Workplace Analytics 

*Webex Certified logo categories 

Some of the partner solutions shown are also part of the Cisco Solutions Plus partnership program.  If you want to know more details of the certified partner solutions and categories, please visit: http://cs.co/certifiedvendors 

Certification process 

Below is the certification application journey for the Webex Technology Ecosystem for Webex Devices. As you can see it is a multi-step process to onboard. 

If you are a vendor seeking to join the Webex Technology Ecosystem program, please visit this link. 


Additional Resources 

For Customers:
Cisco Webex Integration Partners
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collaboration/webex-rooms-integrations.html
Webex Devices Certification Vendor List
https://cs.co/certifiedvendors

For 3rd Party Vendors:
Webex Devices Certification Application
http://cs.co/webexcertapplication
Webex for Startups Program
http://cs.co/webexforstartups
Developer Resources
https://developer.cisco.com/site/roomdevices
https://developer.webex.com 

Resources

Switch to the new Webex app

Ready to make the switch to the new Webex?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Read more
Woman sitting at her desk using video conferencing with a webex desk camera
What’s new in Webex: January 2021

New features and capabilities to enable a more inclusive way of working

Welcome to what’s new in Webex! This article highlights new Webex features and capabilities that we have recently introduced.

This month we’re introducing new devices and capabilities in Webex designed to help with things like virtual meeting fatigue, better engaging remote participants and tools to enable powerful, professional experiences wherever you work. Read more below for information about these capabilities and more.

MEETINGS

MESSAGING

CALLING

DEVICES

INTEGRATIONS AND INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

CONTACT CENTER

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

MEETINGS

Gestures

Sharing your feedback and hand raising are even easier using hand gestures. With the gesture feature, Webex intelligence translates simple hand motion to your camera (thumbs up, down, clap, hand-raise) to represent your feedback as an icon on screen – no keyboard required. Now, you can easily scan the whole virtual meeting room to gain insights and even the most introverted among us can provide feedback in a meeting.

1 image Reaction gesture dark

Breakout Sessions: Let anyone join this session

Now meeting hosts can allow users to join any breakout sessions. No pre-assignment or manual intervention needed – users can join the breakout even if assigned to a different breakout. This gives smaller groups even more flexibility to collaborate and share ideas over audio and video for workshops, classrooms, brainstorming and more. Supported across desktop and mobile platforms.

2 breakouteveryone

In-meeting real-time health checker now for mobile

Now mobile users on Android or iOS will see an in-meeting media quality indicator informing participant of their current meeting conditions. Support on mobile platforms provides consistent experiences for health-checks already available on the desktop app.

Mobile healthcheck

MESSAGING

We’ve created more personalization options, and continue to add more intelligence to enhance team collaboration.

Edit messages with attachments

Now you can edit your messages even if they originally included attachments, such as whiteboards, files, or GIFs. Fix a typo or update the message text with the latest development. (Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android)

4 EditMessageWithContentJan

CALLING

Webex continues to expand features to deliver business class calling from the cloud.

Below, we’ve indicated which calling service each new feature applies to. If you’re not sure what calling service you have, see Webex | Find Out What Calling Service You Have.

Webex App with Unified Communications Manager

Park and retrieve your phone calls

Park a call on extension and let another employee to retrieve the call from other phones.  Supported on the Webex app for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android.

Park and retrieve your phone calls

Monitor an agent’s call for quality assurance

In a call center, supervisors need to be able to guarantee the quality of customer service that call center agents provide. With silent monitoring, the supervisor can hear both call participants, but neither of the call participants can hear the supervisor. Cisco Contact Center Enterprise Finesse desktop control uses the Webex app as your softphone to support silent monitoring.  (Windows desktop)

Ensure incoming calls are visible

Administrators and users can control when to bring call windows to the front of your screen automatically. Make incoming calls readily available for use cases such as contact center agents, or shared line users.   Control call window and call toast brought to front of Webex app for Windows and Mac users.

DEVICES

Webex continues to add features to enable common app and device experiences to support more hybrid work scenarios.

Webex Desk Camera

An intelligent, powerful and affordable new camera built to enhance the remote meeting experience and enable small, safe in-person meetings in the office. The Webex Desk Camera delivers up to 4K ultra HD video with vibrant color and incredible low light performance.  Plus, it’s simple to manage remotely with Webex Control Hub.  See it in action:

Raise Hand​ on Device​ (Room OS)

Grab the attention of your meeting host, even if you are not currently in view, by simply clicking a button (on your Webex device touch screen interface or Touch 10 control panel).   Your Webex Room System, running the latest version of Webex Room OS lets everyone in your Webex meeting know that you are waiting to speak.

Cloud connected devices far end camera control (Room OS)

Far end camera control allows you to disable auto framing and get the best fit image for the application at hand.  For example, remote monitoring of patients, manufacturing facilities, remote view of a group brainstorming session.  You can now do this with Webex cloud-connected devices in Webex meetings and 1:1 calls.

INTEGRATIONS AND INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

Schedule Meetings through 3rd party Calendar with Slack Integration

We’re introducing more ways to get the best meeting experiences in the apps you use today.  When scheduling a meeting from the Slack app, users will have to ability to select ‘Webex Meeting’ from a pull-down menu, adding add a Personal Room link to the invite.

10 Slackintegration

Integrations for Developers

SDK & Widgets: Mobile SDK for background noise reduction, high frame rate content share

Any mobile app, in which Webex is embedded, can benefit from background noise reduction and high frame rate content sharing. For example, eliminate dog barking or background noise distractions from client meetings supported in a separate mobile app.   

Meeting API: Webhooks meeting participants admin

Both endpoints now accept a host Email parameter. This parameter is only used if the user or application calling the API has the admin-level scopes. If set, the admin may specify the email of a user in a site they manage and the API will return responses for preferences or participants on behalf of that user.

Messaging Events API: file download/preview

Whenever a file with sensitive information is uploaded into a space, the Compliance Officer and CASB vendor can not only track who uploaded the file, but also who saw the preview of the cover page and who downloaded the file.

CONTACT CENTER

Webex Contact Center

New data centers in Latin America and Asia Pacific

To enable even greater global access to our cloud-based customer engagement solutions, Webex is expanding its Webex Contact Center availability in Latin America and Asia Pacific.  New data centers in Brazil and Singapore are now available for the Webex Contact Center 1.0 platform, adding to additional recent regional data center expansions in Canada and Germany.

Integrated Webex Experience Management capabilities expanded to include post-call surveys via IVR
Post-call feedback surveys can now be delivered via IVR, in addition to existing SMS and email delivery options, gather immediate feedback from customers after contact center interactions to capture top-of-mind sentiment to improve customer engagement experiences.

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

If you are an admin, Webex Control Hub places management, monitoring, troubleshooting, analytics, edge and hybrid services across all your collaboration resources in one pane of glass.

Scheduler for Report Generator

Webex is simplifying and automating tasks to make your life easier.  The new Scheduler functionality removes the need to manually run reports for different date ranges.  Now you can schedule reports to run automatically daily, weekly or monthly.

Call media optimization for UCM Calling

When more employees work from home via Mobile Remote Access, Bandwidth on Expressway will be in high demand. With the Media Optimization feature (ICE for UCM Calling), the media of SIP calls between two Webex app users will be sent point to point instead of traverse Expressway.  This helps business to reduce bandwidth consumption at the corporate edge and end-users benefit from reduce call latency.

Override default phone settings for Webex Calling

Control Hub settings for Webex Calling services now includes device override options for default phone settings allow admins to configure basic phone settings at the Customer, Location and Device level via control hub.  This includes background images, long and short interdigit timers, station display name, line key labels, line key LED patterns.

Override default phone settings for Webex Calling

Monthly Builds for SW Upgrades for Edge connected devices

Upgrade the software on your Webex Edge -connected Webex Rooms systems, directly from the cloud, with visibility and control from Webex Control Hub.

Historical Workspace Analytics

Historical Workspace Analytics is available today for all global customers and can be configured in Control Hub Settings. Trends for occupancy as well as environmental conditions such as noise, temperature and humidity provide an added level of analytics for shared meetings spaces.

For more information on all of these features and upcoming updates to Webex, please visit the What’s New Articles for Webex Services

Resources

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2021: Business Transformation and More Inclusive Collaboration Ahead

Designing the future of work | Gesture Recognition

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AllNewWebex
Continuing the momentum with the All New Webex

In December we introduced the all-new Webex to the world. Designed to deliver inclusive collaboration experiences that are 10x better than in-person interactions, Webex empowers work – where ever it happens – over a platform with integrated security, intelligence, and insights built-in, not bolted on.

Cisco’s purpose is to power an inclusive future for all and with Webex, we’re continuing to break down barriers that keep us apart, giving everyone an equal voice to achieve greater productivity and more engaged relationships. With the future of work being hybrid, we believe we achieve more when diverse ideals and workstyles comes together and everyone can contribute equally, fully, and as their authentic selves.

There’s so much more to the all-new Webex, and we’re excited to share the news with the world. Launched last week, we rolled out a new campaign celebrating the inclusiveness of collaboration with Webex. You can see our ads on broadcast TV, on-demand, online, and on social:

  • NBA on TNT; 9 games with 2 spots on each game, including the Warriors!
  • CNN Headline News
  • Roku and Amazon Fire
  • Across the Disney network including ESPN, HULU, ABC, National Geographic, FX, and all NBC properties.

And for basketball fans, following is a tentative schedule for the NBA games (all times ET) where our commercial will run:

  • Thursday, 1/14 – Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets 10:00 PM
  • Monday, 1/18
    • Phoenix Suns vs. Memphis Grizzlies 5:00 PM
    • Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets 7:30 PM
    • Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers 10:00 PM
  • Thursday, 1/21
    • Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks 7:30 PM
    • New Orleans Pelicans vs. Utah Jazz 10:00 PM

True collaboration is an inclusive experience, and as we learned in 2020, finding ways to come together has never been more important. Webex enables secure inclusive experiences so that we can contribute and create fully no matter how, when or where we work together – helping to accelerate outcomes, and just get stuff done. Our work isn’t done – we’re continuing to innovate every day, and finding more and better ways to stay connected.

And try the all new Webex for free, today.

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It’s all in the new Webex

Welcome to the All New Webex

What’s new in Webex: December 2020

Still Need Help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

 

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It's all in the new Webex
It’s all in the new Webex

Cisco Webex just announced an all new Webex: the next generation collaboration platform. What does this mean? And more specifically, what does this mean for you?

The 10x experience

In the opening keynote at WebexOne on December 8, Jeetu Patel, GM of Security and Applications at Cisco announced the all new Webex—one easy-to-use and secure app to call, message, meet, and get work done.

The all new Webex aims to create an experience that is 10 times better than in-person interactions. You may be asking yourself, is this even possible?

Let’s dive into this.

Inclusive by design

This year brought a lot of change to the way we work, forcing millions to adjust to working from home. Office doors were closed for extended periods of time, and as some have opened or are planning to re-open, the big question being asked is “what will the future of work look like?”

As we’ve seen this year, the future is unpredictable. But we’re fairly confident that remote work will continue to be a large part of the new work normal. As a result, the way we collaborate virtually needs to advance even further—beyond just video conferencing and screen sharing—giving everyone an equal opportunity to participate no matter where they are or how they communicate.

Webex is built for enhanced virtual interactions. It’s built to bring everyone in, allow every voice to be heard, and break barriers to communication, regardless of geography, personality type, or language preference. New meeting templates will allow you to choose how, when, and how long you meet, ensuring all attendees get a chance to speak. And real time closed captioning with language translations in 10 different languages will remove communication barriers. Simply put, Webex is designed to make sure everyone is included.

Changing the way you work

Today, we need to be able to work anywhere, at any time. With a single, consistent collaboration experience, you’ll be able to work quickly and efficiently, from anywhere in the world. Here’s how.

With combined meeting, messaging, and calling, Webex is able to connect people faster and easier than ever before while allowing for both synchronous and asynchronous communication.

Send messages 1:1 or to a group. If you need to share a document or hop on a call, you can do it, too. All in the same place.

What’s more, you can even personalize the entire experience. Change your color pallet, background, and photos. New video layouts let you set your own stage, showing as many or as few participants, and placing them in a view that works for you. And soon, AI-enabled in-meeting reactions will allow you to immediately express yourself non-verbally using emojis and natural gestures.

The all-new Webex will bring to life the magic and power of productive, engaging and fun teamwork.

Creating a smarter experience

The all new Webex is designed with built-in intelligence and machine learning that are revolutionizing the way we work. From integrations with Outlook, Google, Box, and more, to personalized meeting experiences and automated tasks, your meetings will become more productive than ever.

We also know that not everyone has access to a home office and meetings can take place anywhere. Your meetings will benefit from noise removal and speech enhancement technology. This means those unwanted sounds that creep into meetings (like a vacuum cleaner or lawn mower) will be detected and removed without you having to mute—a way better experience than an in-person meeting with distracting background noise.

At the end of the day, the all new Webex wants to bring people together to do exceptional work, while creating an equal opportunity for everyone. We are excited about this launch and look forward to hearing how Webex changes the way you work and makes your interactions 10x better than in-person.

To learn more, including Cisco Webex’s intent to acquire Slido, check out Abhay Kulkarni’s blog here.

You can also watch a rich library of on-demand sessions from WebexOne, here.

And try the all new Webex for free, today.

Learn more

Welcome to the All New Webex

What’s new in Webex: December 2020

Webex App Hub: The Premier Collaboration App Ecosystem To Help You Get Stuff Done

What’s So NEW about the All New Webex?

Enabling Smart Hybrid Work Experiences — For Everyone, Anywhere

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What would you like to do?

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Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

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Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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The rise of AI speech enhancement & better team collaboration

Team collaboration in the age of AI

With COVID-19 driving work from home scenarios now and hybrid work environments into the foreseeable future, organizations are more dependent than ever on video conferencing with excellent audio quality to foster team collaboration.

However, even 145 years after the invention of the telephone, we face hurdles with speech quality and understanding amid disruptive background noise. Using conference calling and video conferencing technology only makes the problem worse, as we now contend with noise from multiple participants in multiple environments. If you have 12 people with barking dogs, yelling kids and loud traffic, you can bet it will inhibit effective team collaboration.

Fortunately, recent developments in deep learning neural network algorithms have dramatically improved the ability to enhance speech by separating noise in communications. But when it comes to integrating speech enhancement solutions into video conferencing technology, all algorithms aren’t created equal.

The deep learning revolution

Audio engineers have made slow but steady progress over the decades to develop noise reduction algorithms focused on fixing the easiest part of the noise problem. They reduced certain background noises like the low, steady hum from fans and air conditioners – and ate away at the speech signal in the process.

It wasn’t until the rise of deep learning methods over the past few years that speech scientists gained a potent new tool to handle noise in live speech. Today, speech clarity and noise reduction are not just incrementally better than prior methods, they are dramatically better.

A graph of 40 years of noise reduction methods

Neural networks offer a powerful new methodology for scrubbing, deconstructing, manipulating, resynthesizing and analyzing real-time speech streams. A small number of organizations are harnessing this power to offer credible noise reduction and speech enhancement in video conferencing technology applications. But most only focus on obvious impairments like background noise.

There are other speech challenges that reduce comprehension and promote cognitive load, or audio overstimulation. These include reverberation, network latency that leads to discontinuities in speech streams, and bandwidth compression issues that remove higher sibilant sounds like “ess,” and “zee.” Fixing these corrupted sections of speech is crucial in achieving effective team collaboration over video conferencing technology.

Noise Reduction – and a Whole Lot More – are now Part of Webex Meetings starting with the October update. With the acquisition of BabbleLabs, Cisco collaboration solutions have integrated best-in-class deep learning and speech science software that addresses the full range of video conferencing technology audio challenges. Our algorithms go beyond just eliminating noise that will prevent a participant’s dog from having a say in the conference call. They produce a clear speech experience with less feedback that improves people’s ability to listen, understand and perceive nuances.

Webex speech enhancement, also available with the October update of Webex Meetings, provides users an unapparelled comprehension rate with speech quality that is up to 10,000 times better (up to 40dB noise reduction). And it does so using minimal compute power. Our low latency solution has a tiny footprint designed to run on phones, laptops and room devices, as well as in the cloud environment.

While we believe we have the best speech enhancement technology on the market, we won’t stop there. We will continue to use deep learning advancements to enhance our speech technology with the goal of helping organizations achieve better team collaboration through their video conferencing technology.

AI-enabled noise removal and speech enhancement are currently available in Webex Meetings and on Webex Rooms devices including the Webex Desk Pro, Webex Board Series and Webex Room Series.

Sign up for a Webex free trial and enable a better team collaboration and video conferencing technology experience today.

About the author

Chris Rowen

Cisco VP, Engineering, Voice Technology

Chris is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and technologist known for his groundbreaking work developing RISC microprocessors, domain-specific architectures and deep learning-based speech software.

Before joining Cisco, he was the cofounder and CEO of speech science technology company BabbleLabs, which was acquired by Cisco in 2020. Prior to that, he founded the processor licensing company, Tensilica, and led it as CEO before it was sold to Cadence in 2013.

Chris holds greater than 40 US and international patents, an MSEE and PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford and a BA in physics from Harvard. He is an IEEE Fellow.

Learn more

Introducing the All New Webex

What’s new in Webex: December 2020

Webex One blog series

Webex Meetings integrations let you work and play from wherever you are

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

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The AV1 video codec comes to Webex!

Thomas Davies & Sijia Chen – Webex is rolling out the AV1 video codec into production early next year. This will bring our media quality to the next level. As a founding member of AOM, Cisco is proud to introduce this advanced video technology into the real time communications market

It’s here! We have begun the process of rolling out the advanced AV1 video codec across Webex, taking video quality to the next level in the process, and replacing the aging H.264 standard.

Following on from our successful demonstration at the Big Apple conference last year, starting early next year, AV1 will be enabled on Webex when sharing high-motion content on desktop machines. This means that, when sharing the most challenging type of content into your meeting, such as a sports video, a commercial, or any type of high-motion graphics, the new AV1 codec will be available to help you share the very best quality possible.

What is AV1?

AV1 is a next-generation video codec, capable of greatly improving video quality. It was designed by the Alliance for Open Media to be a royalty-free technology, avoiding the patent wars that have stymied deployment of other advanced video codecs for nearly a decade.

Cisco is proud to be a founding member of AOM. You can find out more about how AOM and AV1 came to be – and how Cisco helped drive AV1 development – in these blogs.

What do I need to use AV1 in Webex?

Transmitting AV1 is supported when sharing screens or applications with “Optimize for motion and video” selected , and when the machine you are on has at least four cores. Receiving AV1 is supported for any machine with at least two cores. AV1 will automatically be used for sharing this type of screen content whenever all participants in a meeting support it, otherwise it will automatically revert to H.264.

How we are rolling out AV1

Adopting a brand-new video codec has an impact on every part of our Collaboration portfolio, so we are going step-by-step.

In future releases we will systematically expand where we deploy AV1. The immediate next steps are to support AV1 for other desktop share modes – either optimized for text and images, or automatically optimized. AV1 works just as well for these modes too, but we are being careful to change things gradually to make sure the user experience is perfect at each step.

Webex employs a fundamentally switched architecture, where video from each participant in a meeting is coded on their machine at different qualities and sent via a server to the other meeting participants. Initially, if some of those participants cannot support AV1 then we will automatically fall back to using H.264. Over time we will also remove these restrictions by applying ad hoc transcoding between AV1 and H.264 for those participants. This will also allow AV1 meetings to be recorded without reverting to H.264, for example.

Mobile devices will also rapidly gain hardware AV1 support, and then AV1 can be rolled out to mobile too. Although our solution is software-based and very fast on ARM as well as x86 processors, it is always better to make use of hardware codecs where possible on mobile to get the best battery life possible.

We’ll also be seeking to reduce the restrictions we have placed on core count for AV1 as we continue to optimize. In fact, remarkably, our AV1 solution uses little more CPU than H.264. However, there are a huge range of different machines out there, and again we are moving gradually to safeguard user experience.

Cisco’s AV1 solution

Powering our solution is a super-optimized software encoder. In designing it we had two goals: to provide significant benefits over H.264 and to do so at the smallest possible extra computational cost.

This is a pretty tall order. In non-real-time applications like streaming, it’s acceptable to increase encoding complexity by 2, 4, even 10 times in order to reap the benefits of a new standard. In real time communications, that’s not true: the machines our customers use, although getting more powerful over time, are also doing more and more.

The Cisco AV1 encoder is flexible, and it is designed to operate within a similar CPU footprint to H.264 and provide bigger quality improvements at lower bit rates when quality is even more precious.

Connecting our meetings, our server architecture must negotiate multiple codecs, resolutions and bitrates to suit all participants and respond to changing network conditions resiliently.

Our software also makes use of VideoLAN’s extremely fast dav1d open source AV1 decoder, a remarkable effort, which has had an enormous impact on accelerating the deployment of AV1.

The future: media quality and Cisco

This year has seen a steep increase  in usage of Collaboration technology, and people depend on it as never before. Media quality is central to improving our experience, and to deepening the connections we can make in our virtual lives, during the current crisis and beyond. AV1 is one part of a multi-pronged strategy to develop higher and higher quality real-time meeting experiences – in short, to make them 10x better. The aim is for AV1 to become the new normal, but also that the media that it encodes to become ever richer, more detailed, and more vibrant.

About the authors

Thomas Davies is a Principal Engineer in the Collaboration Technology Group. He has worked in satellite networking, RF communications, and broadcasting, but has spent most of his career on video and codecs. He has worked for Cisco for over 8 years on creating the next generation of collaboration experiences.

Sijia Chen is Technical Leader in the Collaboration Technology Group. She works on video-related features, including video codec algorithm design and implementations as well as video quality assessments and metrics. She has worked for Cisco for over 12 years on Webex Media Engine, which serves multiple Webex production lines.

Click here to learn more about the offerings from Webex and to sign up for a free account. 

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4x4 grid layout
What’s new in RoomOS- December

This December, you can choose to work from wherever with our new Custom Background feature. Maybe The Bahamas sounds tempting? Read on to learn more about the Custom Background feature, among many other innovations.

Custom background upload

The Webex Desk Pro already has the virtual background feature, where your background is replaced by an image, but these images are pre-selected by Cisco. Want to work from the beach? Your cabin? Times Square? The opportunities are (almost…) endless with the new custom background upload feature. You can now upload your own custom images! We provide some guidance about what works, and users can go into settings.webex.com and upload up to 3 images that they can later select as their own virtual background.

4×4 Grid Layout

Tuning into body language and mimic is an essential part of effective communication. And good communication on the other hand, is essential for successful collaboration. That’s why we are super excited to offer you a 4×4 grid layout – this way you can meet face-to-face with more of your colleagues, even when all of you work remotely. 4 rows and 4 columns of participants are displayed on your Cisco Webex Room Series device, or your Webex Desk Pro. This is a step towards bringing you a 5×5 grid layout – which is just around the corner.

4x4 grid layout

Floating content bar

This is a new user interface element to make it easier to find and use certain features. The new floating content bar simplifies the journey towards annotation, content sharing, and using the touch redirect feature to connect your laptop to a Webex Board or Desk Pro and control your laptop screen directly from the device’s touch screen.

floating content bar in RoomOS

Co-host

When you are the host of a Webex Meeting, you’re basically the boss. Some features, like recording and Webex Assistant can only be enabled by the host. However, sometimes the meeting host is busy talking or presenting, or they might have to leave the meeting earlier than planned. This is where our new feature, co-host, comes into play. The co-host can perform the same actions as the host. What’s even better, is that your Cisco Webex Rooms device can also act as a co-host, so you can record, end the meeting or use Webex Assistant from the device, all without having a meeting client open. If you want to learn more, you can check out the help article.

Titles in name labels

I’m sure you’ve all grown to love our Face Recognition feature. It helps people in your organization to get to know each other better, and makes it easier for you to remember names – hey, I don’t blame you! We’re all busy. Well, we’ve taken this one step further by integrating Face Recognition with titles. Titles are job description showing under your name label. This is retrieved from the active directory of your company; however, end users can change this by going into settings.webex.com and edit the description field. Click here to learn more.

Titles in name labesl in RoomOS

Control Hub – Bulk Configurations

Cisco Webex Control Hub is the central hub for all your Webex services, including your Webex Rooms devices. Through Control Hub you get access to rich insights and analytics, and it’s also an easy way to manage and configure your Rooms devices. We recently added support for Webex Edge for Devices customers, so both full cloud and hybrid devices can take advantage of the new bulk functionality. What is the bulk functionality, you might ask? It is built on our open API’s, and allows our customer to select as few or as many devices as they want, and configure one or many attributes to the selected devices. Read the help article to learn more.

That’s it for December, and we’ll be back In the new year with even more innovations. Until next time!

See how you can take your meeting experiences to the next level

Resources

What’s new in Webex: December 2020

Webex Training Drop- In Session [Live Class]

See What’s New in RoomOS

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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Brenda Son on Webex Teams using personalization feature
What’s new in Webex: December 2020

New features and capabilities to enable a more inclusive way of working

Welcome to what’s new in Webex! This article highlights new Webex features and capabilities that we have recently introduced, as well as a preview of new features coming in early 2021.

We’re excited to introduce the all new Webex!… If you are an existing Webex user, When you’re ready to make the switch to the new Webex, we’ll be here to help you through the transition.

MEETINGS

MESSAGING

CALLING

DEVICES

INTEGRATIONS AND INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

CONTACT CENTER

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

COMING SOON

MEETINGS

Animated meeting reactions

In-meeting animated reactions emojis gives users more freedom to express themselves non-verbally with emoji’s for clap, thumbs up/down, smile, laugh, sad, surprised, and celebrate.

in-meeting animated reactions emojis in Webex Meetings including clap, thumbs up/down, smile, laugh, sad, surprised, and celebrate

And for the holiday’s we’ve introduced a few seasonal options too.

Seasonal emojis in Webex Meetings to include frosty the snowman, mitten thumbs up thumbs down and champagne for celebrate

Enhanced video layout controls

We’ve optimized the layout controls to a single button, labeled Layout.  And now we’ve added the option to hide non-video participants to this menu as well for easy access, so you can select the view you want. We’re just getting started, stay tuned for more customized layout options coming in a future release.

And to be more consistent with your experiences on Webex devices, we’ve updated the layout views too. Active speaker and thumbnail video view is now called, Stage view. Active speaker video view is now called, Focus view. Video strip view is now called, Stack view. Floating panel view is now called, Fullscreen view.

In-meeting - Default Grid View - 3_2-1

Hide names in video

For a more immersive meeting experience, after a few minutes of inactivity name labels now hide for participants not speaking. Forget someone’s name? No problem, name labels will reappear when moving the mouse.

New meeting experience when mobile

We’re continuing to introduce new meeting experiences for mobile users. Recent meeting feature addition for mobile include Webex meeting streaming support for IOS user via Airplay and Apple TV, and iPad users can temporarily mute or unmute by long pressing the bluetooth keyboard’s space bar.

Improved post meeting share experience

Now participant e-mails are also available in the post meeting experience for Webex Assistant making it easier to share transcripts and highlights. On the post-meeting web page, you can now quickly select from participants and invitees to share the post-meeting content with them for view or edit access. This option applies to both the entire post-meeting content as well as just the highlights, if any. Click Select people from participants and invitees.

VDI enhancements

Webex now enables VMWare support for Linux (Ubuntu and eLux) thin clients.

MESSAGING

We’re creating more personalization and adding more intelligence to enhance team collaboration.

Happy holidays – new Seasonal Emoji Reactions

To add some festive cheer to your messaging, we’re giving reactions a seasonal makeover. You’ll see these changes for all reactions on Windows and Mac from December 8 to January 7. (On mobile, reactions use the Android or iOS emojis so we aren’t updating those reactions.)

New Personalization Options 

New Webex personalization features let you insert images and colors to fit your style at work. Select a cover photo for your space, choose your favorite color theme for 1:1 and group spaces, and cobranding options

Set a Cover Photo for Your Profile and Spaces

For a personal touch, choose a background image for your profile, contact card, and spaces. You can select from a set of predefined images, but we’re planning to add support for custom images soon. Available on Windows and Mac.Brenda Son on Webex Teams using personalization feature

Choose a New, More Colorful, Theme

Add more color to your views by choosing one of the new themes—Bronze, Jade, and Lavender. Find these new themes in your settings, along with the Light and Dark themes you already had.  Supported across —Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android

Watch the video to get a quick preview of all three.

CALLING

Consistent user experience for call and meetings

The call and meeting windows on the Webex desktop app now have a fresh new look with modernized icon style, plus an easy to recognize and simplified experience. Now your active calls and meetings have similar user interfaces. This includes duration call timer, an animated microphone icon that indicates your voice input level, a call control bar with text buttons and new icons and more.

consistent user experience

Webex Calling

Hunt Groups

Hunt groups are calling groups that can distribute a single call across a specific group of users. You no longer have to go to the Calling Admin portal to set up and configure hunt groups for your locations. You can complete application services configuration in Control Hub under the Features section. For more information, see Hunt Groups in Cisco Webex Control Hub.

Boss Admin

Now you can make and answer calls on your boss’ behalf with Webex Calling Boss-Admin (also known as Executive Assistant feature). If you have more than one boss, you can select the appropriate line when making a call. And you’ll always know which boss an incoming call is intended for. Learn more here.

Boss Admin

Call recording

With Webex Calling, call recording is supported if enabled by your admin. Depending on your setup, your incoming and outgoing calls may be recorded automatically, or you may be able to decide which calls you want to record. You’re presented with a visual indicator letting you know when a call is being recorded. Find more details here.

Recent calling features announced for desktops are now available on mobile: Call History details, click on Call icon, and Mirror self video.

DEVICES

Webex continues to add features to enable common app and device experiences to support more hybrid work scenarios.

Custom background options

Looking for a more personalized option for your office? The Webex Desk Pro already supports standard virtual background options. Now we’re giving you the option add your own image with the new custom background upload feature.

Whiteboard black canvas feature

Now you can change between black and white canvas when you’re using the whiteboard. Webex Boards, Desk Devices, and Room Devices.

Whiteboard black canvas feature

INTEGRATIONS AND INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

Microsoft Outlook BOT

Stay on top of your inbox with notifications from the Outlook Alerts for Microsoft Office 365 bot for Webex. Create custom rules based on subject lines and email recipients and never again miss a business-critical email. For greater efficiency and fluidity, you can even have those insights sent directly to relevant Webex spaces and teams.Pager Duty Bot

Automatically create a War Room space with the team responsible for a service. Add service owners, acknowledge or resolve, and escalate incidents quickly using the bot.  Learn more here.

CONTACT CENTER

All new Webex Contact Center

Webex is introducing a next-generation, fully customizable cloud contact center solution for digital-first engagement. Inspired by customers and architected for business, Webex Contact Center delivers the future of customer experience – today. Available in December, learn more about powerful new features and capabilities here.

Webex CC - IVR Transcript - History - Dark Mode

 

 

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

If you are an admin, Webex Control Hub places management, monitoring, troubleshooting, analytics, edge and hybrid services across all your collaboration resources in one pane of glass.

Proactive Notifications with ability to add thresholds

Webex Control Hub admins can now enter custom thresholds on latency, jitter, and packet loss to help control the quality of collaboration experiences.

Proactive Notifications with ability to add thresholds

Revamped Meetings Analytics Quality Page

We’re redesigning the Meetings Analytics Network Quality page with a new user-friendly layout – this also means faster load times with higher data resolution and real time data capabilities. IT admins can view real time data (up to 10 minutes lag), identify users with repetitive network quality issues and cross launching into trouble shooting. We’re also introducing new network quality KPIs and metrics for VOIP, video and join meeting time (JMT) plus trending charts with summary statistics. Analytics in Cisco Webex Control Hub give administrators access to interactive data visualizations that show important information, such as usage and adoption trends and explore data as it automatically adapts to parameters that you specify in real-time.

Meetings Analytics Landing Page(1)

 

 

New Reports: High CPU Usage, Peak Meeting Usage, Microsoft Teams and Slack Integrations Usage

Webex Control Hub now allows admins to build custom reports by selecting dimensions and metrics to generate a CSV or continue to leverage the standards reports. They also have access to new standard reports including high CPU usage, peak meeting usage, and integrations from Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Generate Report in Analytics

Headset Analytics in Webex Control Hub

Updated Device Analytics page in Webex Control Hub includes usage and inventory information about Cisco Headsets – enabling IT Admins to track how Cisco Headsets are used, what is the geographic distribution of headsets and which models are popular.

Headset Analytics

Webex Calling events API

The Webhooks API in Webex for Developers has been enhanced to support Webex Calling Call Control events. With this enhancement for user specific calling events developers can provide insight to users on the state of their call in realtime — answered, held, forwarded, recording paused and more. Learn more here.

COMING SOON

The all new Webex is bringing new feature innovation to your collaboration experiences. Here are a just a few examples of coming soon features:

Meetings

In early 2021 real-time translations will be coming to Webex, breaking down language barriers in meetings. Webex Assistant will soon offer live translation from English to top 15 languages spoken by 80 percent of the world population including Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Dutch, and Japanese. We will be working to quickly expand this list over time so everyone can participate.

Real Time Translation

Messaging

Webex is making it easy to stay on top of your most important messages. Leveraging Webex Graph and AI technology, Webex will prioritize the most important messages for you based on the people and spaces you interact with the most – coming soon.

Messaging

Calling

Webex is making it easy to elevate your calls to rich audio & video- bringing calling from hearing, to seeing & doing. Easily move a 1:1 telephone call into a Webex video meeting and take advantage of AI transcriptions, notes and action items, and recordings.

25 image calling

Devices

The Webex team is reimagining the desk for our new hybrid work environment and expanded our integrated devices portfolio to include products that help with things like virtual meeting fatigue, and support the need for a powerful, professional experience no matter where you work. Click here to learn more.

The Webex Desk Camera will be orderable next month. An intelligent, powerful and affordable new camera built to enhance the remote meeting experience and enable small, safe in-person meetings in the office. It delivers up to 4K ultra HD video with vibrant color and incredible low light performance.  Plus, it’s simple to manage remotely with Webex Control Hub. Here’s a sneak peak at the new Webex Desk Camera:

For more information on all of these features and upcoming update to Webex, please visit the What’s New Articles for Webex Services.

Learn more 

Welcome to the New Webex!

Join us at WebexOne for more innovation news and the all new Webex

Ready to make the switch to the new Webex?

Join a live class

Working remotely: Webex overview

What’s new in Webex Meetings 40.12

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Future of Government: Hybrid Workspace for Legislature [Live Class]

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Resources

Cisco Announces Wave of Webex Innovation to Drive 10x Better Than In-Person Experiences and Much More [News Release]

Cisco Announces Three New Webex Devices To Empower the Remote Worker and Enable a Safe Return to Office [News Release]

Cisco Doubles Down on Webex Ecosystem and Accelerates Webex App Hub, Enabling a Seamless Experience Between the Platforms You Love [News Release]

 

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Three reasons to register for WebexOne: December 8-9

WebexOne is a don’t miss event! This is your last chance to sign up before the event starts.

Here are three reasons you should do so:

1.It’s digital (and Free).

You heard that right. It’s easier to attend than ever before. You can tune in to the event from the comfort of your home office, or really, anywhere you are.

2. Amal Clooney and RuPaul Charles (+ dozens of other thought leaders and speakers)

We’re sure you’ve heard of them. One is known for her work as a Human Rights Expert, and the other as a Pop Culture Icon and host/executive producer of Ru Paul’s Drag Race. These famous luminaries will be joining the event to talk about their careers and how they play a role in inspiring the future of work.

In addition, you’ll get a chance to hear from Webex experts, customers, partners, analysts, and other thought leaders on the direction they see the future of work headed. After the keynotes, you can join sessions around seamless collaboration, customer experience, and channel partners.

3. the all new Webex

This is our premier digital collaboration conference and with that comes, drum roll, please… an all new Webex. You won’t want to miss the announcements and discussions around new features that WILL create a better and easier future of work. Whether you’re back in the office, or working remotely, the new Webex is for you.

Explore the power and magic of collaboration. Check out more here. And don’t forget to register, today.

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Top 10 reasons I’m excited about WebexOne

Announcing WebexOne: Cisco’s Premier Digital Collaboration Conference

Looking for Best of the Best Bragging Rights? Nominations are Open for the 2nd Annual Webex Awards!

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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5 questions small business owners should ask themselves before choosing a video conferencing solution

Choosing the right solution for your small business

With the advent of widespread remote work, collaboration has become more complex. Instead of gathering in a physical conference room, meetings are now virtual. How do you choose the right solution for your small business and give your teams the tools they need to succeed?

Unproductive meetings are a time and energy suck. When conducted remotely, they have the potential to be even more disorienting. The right video conferencing solution can make meetings productive again.

5 things to look for in a video conferencing solution

Before purchasing a conference solution for audio/video calls and meetings, there are some questions to be answered. Look carefully at each of your prospective solutions and as a buyer, consider a customer value management approach to see if they support your business needs. Some features may include:

  1. In-browser functionality

Many video conferencing solutions require users to have an account or download an app. That’s just one more hoop to jump through and one more login to remember. Look for options that support in-browser use and have a fast uptime instead.

When you can simply invite people to a meeting with a quick email and they can get straight into the meeting by clicking a link, you cut down on time waiting for people to find their login or request a new password, or download and launch an app.

Cisco Webex Meetings has a fast browser-based interface, providing easy access for desktop users. Your participants can also join via tablet, phone, or any standards-based video conferencing system. The goal is to provide unparalleled video quality from anywhere your team member is located, on any device they choose to utilize. You can easily customize the meeting layout for best viewing and usability.

Best of all, there’s no download or configuration required, and users can easily jump into meetings over the phone with the Call Me feature. You can schedule, start, and join new meetings directly from your toolbar for added flexibility and convenience.

  1. Collaboration features

The ability to actively share and collaborate during a conference can enhance video calls and teamwork. Look for solutions that allow the following functionalities:

  • Screen sharing. Being able to show, not tell, can streamline training processes and make it easy for groups to follow along as you demonstrate how to use a new tool or application.
  • File sharing. Dropping a document into your meeting for everyone to access saves time and effort over having to create and send an email blast with the attached file or link.
  • Instant messaging. Having a built-in chat allows participants to ask questions without interrupting the flow of a presentation and helps preserve a record of participation.

Webex Meetings facilitates screen sharing, file sharing, and real-time chat during video conferencing calls to help foster collaboration and build stronger teams.

  1. Speech-to-text capability

Being able to revisit what happened in a conference call can give your video conferences lasting organizational impact. Look for features like audio/visual recording, closed captioning, real-time transcription and note taking. Being able to share a past video conference with someone who missed it is easier than trying to recap later.

Webex Meetings can record each conference, provide closed captions, facilitate note-taking, and deliver accurate transcriptions that you can download, save, and share as needed. When you need to revisit an older conference, you can use targeted keywords to search transcripts for sections of interest.

  1. Cost vs. value

While cost is certainly a factor for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), it shouldn’t be the deciding factor when choosing how to handle your video conferencing call needs. All options aren’t created equal, and it’s better to pay a little more for a video conference solution that meets the needs of your team.

  • Quality. Read reviews and find out which solutions repeatedly get praise for clear audio and smooth video feeds.
  • Resolution. Does the picture quality suffer on certain devices? You need a solution that doesn’t just work only on desktop or only on mobile.
  • Security. How are your calls encrypted? Who handles the speech to text function and provides recordings, transcriptions, and closed captioning?
  • Support. When you’re having issues, waiting in a queue or having to email a support team isn’t a viable solution. You need help that is available and accessible in real time.

Webex Meetings video conferencing provides clear audio and high-resolution video, along with in-house encryption, recording, captioning, and transcription for a secure experience. The support team is continually available to troubleshoot any potential issues with you in real time.

  1. Integrations

How well will the video conferencing solution integrate with tools you already use? Ask the following questions when considering adding video conferencing to your array of small business solutions:

  • Can you seamlessly merge your contact list, email client, and calendars to facilitate meeting invites?
  • Will you be able to readily access files from your favorite file-share and storage locations?
  • Is the solution compatible with both Microsoft and Apple tools and applications?
  • What about chat and communication platforms?
  • Can you use the video conference solution inside your preferred small business customer relationship management (CRM) platform?

Being able to continue using the other solutions your team is familiar with will make video conferencing easier and more intuitive.

Webex Meetings smoothly integrates with Google Cloud, Microsoft, Apple, Box, Salesforce, and Slack to complete your suite of small business tools while fostering scalability and adoption.

Video conferencing can give your SMB a strong strategic advantage. Learn more by getting started with a free trial today.

Resources

Control Hub Administration — Configuring the Essentials Part 1 [Live Class]

Scheduling Webex Events [Live Class]

What’s new in Webex: November 2020

Learn More

Small business innovation and how you can learn from it

Choosing the best small business tools for 2020

How do I expand my small-scale business without capital?

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing

What’s new in Webex Meetings 41.1 [Live Class]

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance

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Best cybersecurity practices for parents

As a parent, what can you do to make sure your children are as safe as possible from cybersecurity threats while attending school remotely?

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) may have ended, but its lessons about how to stay safe online are worth taking to heart throughout the year.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many previously in-person activities are now virtual, relying on video conferencing, VoIP calling, and screen sharing as substitutes for face-to-face discussions. School systems throughout the U.S. have shifted all or at least most of their classes online. This new normal raises the stakes for proper cybersecurity measures in the home, where many children now receive instruction.

Let’s look at five immediate steps you can take to curtail risk and promote a more productive, safer online experience.

  1. Help your kids manage their passwords

CISA recommends using the longest permissible password for every account to prevent guessing. There are several ways to create a sufficiently lengthy and unique password for each login:

  • Let a web browser (Apple Safari, Google Chrome, etc.) generate and store it for you.
  • Use a third-party service such as 1Password to do the same.
  • Come up with your own passwords by using phrases, titles, and abbreviations, interspersed with special characters and varying capitalization as needed, and manage them with one of the above tools.

In all cases, you’ll want to have some sort of auto-fill enabled so that your children do not have to manually enter each of these passwords. Train them on how to generally use the password manager, including the use of the PIN, master password, or biometric credentials that may be needed to fill each password.

  1. Set up and enable parental controls

All major operating systems include some form of parental controls, which allow you to manage the applications, sites, and services your children have access to. For example, Chromebooks running Google Chrome OS can have Family Link enabled.

Family Link can be configured to prevent private browsing in Chrome, block certain types of content, and limit which permissions a child can grant to individual websites (such as camera, microphone, and location access). These features are also customizable.

Similar services exist across iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. Basically, all of these parental control solutions can disable incognito/private browsing like Family Link does, while also providing granular activity reporting and management of site/app access.

  1. Educate them about phishing

Phishing is one of the most effective types of cyberattacks. A 2020 survey from email security firm GreatHorn found that 36% of respondents received risky emails on a daily basis.* A separate Barracuda Networks report found a huge surge in phishing campaigns as attackers take advantage of high interest in recent times, safety measure announcements, and potential treatments.**

Pre-teen boy lying on sofa using laptop, dad sitting beside him, mum and sister in the backgroundBeing able to identify and delete any phishing emails that automatic spam filters don’t catch is especially important in remote learning environments, due to the sheer volume of email correspondence sent to both parents and students. Accordingly, phishing knowledge is a key skill for everyone in your household to acquire. To lower the risk of phishing, be sure to:

  • Note any unusual spellings or grammar in email subject lines and bodies.
  • Avoid clicking any links or downloading any attachments from unknown senders.
  • Look for odd sender email addresses, for instance ones from non-.edu domains.
  • Add seemingly risky senders to a block list, so their future messages don’t show up.
  • Ensure that spam filtering settings on your child’s email account are properly configured.
  1. Keep an eye on software updates

Outdated applications and operating systems are security risks, as they might contain known vulnerabilities and/or be incompatible with certain forms of protection. Even if your child isn’t aware yet of these risks, you can still keep them safe by making sure that automatic software updates are enabled.

Depending on the platform and the type of update, the update may happen in the background (in which case, no action is required) or require a restart or the entry of an administrator password to proceed. Check periodically to see if updates are available or require any intervention on your part.

  1. Enable two-factor authentication

Sensitive applications such as those for video conferencing and voice communications should be protected with multiple layers of security. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is especially important, as it requires any successful login to consist of both a correct username-password combination and an additional factor such as a one-time code, security question, or confirmation on a separate device.

NCSAM 2020 has focused heavily on the role of 2FA and the other precautions highlighted here. You can access their full set of cybersecurity tips on this page.

Want to learn more about Webex and all its features and the value it can provide? Reach out for more information or get started for free.

Learn more

What healthcare providers should do this National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Preparing for screen sharing: How to reduce risk when sharing your screen

Security and compliance realities for remote financial service workers

4 ways to ensure your video conferences are secure

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

What’s new in Webex Meetings 41.1 [Live Class]

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Sources

*GreatHorn Annual Survey Report, 2020

**667% spike in email phishing attacks due to coronavirus factors

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How to maintain morale and emphasize mental health with remote workforces

Supporting remote workers’ mental health and boosting morale

As in-office teams have gone remote, they’ve faced no shortage of challenges in maintaining their productivity in new environments — not to mention their sanity.

Even before a widespread shift to telecommuting, remote workers routinely faced challenges in fending off loneliness and creating high-quality connections with colleagues and customers from afar.

In 2018, Harvard Business Review chronicled then-current research on the effects of remote work on employee isolation and burnout:

  • One paper found that telecommuters exerted additional effort when away from the office, a form of “intensification” that could stretch projects over longer periods of time and induce burnout.
  • Isolation was flagged as a major health risk in a presentation given at the American Psychological Association. Meanwhile, Buffer’s 2018 State of Remote Work survey found that loneliness topped the list of remote work difficulties.

Fast forward to 2020 and the same challenges are present, if not more intensified by external factors. The 2020 edition of Buffer’s survey found “loneliness” again at the top of the most cited struggles, tied with “collaboration and communication.”

Depressed young man checking home finance

How managers can alleviate mental stress

What can managers, in particular, do to alleviate the mental stress on their teams? Let’s explore a few of the most common tactics.

Regular check-ins

It’s not enough to just do a one-time check-in with an employee to see how they’re holding up. Instead, try the following:

  • Make a schedule and stick to it. The exact timeframe will vary depending on the department. For example, engineering teams may need more frequent meetings than others, due to the continuous, iterative nature of methodologies like DevOps. On the other hand, monthly check-ins can work in other contexts, like keeping up-to-date with people you don’t interact with day in and day out.
  • Mix it up when appropriate. Although some meetings will be strictly focused on work, you have room to expand the subject matter and format of check-ins in other contexts. Virtual coffees or team happy hours may be a useful addition to your schedule. These gatherings let you get a sense of how workers are feeling and provide emotional support. Focusing on mental health during check-ins is also useful no matter the larger topic, as dealing with anxiety, depression, and overload can be tough when remote.
  • Create an agenda. No matter the type of meeting you’re setting up, it doesn’t hurt to have an agenda, if only for your own sake. Make a list of what will be covered so that you can keep the check-in on track. For more formal meetings, share the agenda along with any collateral (such as forms to fill out) well in advance of the actual meeting time.
  • Provide opportunities for development. Just because an employee is remote does not mean their professional development can’t continue. Virtual check-ins via video conferencing platforms and screen sharing software offer good forums for reviewing progress and looking ahead to how the employee might expand their skill set.

Mental health days

In May 2020, Cisco offered employees a company-wide “Day for Me” for purposes of everyone’s well-being. This occasion — an opportunity for the company to take a “collective break” — continued Cisco’s longer-term commitment to mental health, both internally and externally. Cisco leadership has, at other junctures, sent out email updates on mental health and contributed to the ramping-up of telehealth services enabled by Cisco Webex.

More broadly, other organizations may benefit from encouraging their employees to prioritize their mental health by taking advantage of vacation or PTO days and not letting their work intrude into odd hours. Even on days when employees are working, regular breaks and a consistent routine are essential in recharging from the sometimes overwhelming stress of balancing work with ongoing background anxieties.

These techniques help reset the mind and also reduce the eyestrain of looking at screens all day. Consider getting up at least every 20 to 30 minutes, if feasible, and taking the occasion to look at somewhere other than a phone or PC.

Real-time collaboration

One reason that remote employees may feel isolated is that the most common forms of collaboration are very impersonal. Email exchanges can happen without the recipients ever knowing what each other looks or sounds like. And yet enormous time blocks of each work week are consumed composing, responding to, and generally managing email.

In contrast, real-time collaboration solutions with features for video, audio, and screen sharing can provide a much more personalized experience that is good not only for productivity but also for staving off feelings of isolation and burnout. Real-time collaboration tools offer:

  • Crystal-clear video to get insight into body language and reactions.
  • Crisp audio for having an easy-to-follow conversation from anywhere.
  • Screen sharing alongside video and audio for in-depth walkthroughs and demos.
  • Integrated messaging for synchronous communication and content sharing.

Add it all up, and the experience is more engaging than relying on email alone. Webex can be the centerpiece of your mental health-conscious and inclusive remote work experience.

Learn more by getting started for free.

Learn more

The workday: how it’s changed, but also stayed the same

Adjusting to a new normal: The shift to remote work

Securing users and devices in Webex

Still need help?

What would you like to do?

Join a Webex online meeting.

Learn more about web meetings and video conferencing.

Making a Good Impression on Video [Live Class]

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Sources

*Helping Remote Workers Avoid Loneliness and Burnout

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Increasing the productivity of your employees

Productivity is a central concern for every business, regardless of size, industry, or history.

More productive employees generally equate to better business results, which is why increasing productivity is an important consideration for managers, supervisors, and leaders. Giving your employees the tools to do more and empowering them to feel confident in that ability can lead to some significant improvements. These actions are especially important as more staff members work from home, whether on a fixed or temporary basis.

Consider this advice as you look for ways to boost employee productivity.

Offer the right tools and support

Technology has not only enabled a wide variety of employees to work from home, but also allows these staff members to capably and dependably fulfill their professional responsibilities. Making sure your teams have the tools they need to perform to the best of their abilities is a simple step that supports productivity in the long run.

There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to ensuring staff are equipped to handle anything that comes their way:

  • An internet connection is generally the responsibility of a renter or homeowner. However, there may be situations where staff working on projects that regularly eat up bandwidth could benefit from an arrangement that helps subsidize the cost of upgraded service and reduces the time spent sending and receiving files. This could include paying for part or all of the cost of an Ethernet connection or a mesh network to reduce slowdown and boost performance.
  • Hardware provided by your company, like a computer or mobile device, must support the programs employees need to complete their duties. Making sure they aren’t losing valuable time to slow processing speeds or becoming frustrated by error-prone hardware can definitely pay off. The basic tools needed for video conferencing – a camera and microphone – should also be considered, as this option is increasingly popular and effective for those working from home.
  • As with hardware, software must also align with the expectations placed on employees and empower them to work confidently and quickly. While specific needs often vary, videoconferencing software helps address a common need among nearly all remote employees. Be sure to select a program that supports a rich and immersive environment. Keep an eye out for features like virtual whiteboards, automated transcriptions, and other features that enable creativity, collaboration, and problem solving.

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Focus on feedback

Communication about performance, upcoming projects, company initiatives, and many other important topics allows employees to feel connected to their specific roles and the larger company as a whole. Providing feedback to staff is a foundational part of the manager’s role in an organization. And as more and more employees work from home on a temporary or ongoing basis, it’s even more important to emphasize this type of communication.

Actionable feedback – the kind that employees can digest and then apply to their next relevant task – is vital. While it may be positive, negative, or a mix of the two, ensure your staff can draw meaningful, personal conclusions from such discussions and understand how to incorporate feedback into their work.

This is another area where the right video conferencing solution can go a long way toward boosting productivity. Managers can add more value to feedback by highlighting relevant documents or statistics through a screen share, for example, than they could on a phone call alone.

HR Daily Advisor highlighted how goal setting and performance analysis leads to more informed and productive staff.* Creating a rich environment for sharing feedback tied to goals and performance means less uncertainty and a clearer picture for how to move forward. Read how video improves communication during any conference call.

Streamline meetings and emails

Meetings and messages with a clear purpose and intent are invaluable to the regular and positive operation of a business. However, too many email notifications and time spent away from the task at hand can disrupt staff and reduce their productivity over time.

Inc. contributor Chad Halvorson highlighted excessive meetings and emails as two factors that can drive down productivity.** Even when organized or sent with the best of intentions, these events can be a distraction when they spring up too frequently.

Managers should consolidate messaging when possible. A message sent each day — or every few days  — with various notes that are important but not urgent is less disruptive than several emails throughout each day. A standing weekly team meeting that covers upcoming needs and past performance is more predictable and easier to fit into a schedule than several ad-hoc get-togethers about individual issues. Employees will have more productive time to focus on individual work and will still be actively involved in communications about their roles and many other concerns central to their performance.

There will always be situations where it’s imperative to immediately get in touch with an employee or bring a group of them together. Drawing a line between emergencies and something that can wait until the end of the day or the next team meeting is where managers can take an active role in enabling more productive work each day.

Increasing productivity can feel like an especially complicated problem for managers and company leaders. The good news is there are clear steps your organization can take to set employees up for success and help them do more of what they’re best at – even when some or all are working remotely.

Cisco Webex supports effective communication with secure and reliable connections for one-on-one and group meetings, some of the most important building blocks of increased productivity.

Get started with your free plan today.

Learn more

How to increase remote employee productivity during the holiday season with Webex Teams

Why remote work can be more productive work

What’s new in Webex: November 2020

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Overview of Webex Meetings [Live Class]

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Sources

**11 Changes You Can Make to Boost Employee Productivity in 1 Week

*5 Ways to Increase Employee Productivity

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Top 10 reasons I’m excited about WebexOne

It wasn’t that long ago when Top 10 lists were all the rage, a staple of late-night television. We’ve all played the game – top 10 beaches to visit, top 10 dog breeds, top 10 creative uses for pumpkin spice, and so on. We’ve also seen lists become popular on social media – who didn’t play #FirstSevenJobs? So, with a nod to our love of lists, I’m sharing the top 10 reasons I’m excited about WebexOne.

#10

It’s 100% digital

No planes, trains, or automobiles. Simply find a comfortable space in your home (or office if you’re among those lucky few to be back), click into the streaming platform, and watch the magic happen!

#9

Möchten Sie die Konferenz auf Deutsch hören?

Why, yes, you can! We’re localizing the event in 6 different languages* to make it easier than ever to see and understand the latest Webex innovations. In fact, we’re broadcasting in regionally friendly time zones for attendees in Asia-Pac, Japan, and Europe. Visit webexone.com to learn more!

*German, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Traditional Chinese

#8

Sessions for everyone

After the keynotes on both days, you’ll have the option of joining sessions with more on our Webex innovations, panels with customers, and deep dive learning opportunities. Sessions are focused on seamless collaboration, customer experience, and channel partners. Plus, we’re sprinkling in some surprise and delight moments you won’t want to miss!

#7

Awards

At WebexOne, we’ll be celebrating the amazing things our customers and partners do with Webex. Tune in to see how others are transforming their business, achieving high adoption rates, creating a video-first environment, and much more. While nominations are closed, check out the award categories here.

#6

Technology Partner Integrations

You’ll hear how some of our key technology partners – Box, Dropbox, Salesforce, and Facebook – enhance the Webex ecosystem. This is one more example of how Webex fits into your everyday work life and delivers magical moments.

#5

The Future of Work

Throughout the two days, you’ll hear from CXOs, analysts, and thought leaders on what they see for the future for work. They’ll offer inspiring views on how they are re-imagining work in a post-pandemic world, exploring new ways of working, how to thrive in a hybrid environment, and what we can expect over the next five years.

#4

Chuck Robbins & Jeetu Patel

Two heavy hitters open the WebexOne conference – unveiling big news and sharing the latest innovations for Webex. Chuck even hinted at what you’ll see recently with CNBC’s Jim Cramer. Chuck and Jeetu will share the vision for Collaboration, and how we’ll continue to be there when the world needs to work.

#3

Customer stories from IBM, the Dallas Cowboys, Under Armour, T-Mobile, and many more!

At WebexOne, you’ll hear from our amazing customers on how they use Webex – the platform, devices, app, calling, and even contact center. Customer stories are one of my favorite things – and it feels good to know we can help them stay connected, and keep their businesses thriving. I think you’ll love hearing their stories, too!

#2

Luminary speakers Amal Clooney and RuPaul Charles

“Amal Clooney and RuPaul stand for very specific things around equality in the world; around making sure that human rights are protected, and ensuring you can be different and be proud of the fact that you’re different,” said Jeetu Patel in a recent interview. “There is no one better to actually carry the message forward in a very, very symbolic way.” #micdrop

#1

The all new Webex!

What we’re unveiling at WebexOne will blow your socks off! From new features to make hybrid work better and easier, to new devices that work seamlessly with Webex, you’ll see the magic that comes from building a platform that delivers 10x better experiences than in-person interactions.

I think I’m even more excited to attend WebexOne than before – and I hope you are too. Register today – I’ll be curious to hear your top 10 takeaways afterwards.

Stay safe, be healthy, and we’ll see you at WebexOne!

Oh, if you were wondering, my #FirstSevenJobs were 1. making flower garlands and selling them in the local market; 2. Software engineering intern at Wipro; 3. Software engineering intern at IBM; 4. Software engineer at HP; 5. Director of Marketing at HP; 6. VP Marketing at Juniper; and 7. VP Marketing at CA (now Broadcom). I guess that means I’m on my 8th job now as the CMO of Cisco Webex!

Learn More

Announcing WebexOne: Cisco’s Premier Digital Collaboration Conference

Looking for Best of the Best Bragging Rights? Nominations are Open for the 2nd Annual Webex Awards!

Still need help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Read more
two women elbow bumping in front of offices
The workday: how it’s changed, but also stayed the same

The rise of remote work changing the way co-workers communicate and collaborate

The workplace has evolved immensely over the past couple decades in the wake of technological advancements and changing attitudes toward what is considered a “normal” workday.

As technologies emerged like email, followed by team messaging tools and video conferencing capabilities, professionals gained greater abilities to communicate with others quickly and seamlessly without ever being in the same room.

At the same time, the rise of remote work has changed the way co-workers collaborate. As increasing numbers of professionals work remotely rather than commute into a shared office space, colleagues have to learn how to utilize technologies to keep connected. Let’s take a look at how video, project management, and team collaboration tools can change the structure of your workday.

Bringing the workplace to employees, wherever they are

About one-fifth of remote workers say collaboration and communication are the biggest struggles that result from their remote work arrangements, according to The 2020 State of Remote Work report from Buffer. Software that brings the workplace to employees, no matter where they’re located, can help people communicate about their projects.*

As more people join the remote workforce, from all corners of the globe, the “workday” has evolved from the set of hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Instead, people in various time zones and on differing preferred work schedules log in on their own time, complete their work and utilize asynchronous communication to collaborate.

Email continues to be the primary means of sharing information between colleagues; 95% of workers say this is their main mode of internal communications, according to a survey by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and theEMPLOYEEapp by APPrise Mobile.**

Email is a top choice for teams with dispersed team members, as the receipt of an email does not require an immediate response. Communication can take place over the course of hours or days to relay information needed for a project.

young man sitting on a bed wearing jogging pants and tshirt video conferencing on a cell phone wearing ear buds

Meanwhile, other methods of communication have risen in popularity. Workplace messaging programs allow people to quickly send messages, which can either be responded to promptly or whenever is most convenient for the recipient.

Collaboration software that allows people to review documents and files, then make comments for their colleagues to see later on, also enable everyone to share their knowledge and thoughts on a specific item. Other team members can then respond and contribute their piece on their own time, too. Even better, it’s all stored in one place.

Additionally, video conferencing calls are important. While having everyone on a video call at the same time is the best case scenario, people who have overlapping meetings or time zone constraints can listen to recording functionalities allow those who missed to listen to recordings of the call.

But at the heart of the workplace, some things haven’t changed too much

It’s undeniable that the workplace has changed quite a lot thanks to evolving technology and changing trends in how people communicate at work. But, in many ways, the workplace has remained the same – and advanced technology allows people to maintain certain normalcies, even though the definitions of “workplace” and “work day” have changed. Three specific ways the workplace has not changed despite the many advancements include:

  • The need for real-time communication.
  • The value of workplace friendships.
  • The risk of burnout.

For example, though varied work schedules are becoming more normalized, there is still great value in real-time, face-to-face communication. Live video conferencing allows people to connect and communicate in a similar way as they would in-person in the same room. Read How video improves communication during any conference call

Even when recorded meetings can suffice in most cases, there’s still immense value to meeting in real-time to answer questions and bring up challenges pertaining to a work task.

Workplace camaraderie matters

Another aspect of the workplace that has not changed is the importance of camaraderie among team members.

Humans are social beings, and when team members view one another as friends as well as colleagues, it benefits the whole company; data from Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report shows this.*** Organizations that have a high number of workers who agree with the statement “I have a best friend at work” have fewer safety incidents, higher profit overall, and more engaged customers.

Workers who work remotely say loneliness is one of their biggest challenges, according to The 2020 State of Remote Work report from Buffer. Video can help out with this, as team leaders can create virtual happy hours, conversations over coffee, or other events that bring remote workers together socially.

women on computer sitting on couch wearing glasses and looking out the window with a lonely look on her face

Finally, the risk of burnout is still a concern to workers, even when they’re logging in from their home, favorite café, or somewhere else. Because employees can access their work emails, check and send messages to colleagues and conduct other activities anytime, it becomes even more difficult to unplug and relax.

In fact, according to Buffer’s report, 18% of respondents said not being able to unplug from work is among their biggest challenges in the remote work lifestyle. Taking breaks is critical for staying mentally healthy, productive and engaged when it is time to get work done. Employees who work non-traditional schedules should keep in mind that they must also take breaks from their workloads.

Remote work schedules can be a big perk for employees. However, it’s essential to understand how to create team unity, even when schedules don’t always align. Find time to communicate around the clock.

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Why remote work can be more productive work

Adjusting to a new normal: The shift to remote work 

Delighting remote workers: Why user experience is important 

Still need help?

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Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Take a live session on What’s New in Webex Meeting 40.12

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Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

Sources

*The 2020 state of remote work

**Trends in Communications Industry Show Companies Slow to Adopt New Technologies

***State of the American Workplace Report

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Webex Teams Whiteboarding
5 tips for collaborating on a document in Webex messaging

In my last blog, I looked at how you can use modern team messaging platforms to stay in touch with colleagues and external parties in the new remote workplace. This month I wanted to take things one step further and look into how else Webex is taking the pain out of how we work together on documents.

Business never stops, especially for those of us in a geographically dispersed, cross-functional workplace. When working on a shared document we need to be sure we always have the latest version, that we have instant access regardless of the time, that multiple people can work on a document at the same time and all with the peace of mind that our information is secure. And we want to be able to access that document right from where we are interacting with project team members in virtual workspaces – with messaging and chat, meetings and 1:1 calls.

Webex has you covered! So, let’s look at how Webex makes collaborating on a document effortless:

1) Making file sharing easy and organized

Ever tried to share a large file via email, only to receive the ‘failure to send’ notification? Well with Webex, you can share documents, videos, images and really anything you need to work on with your team in 1:1 chats and group spaces. All shared items in a space are conveniently stored in the ‘Content’ section under ‘Files’. And, to make things even easier, you can use search to find any file shared in the app, as well as people, messages and spaces.

File upload screen graphic

2) Collaborate on live documents straight from Webex

Enterprise content management (ECM) is undoubtably one of the most useful collaboration features within Webex. The Webex open platform enables you to integrate your SharePoint or OneDrive account to your app. This allows you to share and documents stored within SharePoint or OneDrive directly to a 1:1 chat or group space.  Better still, you and your team can work on these files simultaneously without ever leaving the app and watch edits be updated live. All edits are automatically saved – preventing the risk of data loss. Webex supports a number of the leading ECM providers including Box, Google and Dropbox.

3) Selected screen share

We can all be guilty of having far too many screens open at once, and all know the fear of having to share your screen during a call and praying that you share the right one. Webex Teams removes this fear. With selected screen share, you can specify which screen you want to share from the offset – keeping your other work confidential and avoiding any accidental security risks (perfect for hiding your online shopping basket). Even if you opened another app while sharing your selected screen, have no fear, as the participants viewing would see nothing except the app you chose to share. You can easily change which screen you are showing by clicking on the share button again.

With multiple screen view, you can share your screen and still see the meeting participants. This keeps your team focused and increases engagement.

4) Visually express your ideas with a Whiteboard

Probably my personal favourite feature within Webex is whiteboarding. We all know that great ideas happen when we work together and whiteboards on Webex Teams provide the perfect platform to bring visual aspect to brainstorming activities.

Start a whiteboard in a 1:1 chat or group space while on a call or offline. As you are working, the whiteboard automatically saves in your space and can be accessed later to pick up where you left off. Each person in the group can contribute to the whiteboard simultaneously, creating a true interactive experience – as though you were all in the same room.

whiteboarding screend

5) Webex Pollbot

Lastly, let’s talk about Webex Pollbot. Webex Teams is a great platform for groups to share ideas and opinions when collaborating on a document. But what happens when you can’t come to an agreement. This can lead to major delays and impacts to workflows. Luckily Webex introduced Pollbot.

Pollbot can add a poll to any of your existing group spaces, or you can interact with Pollbot in a 1:1 to generate an independent poll. Simply add questions, set a time to expire, and see results in real time even before the poll ends. Easily get a group decision on that blog title, website graphic or even what to order for lunch. To learn more about Integrations and bot click here.

Webex Pollbot

If you haven’t used Webex Teams yet, you may already be entitled to it if you have a current Webex subscription or a Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan. Alternatively, you can download Webex Teams for free.

See how you can make teamwork your best work

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5 tips for connecting with remote colleagues 

Cisco Webex and Microsoft Azure Active Directory – better together

Your launch to collaborate! The new Webex App Header is here

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RoomOS October update

It’s officially spooky season! The RoomOS team have been hard at work to deliver innovations that will make collaboration less scary. Read on to see how BabbleLabs makes sure your voice is heard, how you can clean up your desk with the Desk Pro, and much more.

Babble Labs acquisition – Noise Removal

Working from home is great. You can wear your pajama bottoms, throw on a crisp shirt on top and be ready for business – nobody would ever suspect that you just rolled out of bed. However, background noise such as aggressive keyboard typing, traffic, or your dogs barking can be extremely distracting. With our recent Babble Labs acquisition, we are able to bring advanced noise removal AI to our Cisco Webex Rooms devices, making sure your voice is in focus – not your neighbors’ renovation efforts.

Dark Mode

Most of the world is now working remotely, and education is no different. Are you a teacher who misses the look of white chalk against a blackboard? Well, we are now making that possible – minus the screeching sound. The whiteboard on your Cisco Webex Board or Desk Pro is now dark by default, but with all functionalities remaining the same. If you prefer, you can always change it back to white.

Dark Mode on Cisco writen in multiple colors on Cisco Webex Board or Webex Pro

Whiteboard overview

Sometimes, you’ve got to make things smaller to see the big picture. That’s why we’ve made it possible to zoom out by 10X in your whiteboard sessions to get a better overview, as previously you could only zoom out 2x.

HID Forwarding – Use Desk Pro as a USB Hub

Messy desk? We got you. The Cisco Webex Desk Pro is not only a first-class collaboration device, but it also acts as a computer dock, reducing cables and clutter on your desk. You can connect a keyboard and/or a mouse to the USB port of the device and it will be redirected to the USB-C connected computer.

Personal Mode: Pairing

The Webex apps can now pair with a personal mode device and control it wirelessly. Users can share their screen, receive and place calls when paired to their personal mode devices. Best of all? This is available both in or outside a call.

Advanced mute

Back in June, we released Remote Mute. Now, we’ve expanded this feature to allow the host to mute/unmute all, and decide if participants can or cannot unmute themselves. This makes all-hands meetings that much easier!

Call end confirmation

Life happens, and sometimes the meeting host needs to leave the meeting – either because they’ve got a conflicting meeting, or their child is throwing a tantrum. Both valid reasons. This new feature makes it easy to transfer the host to another meeting participant, as a dialog box will pop up, asking whether you want to transfer the host or if you want to end the meeting for everyone.

That’s it for October. Until next time!

See how you can take your meeting experiences to the next level

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What’s new in Webex: November 2020

Webex Training Drop- In Session [Live Class]

See What’s New in RoomOS

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Man in justice industry typing on a computer with Webex Legislate
What’s new in Webex: November 2020

Welcome to what’s new in Webex! This article highlights new Webex features and capabilities that we have recently introduced, as well as a preview of new features coming in November and later this fall.

MEETINGS

WEBEX TEAM COLLABORATION

CALLING

DEVICES

INTEGRATIONS AND INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

MEETINGS

Remove Background Noise from Meetings and Events – Windows and Mac

Having drywall put up in another room or a dog barking to go outside? Filter out those noisy background disruptions before (or during) a call so that others only hear your voice. Just turn on the Remove background noise setting and you’re all set. Find this feature at Settings > Remove background noise.

Work your way: Introducing the Dark Theme

Reduce eye strain by choosing a theme that works best with your lighting conditions. Webex is expanding dark and light theme choices available for the team collaboration to meetings.  Now you can now choose whether you want to view the meeting window in the standard Light Theme or the new Dark Theme. You can select your preferred option from the View menu.

Darktheme

Automatic in-meeting mute warning

Whoops, don’t share your great idea while on mute.  We’ve been making a lot of enhancements to mute and unmute functionality in Webex to remove some of the common friction points in meetings. Soon, automatic notifications in Webex Meetings and Webex Events will let you know if you’re trying to speak while on mute. If you start to talk while your microphone is muted, Webex will automatically show you a notification so that you can unmute yourself to speak.

Automatic in-meeting mute warning

WEBEX TEAM COLLABORATION

We’re adding more intelligence to enhance team collaboration. Use BOTs to automate your workflows and provide proactive notifications.

Microsoft Outlook Bot

We’re making it easy to transition from traditional email to team collaboration.  Don’t miss an important email while you are working in Webex.  Now you can get alerts within your team spaces of email from your client, boss or related to key projects.  Use notification rules for important subjects and people.  No need to create separate rules within Outlook – use an adaptive card within Webex space.

Microssoft Outlook Bot

Confluence Cloud Bot—Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android

Get notified of important updates to Pages and Blogs in Confluence within your team workspace.   We’re making it easy to keep on top of changes to documented processes, release plans, or product requirement pages from Confluence.   Now you can quickly get updates for pages recently updated, watched, and even saved for later.

Leave a comment to a change on a page directly from any Webex space

Leave a comment to a change on a page directly from any Webex space

Birthday Bot—Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android

Celebrate your teammates and get in a party mood.  We’ve created a super easy way to keep track of and celebrate birthdays within your team with a new Birthday Bot! Once available, you’ll find it on the Webex App Hub.

CALLING

Webex Calling

Remove Background Noise

Continue communicating without noisy background disruptions. Filter out those noisy background disruptions during calls using the Webex app so that others only hear your voice.

You will soon be able to select a setting option to remove background noise.  Just as in the Webex Meeting experience, when the Remove Background Noise setting is selected, the unified Webex app will remove leaf blowers, vacuum, and other background noise, while enhancing your voice. This feature will be available in November.

Call queue availability

Business agents who are members of a Call Queue can set their availability to receive calls in order to make call routing more effective.  This feature makes working from home easier for the end user when you do not have a hard phone. Users can set their availability from the Webex desktop or mobile client call settings page.

Call Preferences

Update your contacts list from call history

We’re making it easy to add or edit your contacts, not only from Chat, but also from your call history.  Now you can right-click an entry in your Call History and have several convenient options at your fingertips. You can call the person back, add the person to your Contacts list, send a message, send an email, or even start a meeting.

DEVICES

Webex is continues to add features to enable common app and device experiences to support more hybrid work scenarios.

Remove Background Noise

Continue communicating without noisy background disruptions. Later this month, Webex RoomOS devices (Desk Pro, Board and Room Series) will support advanced AI to remove background noise and enhance human voice.

Mute Controls

New expanded roster view & mute experiences create more consistent experiences across app and device meeting experiences. Hosts and co-hosts now have more control over the audio in Webex Meetings directly from their Webex device.  New features include: Mute and unmute everyone, enable “Mute on entry” (all users are automatically muted when they join), and control if meeting participants can unmute, or if only hosts can control who is unmuted.

 

INTEGRATIONS AND INDUSTRY SOLUTIONS

Expanded Webex Expert on Demand features

Webex Expert on Demand lets frontline workers collaborate hands free with subject matter expert anywhere to be more effective. Webex Expert on Demand integration with RealWear HMT-1 continues to expand features. With the Expert on Demand 1.7 release in November, frontline workers will have: expanded group call features to show active calls or initiate group call, search and select space to place or join calls, advanced camera controls to adjust contrast and exposure as well as take HD resolution photos, enhanced shared content controls to zoom in on content, simplified login options via a companion app with QR code and expanded language support with the addition of Korean, Thai, German, French, Polish and Russian.

Webex Expert on Demand

Public Sector Options:  Legislate for Webex

Legislate for Webex is a purpose-built, complete collaboration solution that enables legislatures to vote and conduct hearings virtually, just as they would in personLegislate for Webex is built and secured on the global Webex platform to enable high availability and reliability for institutions around the globe, and is customizable to meet the needs of federal, state and local organizations.

CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES

If you are an admin, Webex Control Hub places management, monitoring, troubleshooting, analytics, edge and hybrid services across all your collaboration resources in one pane of glass.

Support for Azure Conditional Access to Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint Online – Windows, Mac

If your organization uses Azure Conditional Access, you can now extend access to users to sign into Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint Online content management from within Webex Teams across Windows and Mac devices.  Uses Proof of Possession API to verify device in windows to seamlessly authenticate and use ECM-MS functionality.

Support for Azure

Expanded VDI Support

Webex is offering best in class VDI support for collaboration. Webex supports full featured collaboration and advanced features across meetings, calling, team collaboration and content sharing.  Media is optimized to support 720p video and eliminate content hair-pining.  Additionally, expanded experiences such as virtual background, video breakout rooms and Webex Meeting Assistant are supported in VDI clients so users get richer collaboration experiences even in virtual desktop environments.  Meetings app platform support will be expanded in November to include Citrix and Windows/Ubuntu/eLux Thin Client OS, VMware and Windows Thin Client OS.

Expanded VDI Support

Space Classification

Admins can now define Webex space labels based on data governance policies and enforce all users to classify the Webex team collaboration spaces they create by Public, Confidential, Highly Confidential, or Secret.  This prompts user awareness and compliance with data classification policies where sensitive and confidential content may be shared.  External access can also be restricted to spaces in adherence to your organizations Enterprise Data Classification policies via DLP controls.

Image13 Viewing a Classified Space in a Classified Team.png

Webex Edge Connect – PacketFabric option

Expanded private connectivity options to Webex for hybrid deployments now include PacketFabric. Webex Edge Connect service supports a dedicated private connection to the Cisco Webex Cloud; this option offers added reliability and security for those organizations who prefer not to use OTT connectivity at the edge. With hundreds of global locations, the PacketFabric option for Webex Edge Connect allows organizations to interconnect to Cisco Webex via their owned physical network port and managed virtual connections using a flexible subscription model to adjust bandwidth as needed.

New API options

Webex Control Hub now provides easier access to data via APIs for integrations, and automatic data access for quality data, aggregated trending data and detailed reports. Admins can now pull the data in Control Hub via APIs to integrate with other dashboards or use for further analysis.

For more information on all of these features and upcoming update to Webex, please visit the What’s New Articles for Webex Services.

Learn more

Explore the new Legislate for Webex experience

Webex for Government 

Legislate for Webex [Website]

Webex Innovation Keeps Governments Running Effectively and Securely From Anywhere

Join our live classes

What’s New in Webex Teams November Release

What’s New in Webex Meetings 40.12

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Join a Webex online meeting

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Future of Government: Hybrid Workspace for Legislature [Live Class]

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Security and compliance realities for remote financial services workers

Remote work challenges for financial service companies

This year, the pandemic required many workforces to stay and work at home. While the transition may have been hectic initially, many businesses and employees have since grown comfortable with remote working options.

However, many companies have industry-specific considerations that may make work-from-home arrangements difficult to pull off. The financial services sector is one such category of businesses with particular data security and regulatory concerns that can complicate remote working.

Yet not many good options exist to telework currently. Even physical trading floors have been shut down recently, as trading shifts increasingly online. Financial services companies must address the realities of remote work and prepare to ensure business continuity and compliance.

What remote work challenges do financial services face?

Businesses in financial services — like brokers, mutual funds, asset managers, retirement investment advisors, exchanges, and trading firms, among many others — have a number of regulatory and compliance obligations. As such, their telework arrangements have to be airtight.

Broadly, the challenges they face include considerations related to:

  • Cybersecurity: This is a chief concern for any business, but especially for financial services firms. The decentralization of technology presents particular risks. Employees without company-provided hardware must use personal devices to manage client accounts or access confidential information. This carries obvious risks, as personal devices and networks might not feature the same controls as on-premise solutions that were depended on before to securely store and access data.
  • Compliance: Financial activity is governed by a number of regulatory and oversight agencies. Many financial firms have entire departments dedicated to compliance, but COVID-19 likely threw many into disarray with the abrupt shift to telework. Even something as seemingly innocuous as taking a client call next to a spouse who’s also working from home can be problematic, as the conversation likely contains confidential information. Other compliance concerns relate to potential ethical lapses at home when oversight is more lax.
  • Real-time data: One other difficulty financial services firms may encounter is connectivity. Employees depend on real-time data, which they may have taken for granted in an office setting with an industrial connection. Working from home on the Wi-Fi could be troublesome if lag becomes persistent. For example, buying and selling stocks on price data that is outdated by even milliseconds can have a tangible, negative impact on strategy and trade execution.

What can businesses do to ensure compliance and continuity?

Despite the scale of these challenges, financial services don’t have many current alternatives to telework. Even as states reopen, the future of working will undoubtedly be influenced by remote arrangements.

In either case, there are some best practices business in the financial industry can take to safeguard their operations, employees and clients:

  1. Beef up security

This is the very first thing financial businesses should address. This responsibility encompasses not only assessing their security readiness for telework, but actively looking at ways to improve infrastructure and controls. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued comprehensive guidance for financial firms dealing with the COVID-19, including security tips like:

  • Ensuring virtual private networks (VPNs) and other remote access systems have proper security patches and updates.
  • Double-checking that system entitlements are current
  • Using multi-factor authentication for employees who access systems remotely.
  1. Implement necessary supervisory protocols

Even as more businesses adopted remote working policies, financial services firms weren’t as quick. This trend may be largely attributable to compliance obligations, including supervision of employees and associated persons. Doing so is much easier in a centralized office than it is with employees spread across disparate locations.

However, these compliance obligations have not been relaxed in light of the pandemic. Companies that may become lax in this area can face real risks and repercussions down the line.

FINRA also addressed this topic in its COVD-19 pandemic, saying it expects member firms “to establish and maintain a supervisory system that is reasonably designed to supervise the activities of each associated person while working from an alternative or remote location during the pandemic.”

The onus is on financial firms to ensure they implement the necessary supervisory protocols so that FINRA expectations are met.

  1. Train employees

It’s imperative that businesses in financial services provide adequate support and training to employees. Many may be unfamiliar with remote working, especially as it concerns compliance or security. Having a codified set of policies is not enough, your leaders need to investigate ways to engage employees on these points so they can carry out their jobs compliantly and effectively.

Using video conferencing software to host team meetings is one way to teach employees and ensure high retention of information. FINRA also recommended that firms undertake regular education and other exercises that “promote heightened vigilance.”

Young Asia businessman using laptop talk to colleagues about plan in video call while smart working from home at living room. Self-isolation, social distancing, quarantine for corona virus prevention.

  1. Use secure communication software

Financial services firms have an obligation to monitor and preserve communications. When these conversations occur outside traditional channels, they must have a secure solution to meet their needs. The problem is many popular consumer-grade options don’t feature the controls these businesses require.

Businesses need to be sure they have communication and video conferencing tools that not only feature robust functionality, but also security such encryption and other measures.

Looking for a video conferencing solution that offers high performance and security? Consider using Cisco Webex for your financial services firm to preserve business continuity and maintain compliance.

Contact us today for more information, or start with a free offer.

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Building a banking assistant with MindMeld

Video conferencing and technology enables cultural change within Citizens Bank

The confidence of security in team collaboration 

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Are you happy?

Chelsea Miller & Maryam Tabatabaeian –  A data-driven framework for analyzing user satisfaction with Cisco Webex Assistant

Voice assistants are the user interfaces of our future. Voice user interfaces (VUIs) allow us to communicate in one of the most natural ways possible—talking, just as we would with any of our friends or colleagues. While VUIs once felt like a novelty and weren’t very robust (we can all remember the days when the response to just about any command was “Do you want me to search the web?”), today they’ve integrated into our routines, helping us check the weather, play music, and get directions. They’re even in our workplaces.

As the popularity of voice assistants grows, so do users’ expectations for seamless, human-like interactions. How do we evaluate if the assistants we build are satisfying our users? What does it mean for a user to be “happy,” and how do you even measure happiness?

On the MindMeld team, we’ve been investigating how to evaluate users’ experiences when talking with Webex Assistant, the first conversational assistant for the enterprise space. We answer the question “are users happy?” by developing a quantitative framework to address a historically qualitative user experience problem. We hope this investigation sparks interest in how we can think about measuring user experience online and in real-time.

Why is evaluating user satisfaction so difficult?

Evaluating user experience with artificial intelligence (AI) products is a difficult problem for a few reasons: AI systems are probabilistic in nature, natural language is variable, and user satisfaction is subjective. We expect the system’s output to be variable since AI is non-deterministic; deciding if the result of the system is expected variation or an error is one layer of difficulty. Not only can the output of the system vary, but the input from the user varies, too. People speak in different ways, using different words and sentence structures, so the system must be robust to understanding lots of natural language variation. Finally, how users are feeling is hard to understand, especially when you can’t ask them, and even harder to quantify. What satisfies a user can differ from individual to individual, and one user’s feelings can change based on the context and their expectations.

Previous research focused on understanding users’ experiences falls into two main categories: accuracy-based approaches and user studies & surveys. In accuracy-based approaches, accuracy is used as a proxy for satisfaction. If the system has high accuracy, the user is likely satisfied. However, these approaches often rely on single utterances and can miss the overall experience of a conversation. For example, if a user says “next page,” and the system identifies the query correctly and moves to the next page, this would be a success! But if the user says “next page” several times, this might indicate that they haven’t been able to find what they were looking for. That potential user frustration wouldn’t be captured when just looking at the single utterance accuracies. User surveys & studies provide a great window into user behavior, but conducting longitudinal user studies is costly in terms of resourcing participants and time spent on qualitative & quantitative data analysis. This approach is much harder, if not impossible, to use at scale. User studies don’t use real-time user data and take place in artificial lab settings, which might differ from real users’ experiences.

Our framework

We try to take the best of each of these approaches, while addressing some of their shortcomings. We want to create a system that captures real users’ judgements, focuses on the larger user experience at the level of the conversation, and uses real-time data, so our approach can be scalable and automatic.

At a high-level, our framework:

1. Captures interactions at the level of the conversation
2. Automatically classifies conversations based on their conversational goal and conversational end state
3. Automatically assigns conversations a satisfaction label

Capturing conversations

The first challenge we tackle is how to capture users’ interactions with Webex Assistant. This is especially important for conversational AI, where analysis can happen at many different levels of an interaction. We choose to focus on conversations. We define a conversation as an interaction initiated by a user or the assistant, which can have single or multiple turns, and contains one conversational goal.

To capture each conversation, we introduce a common ID to thread that conversation from beginning to end. We log an event, called the “trigger,” each time a conversation is initiated. The trigger event includes the conversation’s unique ID and the goal of that conversation. For us, conversational goals most closely map to use cases, like calling a person or joining a meeting. Any queries the user says that move them towards the completion of the goal of the use case count as part of that conversation.

The image below shows an example of what we consider a conversation. Here, we’ll take a look at the “call person” use case. The conversational goal of the “call person” use case is to, ideally, successfully call a person.

We capture all the turns taken between the user & the assistant. When the conversation ends, we log the final state with the same ID as the trigger event. Our common ID allows us to follow the course of the conversation as it unfolded in real-time. In our example, we would log all these queries as part of one conversation with the conversational goal of “Call Person.”

Conversational end states

Retrospective analysis of historical data uncovered patterns in how user’s conversations with Webex Assistant end. After manual analysis, we decided on four categories to capture conversational end states. Here are the possible categories we use to automatically classify conversations by their end states:

Fulfilled      the assistant successfully fulfills the user’s goal
Error           the assistant fails to fulfill the user’s goal
Exited          the user abandons the conversation or cancels
Modified    the user decides to change part of the request or restart the conversation

Here are examples from the “call person” use case:

Satisfaction labels

Now that the conversation has been captured from beginning to end and it contains a label for the conversational end state, the next step is to automatically assign a satisfaction label. The goal of the satisfaction label is to capture how users might feel after having a conversation. We wanted these labels to be user-friendly: high-level enough to understand at a glance, but granular enough to capture meaningful distinctions between users’ experiences. We use the following satisfaction labels:

Happy       the user’s goal was successfully fulfilled
Sad             the user’s goal was not met
Friction    the expectations of the user are not met

Again, here are some examples from the “call person” use case:

Results of our framework

To recap our framework, we’ve threaded utterances to create conversations, automatically classified those conversations by their end state, and then automatically assigned a satisfaction label to understand users’ experiences.
Now, we’ll take a look at the results of this framework and what it helps us do. We’ll consider data from a full week of user interactions with Webex Assistant for our three most popular use cases: “call person,” “join a meeting,” and “join a Personal Room” (data not representative of real Webex Assistant performance).

 

At a glance, we can see how users feel when using Webex Assistant features—which are driving user happiness, and which might be causing the most difficulty. If “call person” shows a spike in “friction,” for example, we could investigate just those conversations. We might find that all the “friction” conversations happened on devices in Thailand, where users natively speak Thai, not English. We might hypothesize that the assistant had difficulty understanding Thai names.

Knowing how well each feature is performing in real-time allows our product team to track the real-time satisfaction of each feature and quickly identify & investigate issues. Depicted in a live dashboard, these valuable insights help us ask the right questions and directly impact the product roadmap.

Verifying our framework

We felt confident that these labels captured user satisfaction since we based them on user data, but we didn’t stop there. To be sure that the predictions we make about users’ experiences actually capture how users feel, we asked human annotators to label the data using the same satisfaction labels that our system uses: “happy,” “sad,” and “friction.” Annotators were instructed to put themselves in the shoes of the user and ask themselves, “how would I feel after this interaction?”

 

There was significant agreement between the human-labeled and system-labeled data (75% agreement, κ = 0.66). This comparison gives us confidence that our algorithm captures a realistic picture of user satisfaction. We feel confident that our framework successfully predicts user satisfaction that’s consistent with what real humans are feeling.

Takeaways

With this approach, we’re able to quickly get a snapshot of what users experience when using different Webex Assistant features. We’ve taken something as subjective as users’ happiness and broken it down into quantitative labels that can be automatically applied based on the conversation, end state, and conversational goal. We offer this as an attempt to think about how we can quantify user experience and shift the mindset of understanding users’ happiness to include quantitative methods.

About the authors

Chelsea Miller is a Data Analyst on the Webex Intelligence team at Cisco Systems. She holds a Master’s in Linguistics from UCSC, where she conducted research investigating how humans process language in real-time. Post-grad, her interest in how we understand each other, specifically how machines do (or don’t!), led her to work on conversational assistants. As a Data Analyst, she tackles problems like conversational analysis, how to securely & representatively collect quality language data, and voice interface usability. 

Maryam Tabatabaeian is a Data Scientist working with the Webex Intelligence team at Cisco Systems. Before joining Cisco, she finished her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science, doing research on how humans make decisions. Her passion for studying human behavior, along with knowledge in data science, made research on voice assistants a fascinating area to her. She now designs metrics and data models for evaluating user interactions with voice assistants. 

Click here to learn more about the offerings from Webex and to sign up for a free account. 

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Cisco Webex and Microsoft Azure Active Directory – better together

As more employees access applications via their home networks, the corporate network perimeter is disappearing, making identity the control plane for effective and secure access across all users and applications. Thanks to integrations between Cisco and Microsoft, our joint customers can achieve seamless and secure access to Cisco Webex with Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is Microsoft’s enterprise identity and access management service that helps organizations manage and secure access to critical applications, data and resources. Thousands of organizations use Azure AD to enable secure and seamless access to the applications their workforce needs, including Cisco Webex.

active users and numbers

With Azure AD our joint customers can take advantage of capabilities such as:

  • Single sign-on to simplify access to all their apps from anywhere
  • Risk-based adaptive access policies that safeguard access to applications.
  • Identity governance to ensure only authorized users have access to the right apps.
  • Unified identity management that centralizes management of identities and applications across the cloud or on-premises.

Secure collaboration with Cisco Webex and Azure AD

Using standard protocols like SAML 2.0, OAuth 2, and SCIM, we’ve built integrations with Microsoft so that identity-related information and data can flow between Azure AD and Cisco Webex Identity Services. This can help ensure secure access to Cisco collaboration tools like Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, Jabber, and more.

Logos of Azure AD and Cisco Webex, with Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, Webex Calling, Jabber, Webex Devices and Contact Center

With the Cisco Webex and Azure AD integration our customers can enable scenarios such as single sign-on and automated user provisioning.

Single sign-on

3 gold people heads with a lock in front

Cisco Webex Identity Services can deliver single sign-on to all Cisco Webex collaboration tools using Microsoft Azure AD as the identity provider. End users can seamlessly sign-in to Cisco Webex collaboration tools alongside Office 365 with the same credentials.  And admins can secure access to Cisco Webex collaboration tools by setting adaptive risk-based policies. For example, admins can set conditional access policies based on the user, location, device, and application to determine whether access to Cisco Webex should be allowed, limited, or blocked.

Automated user provisioning

three gold people heads

Using the SCIM standard – System for Cross-domain Identity Management – our joint customers can use our provisioning integration to automate the lifecycle of user and group accounts for Cisco Webex. With our provisioning integration, you can quickly deploy Cisco Webex throughout your organization and keep user data up to date. With automated user provisioning, you can eliminate manual processes when it comes to creating, updating, or disabling employee user accounts within Cisco Webex based on changes in Azure AD.

Office 365 integrations

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Many organizations rely on Microsoft 365 as their main productivity tool to get their work done. With our Microsoft 365 integrations, you can connect your calendar and files with Cisco Webex collaboration tools. The Enterprise Content Management integration with OneDrive and SharePoint allows you to view, edit and share files directly in Cisco Webex. You can also connect your Outlook calendar to quickly schedule, start, and join Cisco Webex meetings.

What’s next?

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In the coming months, we’ll also be releasing Microsoft Intune support and single sign-on with Azure AD for our mobile apps across iOS and Android.  Soon customers will be able to apply device based conditional access policies such as limiting or blocking access to Cisco Webex on an uncompliant device.

We’re excited about bringing these integrations to customers to help increase security while keeping users productive.

To learn more about setting up Cisco Webex with Azure AD, review our single sign-on and provisioning tutorials, and check out our sociallive.

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Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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We listened and we delivered! The new Webex App Header is here
Your launchpad to collaborate! The new Webex App Header is here

Shift in demand for real-time collaboration

This year has brought about a dramatic shift in the way we get our work done and collaborate as a team. The rapid change to remote working has made the demand for real-time collaboration greater than ever before; with team collaboration solutions becoming the new digital work hub. Not only essential for business continuity, but also for maintaining workplace connections – catching up with a colleague, having a virtual all hands and so much more.

With our Webex user base growing faster than ever before, Cisco realizes the importance of our solution in continuing workplace normality; and how essential it is to continue to listen to the voice of our customers. Your feedback is a key influencer in our development and planning to create a solution that helps you work faster and smarter.

After months of careful design, building, and feedback analysis, we can finally unveil the sleek new App Header coming to Webex Teams on September 29th, 2020.

New App Header

new App Header for Webex Teams streamlines your everyday experience

The new App Header for Webex Teams streamlines your everyday experience by pulling together all your commonly used actions into one convenient and always accessible place. This new header is persistent across all tabs.

Let’s explore the new App Header step by step.

Settings & Preferences

Your avatar menu has a new home in the App Header. Click your avatar icon to instantly access the settings & preferences menu.

Quick access to Custom Status

The newly located custom status bar makes it easier than ever to keep your status up to date and relevant to your current workflows. If you have a Custom Status set, it will always be visible in the App Header, and updating or clearing it is now just one click away.

Quick access to Customer Status

People renamed to Direct Messages

With this update, you will notice a new term appearing in your app. If you have space tabs enabled, you will now see a tab called ‘Direct’, which replaces ‘People’. The preference option in your space list filters drop-down will now read ‘Separate DMs and Spaces’, instead of ‘Separate People and Spaces’. The plus button, where before this update you would have found the option to ‘Contact a person’, will now read ‘Send a direct message’.

The functionality has not changed, this is simply a rename effort of People to Direct Messages. This change is to line up with the status quo of other apps and to make it easier to understand for our users.

Create a Space & more

The plus button now includes additional features to enable quicker communication, such as the ability to make a call or add a local contact. You will still find your options to send a direct message (originally contact a person) or create a space in this menu.

Create a Space & More in Webex Teams

Search for People & Spaces

The search box has moved to a new location in the header of the app. Here, you can search for people, spaces, and contacts as normal. As you type, the search drop-down will appear with a list of results, ordered by your most recently active spaces. To see more results in a category, simply click ‘Show more’. You can also right-click on any search result – people, space or contact – giving you quick access to additional options such as ‘Open in new window’. By hovering over a search result, you will see the call/meet button option appear.

To start a search quickly while you are working in the app, you can use the standard shortcut ‘Control + F’ on Windows and ‘Command + F’ on Mac. With this update, the header will persist throughout the app, meaning you always have quick access to search.

Search for People and Spaces in Webex Teams

Search for Messages & Files in ‘Advanced Search’

Sometimes, if we are looking for a specific message or file, we want to perform a more in-depth search. With this update, to search for messages or files, you must select the very top item in the search drop-down result list which reads: ‘Search all spaces’. Clicking this expands the search box to the left, giving you access to ‘Advanced Search’, where you will find all message and file results.

In this view, you can browse through results with single clicks to find what you are looking for, with results appearing on the right as they are clicked. Refinement options (such as ‘With:’) can also be found here. You now have two methods to use these search refinement modifiers in the new App Header. You can simply type them into the search bar itself at any time or you can select ‘Refine’ in the ‘Advanced Search’ view. For quick access to ‘Advanced Search’, simply use the keyboard shortcut ‘Shift + Enter’ while focus is in the search box. To remove yourself from the ‘Advanced Search’ view, click ‘cancel’, double-click to select a result or switch tabs.

Search for Messages & Files in 'Advanced Search' in Webex Teams

Dial a number & make a call

Enter a phone number directly into the search bar to open calling options. Here you can decide to make a voice or video call.

Connect to a device

This feature remains the same just with a prominent new location in the App Header. You are still able to search and seamlessly connect to local devices.

Dial a number & make a call and connect to device in Webex Teams

For more information on this new App Header, visit our dedicated help page here.

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What would you like to do?

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Father and son on the sofa, working from home and learning from screen.
Working from home with kids

Working from home — whether by necessity or choice  — is increasingly common for professionals across the country and the globe.

Whether you’re a full-time remote worker, telecommuting for part of each week, or temporarily fulfilling your work responsibilities from home, having kids at home at the same time can make your workday more complicated and less organized. While successfully balancing time between work and your children requires some careful thought and planning, it’s by no means impossible. Consider this advice for creating a more productive and harmonious environment for your kids and yourself.

Finding a balance between alone time and togetherness

There are many times where a little background noise or chatter won’t harm the end result of your work. And there are plenty of other scenarios when you simply need a quiet space to focus and pay close attention to the task at hand. Finding a happy medium between the two can help you work from home more successfully when your kids are also at home.

If you have simple, small tasks or similar work planned for part of your day, consider using that time to sit together with your family. A sense of togetherness, even when everyone is focused on work or school, is valuable. And you can dedicate more time to being fully present with your kids before and after the workday is done, as well as during lunch and other breaks.

You’ll also need a way to create a separate working space for times you really need to focus, or when using video conferencing solutions to connect with colleagues, supervisors, clients, and other stakeholders. With kids old enough to supervise themselves and understand their parents’ need to sometimes buckle down during their workdays, this often isn’t an issue, to begin with.

For younger children, you can consider putting up a reminder when you really need some time alone. Making a color-coded sign with green and red sides can be a quick and fun crafting project with your young ones. Remind your kids that you’re there if a true emergency occurs and make sure to occasionally check-in even when it’s time to put all of your attention toward your work. Parents.com pointed out that nap time for younger kids is also prime time for adults to devote some undivided attention to their work.

Building a plan with spouses and other family members

Finding a balance between work and the needs of your children is much easier when multiple family members are involved. Your partner and any other adults in the house, as well as your older teenage children, can help you split this responsibility during the workday. Start a conversation about your schedules and who is available at a given time to supervise the kids. Your younger kids will get more facetime with family members, and the adults involved will have more time for conference calls and other tasks that demand your full attention and a quiet environment.

Create a schedule that works for you

Taking the time to create an effective schedule will pay off when you – and everyone else – have a clear picture of when you’re free, busy, and somewhere in between. Clear time for major projects, critical deadlines, and other intensive work well ahead of when it needs to be done whenever possible and let your kids and other family members know you can’t be available during those times. Similarly, set aside time for your kids, whether it’s overseeing an activity or getting a little bit of quality time in during the day.

While you can’t always control when a client or vendor will need to talk, blocking off your calendar will encourage your colleagues and supervisors to work with your schedule. If needed, have a discussion with your direct manager about flexibility in your workday. Explain how, for example, you’re happy to work a little later into the evening or get an earlier start, if needed, to ensure you can spend a full hour of family time with your kids at lunch or assist with complicated homework assignments. Look for ways to compromise that respect both your employer’s needs and your own as a parent working from home.

Save some personal time, too

Working from home along with kids and the rest of your family can make it difficult to prioritize your own basic need to relax, unwind, spend time on hobbies or simply take a break.

If there’s more than one adult in the house, you can work with each other to prioritize some “me time” for everyone involved. That could mean having one parent make dinner or start the process of putting the kids to bed while the other catches up on their favorite TV shows or fits in a workout. Here are some more ideas on How to have fun, virtually.

Even if you’re the only adult at home, you can still find a little time to reward yourself for effectively balancing parenting, work, household chores, and your many other responsibilities. Consider relaxing or finishing that project after the kids are in bed.

Having the right tools to connect with others when working from home is vital for building an effective schedule and making sure your family, your work, and yourself all receive the attention they deserve.

 Get started with your free Cisco Webex plan today.

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Resources

Download your free Cisco Coloring for Kids pack

Still Need Help?

Join a Webex online meeting

Learn more about Webex, join one of our upcoming training sessions

Explore daily product demonstrations

Sign up for Webex

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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