Posts by Category

Blog_Mothers_Day Flowers with a banner
Happy Mother’s Day from Cisco Webex

Mother’s Day- a time to remember and celebrate

I am a mother. I have two beautiful daughters who are all grown up. Well, mostly. They are in college, but are now sheltering-in-place with me. What a blessing to have them back home! I still remember when I was pregnant with them – and especially my first. I wanted so much to meet her, but at the same time wasn’t sure I was ready for motherhood. Obviously, it turned out OK and I am grateful every day that I get to be their mom.   

 

The Ellen Show welcomes first-time expectant mothers!

Which is why I was so excited to watch the Mother’s Day Show on The Ellen Show last week – the producers brought 25 first-time expectant mothers together using Cisco Webex as the platform.  

These soon-to-be new moms joined from the comfort of their homes, laughing along with jokes about pregnancy and cravings (banana splits and pickles!).

These soon-to-be new moms joined from the comfort of their homes, laughing along with jokes about pregnancy and cravings (banana splits and pickles).

Making mom feel special

And because social distancing has put a halt to most baby showers, The Ellen DeGeneres Show threw one for all the guests, complete with gifts – all perfectly selected for first-time moms!  

I love that our own technology can play a part in celebrating Mother’s Day and making it special for these women.  

So, on behalf of Cisco Webex, and this mom, I wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day! 💐 

See how Cisco supports The Ellen DeGeneres Show 

Learn More

Irene and Troy — A Webex wedding!

How Live From Home is bringing artists into the Cisco community

In a world without sports, we can still live our best #LifeOnWebex

Read more
In a world without sports, we can still live our best #LifeOnWebex
In a world without sports, we can still live our best #LifeOnWebex

Connecting fans with sports with #LifeOnWebex

So often, sport provides a respite from a chaotic world. It brings people together around a shared passion and offers a welcome distraction from our stressful lives. But what happens when that too goes away?

Today, the importance of technology in bringing people together has become more apparent than ever, which is why we have been working hard over the past few weeks to leverage our partnerships across the sports and entertainment industries in meaningful and relevant ways. By working together with our partners at the United States Golf Association, City Football Group, Jimmy Kimmel Live and more, we’re trying to bring some of that connection to fans around the world and showcase what #LifeOnWebex is all about.

Here’s a look at what we’ve been up to:

Connecting players with fans

Together with New York City Football Club, we launched a program entitled “The Friendly Match” connecting players from the club with local fans via Webex to help lift their spirits. I highly recommend checking out this heartwarming kickoff to the series and stay tuned for episodes all week long on both NYCFC and Cisco’s social channels. Plus, check out NYCFC social channels as host Ian Paul Joy interviews players multiple times per week via Webex.

Best of golf

We partnered with golf influencer Erik Anders Lang to host the largest pro golfer podcast ever via Webex, featuring seven of our #TeamCisco ambassadors. The group discussed everything from how they’re keeping busy, to swing thoughts, dream destinations and more. #Squadgoals, indeed. We’re also supporting GOLF.com’s new project “That’s Debatable,” where GOLF editors are using Webex to face off in a March Madness-style bracket debating hot topics in the game.

Keeping Hollywood connected

We’re also keeping Hollywood connected by helping shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live broadcast remotely. We’ve been working with Jimmy Kimmel Live for six years now, and like many of our customers, they use a mix of Cisco Webex devices and collaboration software. Check out the clip below of Jimmy interviewing Ellen DeGeneres via Webex in a recent episode.

Supporting what matters

Finally, we were honored to be a part of in Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home special event that supported the World Health Organization’s global fight against the pandemic. The event featured incredible performances by artists like Lady Gaga, Chris Martin, John Legend, and more, and raised more than $125M towards the fight against COVID-19. If you missed it, you can watch the performances from the event here.

Be sure to stay tuned to the @Webex channel over the coming weeks and months to see how our partners and athletes are living their best #LifeonWebex.

Learn More

How to have fun, virtually

Take Instruction to Webex: Connecting one pilates enthusiast to another

Webex bridal shower: Bring remote teams together when it counts

Read more
How Live from Home is bringing artists into the Cisco community. Banner that reads Live From Home . Cisco's first music virtual event. A weekly virtual series to inspire hope through the performing arts with AppDynamics and Cisco Webex. Background picture of a 70s theme looking living room with green furniture yello pillows, turquoise crystal lamp and a beagle dog curled up on the couch with sleepy eyes
How Live From Home is bringing artists into the Cisco community

Front row seats at Live from Home

Cisco has always believed in using technology to improve lives around the world. What better way of doing that than combining music and technology to deliver a performance?

LiveFrom Home Event

On April 7, 2020 Cisco Webex and AppDynamics worked together to put on an event that paid artists in need and gave 653 people the unique experience where you can support artists and nonprofits from the comfort of your home while getting a “front row seat” to weekly concerts.

The event, Live from Home, was streamed on Webex Events and gave four artists the chance to connect with a virtual audience through music. While watching the performances, the audience then had a chance to donate to the nonprofit of the week, Blue Bear School of Music!

“The caliber of talent for the first Live from Home series was amazing. It was inspiring to connect to other employees across Cisco through music performances. I’m happy to work at a company that cares about the community and gives me the resources to help out of work artists during this difficult time.” –  Trish Chan, Director of Web and Digital Marketing at AppDynamics.

LiveFromHome

The debut of the series was hosted by LA-based comedian, Catherine Adell, whom you might have seen in Jim Carrey’s Kidding on Showtime. Artists Ashley Campbell, Julian Velard, Ari Hest, and Barnaby Bright come from all over the United States; New York City, Massachusetts, and Arizona with one thing in common. No place to perform and a home with just the right setup.

LifeFromHome2

“Just because we’re sheltering-in-place, doesn’t mean we have to stop enjoying life. I’m very proud that the Webex platform is able to connect these artists to a large audience and bring a little bit of fun into our lives.” – Aruna Ravichandran, VP, Global Marketing, Webex/Collaboration.

While most of us might say we use Webex to connect with colleagues, we think Live from Home encompasses what #LifeonWebex really means.

People and community.

The Cisco community is huge. We think through showcasing these artists live from home, we just made it bigger.

So be sure to mark your calendar for our upcoming virtual events!

Jazz Night

Cisco's First Music virtual event. Neon signboard with microphone in round frame. Nightclub with live music icon. Glowing street sign of bar with karaoke and live singers. Sound cafe icon. Rock show poster. Vector illustration.

Event: Jazz Night

Day: April 14th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: vma0414 (8620414 from phones)

Kids nightHow Live from Home is bringing artists into the Cisco community. family father and son baby listening to music with headphones in the dark night

Event: Kids night

Day: April 21st

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD

Cisco's first music virtual event. heart shape on a music note book. shallow DOF

Event: Classical Night

Day: April 28th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD

Virtual platform on Virtual Experience Hub

And guess what? Live from Home will be the first program streamed through the Virtual Experience Hub for the public. The Virtual Experience Hub is an effort from Cisco’s Growth Marketing organization to offer users a robust virtual platform that bridges efforts across the physical and digital landscape by providing users an exceptional customer experience for events.

LiveFromHome3

Stay tuned

These are the future dates and themes for the public events. More information to come, so stay tuned!

Event: Special 2H Program

Day: May 5 th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD

 

Event: Musical Theater Night

Day: May 12th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD

 

Event: Comedy Night

Day: May 19th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD

 

Event: Dance Night

Day: May 26th

Time: 5-6PM PT / 8-9PM ET

Event Password: TBD

What’s next?

Music is meant to be shared and experienced together. So be sure to check out the next Live from Home event on April 14 and invite your family and friends.

Support Live From Home Performance Series Fund

Learn More

How to have fun, virtually

Take Instruction to Webex: Connecting one pilates enthusiast to another

Webex bridal shower: Bring remote teams together when it counts

Read more
The weekend's here. Happy indian woman look at webcam doing job interview videochat
How to have fun, virtually

Level up your remote collaboration

Enjoying a nice meal together, going out for happy hour, or even hosting a game night are all fun ways to get together with friends and family. But how do you have fun when everyone is in different locations or you just want a night in to yourself? As pioneers of remote collaboration, Cisco Webex is full of fun ways to connect. Here are some of our favorites! 

Work out with friends

Did you skip your morning workout? No worries! Find online workouts and keep yourself accountable by virtually meeting with your friends while you all work out. Into pilates? Take instruction to Webex: Connecting one pilates enthusiast to another.

Start a virtual book club

Who doesn’t love cuddling up in a cozy blanket and getting lost in a good book—it’s a great way to escape without leaving the couch. Now, you can make reading social by establishing a virtual book club. Create a space in Webex Teams to choose a book, then brew some coffee or tea, and dive into a new novel. Next, schedule a time with your friends for a review of your book over video. 

Go on a virtual tour

Want to examine fine works of art, explore historical sites, or see what NASA astronauts see in space? Most of us can’t jump on a plane and fly to the Louvre for the day, but you can still explore this famed museum and more with virtual tours. Many of these institutions are offering free online tours, and the best part is that you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas!  

Digital dinner dates

Too tired to go out or maybe you’re not feeling the best? Don’t miss family dinner or date night—make it virtual instead. Meet virtually with friends for your weekly Taco Tuesday or happy hour, grab virtual coffee with your mom, or even send recipes to your friends and compare how your creations turned out.

Break up the workday with memes

If you’re new to working from home, we suggest breaking up your work messaging and conversation with more social discussions. Don’t forget to include memes. Here at Cisco, we keep each other laughing and stay connected by sending GIFs and emojis on Webex Teams. Find out about how to be genuine and be yourself  

Virtual movie night

Swap the movie tickets for the remote and your couch. Use Webex Meetings to virtually attend the movie with friends and add in commentary. If you want to make it a virtual date night, include a meal before or after the movie using video to join your virtual date. Wine goes well with this, too! 

Find your inner child with crafts

When you want some quality you time, look no further than your kid’s craft room (or a hobby store). Pick up some markers and a coloring book or a paintbrush and canvas to create your next masterpiece. Or, if you prefer, pull out some of those old recipe cards and cook up something delicious! If your friends have kids, video is an excellent way for them to connect and do similar activities together to maintain social connections. Here are 6 tips for working from home with kids when your virtual weekend comes to an end.

Host a virtual party

Large gettogethers can be tough with friends and family all living in different cities, but with Webex Meetings, virtual parties are simple. Host special events like birthdays or a bridal shower with fun virtual games or play virtual charades or online games together over video. 

Pamper yourself

We can’t imagine anything more luxurious than a night of pampering after a long day of work. Light some candles, soak in a bubble bath, give yourself a manicure, or whatever self-care looks like to you. If you want some company, you can chat with friends virtually while giving yourself a manicure (that you can show off once you’re done!). 

Attend virtual concerts

Thanks to social media, more and more artists are hosting virtual concerts. Live stream a show by yourself or video chat with friends throughout the concert to enjoy it together.  

Learn something new

Curious about how coding works or how you can better understand data? There’s a class for that! With so many free resources for learning new skills, you can make time at home productive. 

There are hundreds of ways to stay connected, and we’d love to hear yours. Share your stories on social media using #lifeonwebex

And if you don’t already have Webex, you can sign up for the free offer, with an unlimited meeting time!

Learn More

3 tips for managing a virtual get together

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

Read more
Happy asian teen girl student making video call to distant friend looking at camera waving hand, smiling female youtuber vlogger saying hello to webcam making video blog recording vlog, portrait
How to get more comfortable on a video conference call

Video conferencing calls can understandably make some people nervous. After all, enabling a video feed in a group collaboration session gives others direct insight into what you look like, as well as the background environment you’re operating in.  For shy participants, video conferencing can seem like a major hurdle to overcome, and can be far less preferable to alternatives like phone calls or email discussions. However, there are many benefits. Let’s explore the benefits of video conferencing, as well as tips to get more comfortable showing your video.

The benefits and challenges of video conferencing

Video conferencing has become a lot more popular over the years. Previous technical issues related to video quality and ease of access have mostly dissipated, as numerous devices have become more than capable of supporting a high-definition video feed. According to Wainhouse Research, 94% of organizations utilizing video conferencing say it increases productivity (1). Every minute spent in an unnecessary meeting is one that could have been spent on a more worthwhile task.

How does it help in this way? First, it reduces distractions by effectively requiring everyone in the video meeting to focus on the task at hand, instead of extensively multitasking as is possible when on a call or team chat. Video also lends itself well to demonstrations and the use of visual aids, for example, during a webinar or presentation. Finally, setting up a video link can provide useful context and clarity for remote workers who otherwise might not see other team members that often.

Still, being on camera (which is what dialing into a video conference entails) isn’t easy for everyone and can make video conferencing dreadful. So, let’s look at some tips for becoming more comfortable when on a video conference.

1.Use notes to keep your thoughts on track

Discomfort while participating on a video call often causes shier participants to lose their trains of thought. This makes sense, because they’re probably thinking primarily about the pressure and scrutiny of the meeting and only secondarily about what’s being discussed.

Overcoming this issue is easier with written or typed preparation. Sticky notes or comments and questions written down in a digital notes’ application and open in another window/app can help. They provide a reliable framework that the user can work within while on a video call.

Basically, preparing and using notes helps participants avoid awkward silences and the discomfort that comes from feeling like they can’t contribute to the conversation.

2. Set up the right environment before the call begins

Some of the pressure that comes with a video conference might stem from anxiety about what the participant’s environment looks like. In 2017, there was a famous incident involving an international relations professor participating in a video interview with the BBC, when one of his children entered into the frame and interrupted the conversation (2).

The disruption became a popular social media meme for a while, but it underscored a key risk that people sometimes contend with on a video call: Worrying about what’s going on in the background or how their workspace looks.

Fortunately, these fears can be somewhat alleviated through preparation. Pay attention to the lighting and to what’s behind you when your face appears on the video feed. Choosing a quiet room with a door may be beneficial, since it will minimize noise and give you more control. For instance, you can prevent others from walking behind you while you’re on camera or making noises that might distract participants. Here’s more on how you can work smarter anywhere when working remotely.

3. Make use of mute and pause controls

Like phone calls, video conferences always come with the possibility of unwanted background noise (e.g., dogs barking, kids playing, outside traffic, etc.) that can disrupt the session. Moreover, with video there’s the additional risk of on-screen distractions.

This is where the mute and pause controls within a video conferencing solution come in handy. Modern video conferencing lets callers mute their own audio and if you’re the host, of other participants, too. Muting minimizes noise and is especially useful for participants who aren’t currently speaking.

Pausing a video feed works in a similar way. During a video conferencing session, it’s possible to stop the video feed at any time and then resume it as necessary. That allows for greater privacy, which less-comfortable participants could use for a quick break to regroup.

4. Do a practice run with a friend or co-worker

Some of the discomfort that people might initially feel on video conferences can be traced to simple unfamiliarity with the format. A person who doesn’t join these meetings regularly might feel anxious about participating since the entire setup seems intimidating to them.

Practice is a good solution to these sorts of concerns:

  • First, it lets participants get familiar with how the interface and underlying technology work, including the in-call controls for muting and pausing.
  • Second, it lets them get used to how they look on a camera and what others can see in the background.
  • Third, it lets them rehearse what they might say and become more comfortable with the idea of speaking on camera.

Webex makes the video conferencing experience as easy and intuitive as possible, from start to finish.

To learn more, get started with a free plan of Webex today.

Learn More

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

Improving patient diagnoses with video conferencing

Using a video conferencing tool to manage outside vendor communications

Resources

(1) Wainhouse Productivitiy Research

(2) BBC interruption video

Read more
Embracing the rise of remote working. Japanese man in casual clothes using a laptop and his son using a smartphone on the desk. He's working and doing childcare at home.
Embracing the rise of remote working

Is remote working the new norm?

Even if you don’t consider yourself a remote worker per se, you’ve likely done work beyond the confines of a traditional office. Quickly checking email on your phone, brainstorming ideas for an upcoming pitch, or joining a conference call while on your commute – these are all tasks that can be done well, from anywhere, with no need for either a work PC or a dedicated desk.

A very brief history of telecommuting

The trend toward frequent and full-time remote work began decades ago in the U.S., but only reached escape velocity relatively recently. The 1970s oil crisis, the surge in traffic gridlock (a term that was, coincidentally, coined in the ‘70s, too), and the rise of stay-at-home parenting all contributed to the very early growth of telecommuting. Then, technology caught up.

Tools such as real-time workplace chat, video conferencing, web conference calls, and more are now readily available and make it much easier for employees to stay in the loop no matter where they are. These solutions enable richer, higher-quality interactions than were possible using just emails or phone calls.

Why remote work is worth supporting

Recently, some companies have had to make a sudden shift to remote work. But for others, this shift was already taking place:

  • Global Workplace Analytics estimated that the number of businesses offering telework options to employees increased by 40% from 2014 to 2019 (and now even more in 2020). (1)
  • Meanwhile, between 80% and 90% of the workforce would like to work remotely at least part of the time.

5 perks of remote work

What will the workplace of the future look like? How should your organization approach remote work arrangements? Remote work offers many benefits to everyone involved. Let’s look at five perks:

  1. Lower costs

Think of the typical SMB’s budget and what it goes toward. After the mostly locked-in expenses of salaries and benefits, some of the larger line items will usually include travel and real estate.

Telecommuting helps curb these expenditures. Instead of needing a sprawling office, an organization might choose a smaller, denser space with the assumption that many of its employees will be working elsewhere much of the time.

Likewise, the company travel budget can be trimmed. Traditionally, meeting with a colleague or client basically required taking a road trip or booking a flight. Not anymore. With video and HD voice, it’s possible to have a virtual conference call meeting that feels like being in the same room, all at a much lower cost than actually traveling.

  1. Improved morale, with less turnover

Why do people leave their jobs? It’s complicated, but long commutes are definitely a common reason why.

According to a University of West England survey, adding 20 minutes to a commute had the same negative effect on job satisfaction as a 19% pay cut for the study’s subjects. No one likes being stuck in traffic. (2)

Remote workers don’t have to confront this issue. As long as they’ve got a stable internet connection, they can work from home, a public place, or a nearby branch site instead of making the long trek into HQ. That’s good news for morale and for their chances of staying at the firm.

  1. Increased productivity

Working remotely can boost productivity in several durable ways:

  • Since commutes become less grueling or even non-existent, employees have more time to focus on their work.
  • The distractions of some types of office spaces, like having to contend with constant noise from in an open floor plan layout, are eliminated entirely.
  • Remote workers can use devices they know, plus utilize the full bandwidth of their internet connection since there aren’t sharing it with potentially many others.
  • Individuals with health conditions that might be difficult to deal with in an office, or worsened by a commute, can more easily take care of themselves.
  1. More opportunities for expansion

Allowing employees to telecommute can double as a company expansion strategy to new locales. If your business is growing and looking to target customers in different markets, then remote work lets you recruit workers with more flexibility and fewer limitations.

Of course, there are still some constraints, like needing to be incorporated in each state in which you conduct business operations. But having telework options available means that it’s more practical to create lob listings with broader appeal. Candidates can apply without needing to price in the cost and time associated with a commute.

  1. Better time management

Not everyone is a morning person. But commute-driven jobs almost require you to be one.

Impact of flexible work schedule

With remote work, there’s more flexibility in how an employee sets and uses their hours. Telecommuters have more discretion over when they start work and take breaks, allowing them to be productive on their own schedules. And, as we noted earlier, they have more time to begin with due to not commuting or having to constantly tune-out various in-office distractions.

What you need to get the most from remote work

There are a few things that flexible working arrangements need to succeed. The first being the leadership support to create a culture that encourages this type of flexibility. Establishing trust and accountability from the top down, is critical to foster a remote working environment. You also need the right collaboration solutions. The ability to easily create and join a video conference call, plus add context through messaging, digital whiteboarding, and file sharing, is essential.

With the right approach and the right technology, you can create a culture that embraces the remote workforce—and positively impacts the business.

If you are new to remote we’re here to make the change easy. Check out more ways to keeping you connected to your team

Learn More

Cisco Webex: Supporting customers during this unprecedented time

Working smarter anywhere – Working remotely 

3 tips for working with remote team members

References

(1) telework options to employees increased by 40% from 2014 to 2019

(2) commute time and job satisfaction

Read more