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Woman sitting in front of computer working remotely
Delighting remote workers: Why user experience is important

As a User Experience (UX) Manager here at Cisco, I’m constantly looking at ways my team and I can make our Webex collaboration products better. This starts by solving the problems that enhance the daily experiences of our Webex user community. Good design can do more than engage people by bridging the gap between working and getting work done. Our designers are passionate about how we can make life better by reducing cognitive load so you can focus on your work and let technology take the load. Recently remote work has become our new normal, and balancing our work and home lifetime has become even more critical. Well-designed products can help eliminate the guesswork and enable us to accomplish more with our time.

How we work has changed

Today’s workspaces now include your kitchen, bedroom, and even your laundry room. And if you are like me, these workspaces may double up as the daycare center or classroom. You might have to think more about whether you brushed your hair or if your manager can see the breakfast dishes piled up behind you.

Fitting your lifestyle

As designers, we think about the multitude of platforms, physical spaces, and situations you might find yourself in to consider how our design fits and enhances the way you live and work. One of the ways you can see this on Webex, is through virtual backgrounds. They are a great way to show your personal identity, not just to cover messy workspaces. What’s unique about the Webex experience is the quality and purpose behind these backgrounds. Instead of the generic, landscape or office setting backgrounds, you’ll see in other solutions – Webex as original, own-able illustrations and textures that are not only highly functional but also provide a fresh dose of personality to your workspace.

fitting your lifestyle and virtual backgrounds

Besides the literal, recognizable office space, our design team has landed on three initial sets that you’ll only get in Webex:

  1. Time and Place. These backgrounds represent different natural environments from across the globe. Each evokes a mood through simple illustrated form and color.
  2. Environments. These are intentionally unexpected and a little whimsical, inspiring imaginative ways to think about the spaces we occupy for work, play, learning, and more.
  1. We saw a need for backgrounds that have texture and color but recede, allowing the meeting participant to be the focus. These have a very practical use for when a calm, familiar backdrop is needed. These have been my favorite backgrounds in my daily meetings.

Webex backgrounds are designed to work in any lighting In fact, Webex automatically and subtly adjusts the lighting levels and softens your camera’s focus to make your image on video more realistic – almost as though you were sitting in the same room with everyone else. This is just the start; we have some exciting themes we’re exploring that make your experiences more fun and engaging. Be sure to stay tuned!

Delighting you at every turn

Another way we’ve enhanced your experience through design is with mirror preview, where you can see yourself on video before joining a meeting. Our customers love it, and I use it frequently when a business meeting immediately follows a playdate with my 7-year old son. Mirror preview allows you to take a peek to see if you’re all set for the big meeting or adjust your workspace. More than a few times, I’ve caught myself in the mirror preview with a leaf in my hair or mud on my chin, after entertaining my son in the garden.

woman on Webex Meetings

The default grid view is another one of those delightful design features I love that just makes the experience of a virtual meeting that much better. You can see everyone’s faces at the start of the meeting, and I think it helps build that deeper human connection. I like using it with my team, so everyone becomes part of the same space. You can see everyone’s expressions and reactions and switch to speaker focus view if you want to focus on just the person speaking.

Default grid view and Meetings

Little things matter

We’ve also incorporated some other subtle design features you may not notice at first glance but are there to help make your work that much easier. For instance, pressing the spacebar to quickly unmute. By using telemetry, we discovered that mute/unmute is one of the most frequently used actions in meetings. Now that almost everyone is working remotely, users are more likely to mute themselves to avoid day-to-day background noises. It’s a simple thing but saves time and reduces the number of mouse clicks.

Another “small but mighty” feature we added is the share preview. As a designer, I cringe when I hear people asking, “Can you see my screen?” Many may experience waves of self-doubt when sharing content because they have no idea of whether participants can see what they are sharing or even whether the right content is being shared. By adding this preview, we make sure that you can see your content before its shared. So next time — maybe instead of doubt — you can confidently say, “As you can see on my screen…” from the beginning.

Share preview in Webex Meetings

These are just a few of the ways Webex we’ve designed Webex to fit within your evolving workspaces. I’m very proud to lead a high-performance design team that shares a passion for a better user experience. I am thrilled about what is to come, as we continue to improve the lives of millions of people who need to connect and collaborate around the world.

You can check out these cool features by downloading our free Webex trial today.

Learn More

Why remote work can be more productive work

Embracing the rise of remote working

Working smarter: Managing a remote team

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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Vector of an business adult man opening a human head with a child subconscious mind sitting inside
[Webinar] Inside the Brain: Science based methods we can use to increase our productivity

Future of Work series: Increase productivity

What would you say if you heard this statistic?

“After being interrupted by an email or messaging alert, your brain may not fully re-engage for 30 minutes. If the email requires significant effort, many people never return to their original work.”

I know I’ve definitely experienced the unproductivity pains that interruptions can cause. But I’ve never really thought about what’s actually going on in my brain.

Live webinar with Dr. Don Vaughn

Dr. Don Vaughn, an academic neuroscientist, futurist, and international public speaker, will be joining Cisco Webex for a webinar on August 6, 2020. Register today!

Dr. Vaughn has a love for understanding the brain with focus areas on human perception, augmented performance, empathic bias, and machine learning. Since graduating from Stanford, Dr. Vaughn’s research has been featured on ABC, ESPN, TIME magazine, and the X-Games. Over a million people have viewed his TEDx talk “neurohacking: rewiring your brain.”

Science-based methods you don’t want to miss

In this webinar, Cory Treffiletti, Global Head of Marketing for Webex.com will host and Dr. Vaughn for an engaging conversation on topics around attention recovery. You’ll learn about our brains and the importance of replenishing them. And leave with techniques on how to remove distraction and make fewer choices in the day. Because each and every person is born with a limited amount of processing power, we can only consume and output so much information at a time, and in a day, before we get overwhelmed. This is why it’s important to understand our minds and learn strategies to help us out!

It’s a conversation you won’t want to miss. Register today!

Learn More

How to prepare for the return to work

How to have a webexceptional video conferencing meeting

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.

Sign up for Webex.

Visit our home page or contact us directly for assistance.

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man with labtop
4 creative ways to use screen sharing

Screen sharing software can help make your meetings more efficient and productive. However, that’s not all it can do. Increasing engagement between meeting participants is also a key benefit of a screen sharing solution.

Traditional conference calls can often be one-dimensional. All you get is a voice on the other side of the line. With screen sharing, visual elements are also brought into play, which naturally leads to a more engaging meeting format. Presenting a report on the phone with nothing but your voice to 10 other attendees is much different from doing the same with the advantages of screen sharing. Bottom line, screen sharing can streamline workflows and empower your workforce. There are a number of creative screen sharing uses that can provide these benefits, and here are a few of them:

1. An interactive sales demo

Sales on-boarding can be a difficult task, especially when your teams might need to educate clients over the phone. It’s crucial that clients realize value or return on investment as quickly as possible — that means ensuring clients are up to speed on how to use a SaaS solution or other service or product. Being in the same room as the end user would be ideal for training, but often, is not the case.

Instead, screen sharing can help replicate those conditions and support an interactive experience for the presenter and the client. At a basic level, it’s clear to see how valuable it is to be able to look at the screen of the sales rep as they navigate a solution, following along in real time to understand the ins and outs of the product. 

Beyond that, it’s possible to present remote control onto the client so they can replicate the same task right after they’ve seen it demonstrated, which can help improve retention of learning. If the client has the solution running on their device, the sales rep can pass presenter credentials and offer advice and guidance as they both watch the new user in real time. This allows for instant troubleshooting during the on-boarding process, which can help resolve user problems that may have otherwise surfaced and hindered an important company implementation.

2. A remote tour of the office

A tour of the office is a staple of recruiting, as well as in the sales process. Taking an applicant or prospective buyer around the headquarters is about impressing them, but not every potential hire or customer is always available for a tour, which can sometimes cinch deals and hiring decision. Here, screen sharing can come in handy in a creative way.

A guided tour of the office can be shared with the applicant across the country, or the world. Easily, and without moving from their computer, they can get a picture of what the work environment is like, or visualize any perks or notable building features. Through video conferencing, you can even get current employees to answer questions an applicant has. Similarly, a sales lead could be entertained by a tour of your office, which helps nurture the sales relationship. 

Using a screen sharing mobile app could further heighten the experience, and a tour could be given in real time. Whoever leads the tour can use a mobile device to effortlessly walk about the office and show potential hires and customers all the sights. 

3. Collaboration on a creative project 

Creative teams often need more nuanced modes of communication than what a traditional conference call format can offer. Explaining a visual concept, for instance, can be difficult when none of the other meeting participants can see what the designer sketches out, or what the ad campaign manager is imagining.

Screen sharing makes that all possible by facilitating collaboration in real time between creative teams and stakeholders. A graphic designer with present credentials can open a drawing or modeling program on their device and cast the image they come up with to other meeting participants. In the same vein, a videographer may use screen sharing tools to play a reel for a producer or other team member who’s at a different shoot location. They can edit together in real time instead of having to work through email and attachments.

4. Illustrating numbers and data

Lastly, presentations with a lot of numbers and data points can be hard to sit through, especially over the phone. Capturing the attention of the meeting can be done with screen sharing. You can present slides that contain animations or other visual elements that bring the numbers to life in a dynamic data plot or an interactive graph. Such presentation features are engaging and keep meeting audiences attentive; they also improve the comprehension of key data trends or insights your presentation is trying to convey. 

There are many other creative uses for screen sharing software, which users can discover on their own as they use such tools. The right screen sharing platform can help facilitate meeting efficiency and innovation. Looking for a solution to drive this performance and value? Cisco Webex has a reliable screen sharing solution to facilitate better sales calls. Get started with a free plan today.

 

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team collaboration update
November update of Webex Teams

More Emoji’s for More Expressive Messaging! (Windows)

It’s time to get a lot more expressive with your team collaboration messages- we have expanded the emoji picker library! You can now choose emojis from six different categories and color swatches.

Team collaboration update

Introducing the Web Beta Client (Web)

Soon, the first phase of the new web app will be available for everyone. Webex Teams web users will be able to opt-in to the new experience. To start, this is a messaging only application with new messaging features, including improved performance, edit message, in-line threading, quick filters, and improved space navigation. This will be available for everyone to try on December 5th!

Share Your Screen While on a Call using Calling in Webex Teams – Webex Calling (Windows & Mac)

If your organization supports this calling integration, you can now share your screen when you call someone else with a Webex Teams account.

MAM support through App Wrapping (iOs & Android)

Teams Mobile App now support customers who need MAM through a new process. This process is currently supported by both Webex Meetings as well as Jabber. This means a customer or partner who is part of the CCP community can sign a two-way licensed agreement to obtain Teams mobile app binaries and then “app wrap” them using app wrapping tools provided by MDM/MAM vendors, for their own use.


Haven’t tried Webex Meetings or Teams yet? Try for free. 

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

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How to incorporate good presentation skills into a screen sharing session
How to incorporate good presentation skills into a screen sharing session

With the recent push toward telecommuting and remote workforces, businesses can grow their headcount without opening new branch offices. Eliminating daily commutes can be a major boon for both businesses and their employees. A 2-year Stanford study found that remote workers were more productive than their office-based peers. Telecommuters were also half as likely to leave their company for another job.

Business leaders will need to address a few challenges to make the most of this opportunity and create a fruitful working environment for their remote workforce. Most notably: Keeping telecommuters connected to their office-based peers. 

Screen sharing tools allow dispersed employees to work closely together, even when they are hundreds or thousands of miles apart. 

Of course, a screen sharing session is only as good as the presenter leading it. Participants are more likely to zone out or get distracted if the presenter doesn’t have their complete attention. To make your online meetings as productive as possible, be sure to hone your presentation skills with these tips.

Don’t let your nerves show

Depending on the size of your screen sharing session, a presenter could be leading a discussion with a handful of people or coordinating a webinar viewed by hundreds of remote users. Facing a large audience could make anyone nervous, and some individuals might get butterflies in their stomachs at the prospect of leading a discussion with just a few coworkers. 

But it’s important not to let your nerves get the best of you. Nervous energy can manifest in very obvious ways that distract the audience and make it seem like the presenter is unprepared. Tripping over your words, speaking quickly, and fidgeting are all tell-tale nervous signs. Although there’s nothing wrong with being a little anxious about a screen-sharing session, here are a few ways that may help them not shine through: take deep breaths and don’t rush through the presentation. Crack a joke or two to diffuse any tension you might feel. Record a couple of run-throughs of the presentation so you can scrutinize your body language and speech patterns.

The more mindful you are, the more at ease you will be. And that means you will be less likely to rush through a presentation or forget to cover an important action item.

Engage the audience

Screen sharing sessions should be collaborative, but it can be easy for attendees to hang back and watch the action from afar. Actively get everyone on a video conference involved, asking people directly for their input. Encourage people to ask questions about the material. 

Once you make this kind of active engagement routine with your video conference calls, attendees will expect that high level of interaction and come to each online meeting prepared to contribute to the discussion.

Screen sharing software can be extremely helpful in this regard. Rather than try to describe a spreadsheet, slide deck, or other document over the phone, employees can use a screen sharing feature to easily show conference meeting participants that material, gather feedback, and make changes in real time. Staff members can also pass presenter tools to different stakeholders and get more accomplished during a meeting.

Cisco Webex has numerous features to assist onboarding, training, and cross-departmental collaboration. If you have a remote workforce, a video conferencing and screen sharing solution is key to keeping everyone in the loop and working together.Start your free plan today to discover how Webex can help you manage your remote workforce and get more productivity out of your telecommuting employees.

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Personalize your team meetings with these top four screen sharing features
Personalize your team meetings with these top four screen sharing features

Keeping all of your employees in sync, in real time, can be challenging, especially as more teams work remotely and on-the-go. Although these flexible working arrangements have numerous operational benefits (for example, lower overhead costs and better worker retention in some cases), they also have the potential to make people feel like they’re out of the loop. A few of the top possible sticking points can be:

  • Subpar email or chat communications: Email is a linchpin of collaboration, but it has its limitations. Messages can be misinterpreted, overlooked, inadvertently deleted, or otherwise difficult to locate, all of which result in gaps that harm productivity. The same issues can also apply to channels like chat/instant messaging.
  • Time zone differences: With employees spread out across the country or globe, coordinating meetings can be difficult. When a suitable overlapping time comes by, it’s important to make the most of it by having focused online meetings that don’t get derailed by poor audio/video quality on conference calls or complex requirements for dial-in numbers and lengthy PINs.
  • Technology problems: Some collaboration software can be difficult to use if someone isn’t seated in front of a PC and capable of downloading a full desktop application. Platforms should be versatile enough to work seamlessly across devices and deliver sufficient performance whether someone is using a wired, Wi-Fi, or cellular internet connection.

These issues and others can frustrate employees and possibly lower their morale, too. But there’s a straightforward solution: collaboration platforms that support screen sharing alongside other functions such as video conferencing.

Screen sharing is the perfect way to share documents, applications, or an entire desktop/mobile screen from any compatible device. Let’s look at four of its most important features and how they personalize online meetings and keep them on track. 

1. Share a document for real-time markup and viewing

Many collaborative calls and conversations revolve around reviewing a specific asset, such as a schedule formatted in a spreadsheet, a slide deck containing a presentation, or a text file containing a proposal. Going through the details of these assets is much easier with screen sharing. 

It’s simple to share a document or app when holding a meeting within Webex Meetings. That way, everyone in the virtual room can see it in real time, as it’s being updated/used, without having to switch between multiple applications. 

This type of screen sharing adds more context to the interaction while saving everyone time that would otherwise be wasted on opening the asset elsewhere. Presenter controls can also easily be passed between users so that different contributors can share their screens or start brainstorming on a digital white board.

2. Share your entire screen

Sometimes, sharing just one document or application view isn’t enough to provide the context needed for productive real-time collaboration. This is where a full screen share is helpful, as it lets you show off even the most in-depth workflow, step by step and in high-definition video.

In Webex Meetings, you can share everything that’s open on your screen with other participants in the online meeting. For example, let’s say you wanted to show how to upload a finished piece of written copy into a content management system. Through the screen share, you could show:

  • How to convert the document from Google Docs to the Word Document format.
  • Which site to visit to upload the converted document.
  • Where to navigate within that site to find the proper interface for uploading it.
  • How to perform specific actions such as tagging other users, leaving comments, etc.

3. Share a multimedia viewer 

Sharing a recorded video or an animated short can be complicated. The typical size of such assets, along with the restrictions of business email inboxes, makes it impractical to email them, while sharing them via a link to a service like Google Drive can still run into potential problems with playback errors or people not having immediate access.

An easy workaround is to instead show off these videos or animations during a screen share. Using Webex, it’s possible to let everyone see a multimedia viewer and watch a video or animation at 30 frames per second.

This option is just one of the many possible views within Webex Meetings. Screen sharing presenters can switch between multimedia players, application sets, documents, and entire screens with ease to keep the meeting on track.

4. Share from a mobile device

Screen sharing isn’t just for laptop and desktop PCs or web browsers. Webex Meetings supports native screen shares from iOS and Android devices, so nothing gets lost when employees join while on the go. On an iPhone or iPad, it’s also possible to share 3D models during an online meeting. 

These capabilities will only become more important as phones and tablets evolve with faster CPUs and GPUs, more RAM, and better displays, all of which make them even more practical replacements for desktop devices in many contexts.

Get started with real-time screen sharing for your growing business

Ready to learn more about how screen sharing can reshape your company’s online meetings? Start with Webex Meetings free offer today using this link.

 

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screen sharing on mobile device
4 screen sharing tips to manage a growing business without an office

It’s become more common for small- and medium-sized businesses to function without dedicated company offices. Whether employees opt to work from home, a branch office, or a coworking space, there is more flexibility than ever in how an emerging company structures its day-to-day operations. In fact, by the end of 2019, more than 2 million people could work out of coworking setups worldwide.

Not having a main office has a few potential drawbacks, though. For instance, keeping everyone in sync might become more difficult without a physical space – but it doesn’t have to. Thanks to screen sharing software that works on every major operating system as well as in web browsers, employees can enjoy rich collaboration that goes far beyond a traditional phone call or email.

Screen sharing is built into many web and video conferencing solutions, meaning that it’s possible to talk and walk through documents in real time from the same platform, from anywhere there’s an internet connection. If your business operates out of multiple remote sites or coworking or hotdesking environments, here’s what you need to know about screen sharing:

1. It’s possible to share your screen from a mobile device

Even though modern screen sharing has its roots in remote desktop software for PCs, it’s far more flexible than you might think. 

Regardless of which devices they’re currently using, employees can let others see what they’re doing with just a few taps or clicks. For example, someone on a phone running Android or iOS can natively share content from their screen for real-time collaboration in Webex.

Screen sharing sessions can be conducted across phones, tablets, PCs, and Macs – in other words, if it has a screen, it can probably do screen sharing. That’s good news for productivity, considering that workers are increasingly reliant on personal devices in the workplace. By 2022, the BYOD market is projected to be over 10 times as large as it was in 2014.

2. You can share the entire screen, or just one app or document

When you think about what screen sharing actually involves, maybe you envision walking a colleague or client through a PowerPoint deck or PDF. Although that’s certainly one of the central screen sharing features and use cases, it’s not the only one. 

Let’s say you wanted to show a video. In Webex, it’s possible to share just a multimedia player so that everyone could see it at 30 frames per second

Sometimes you might want to share your entire screen so that you can provide a guided walkthrough of a product. Other times, simply sharing a specific app or document might be enough. 

3. Screen sharing works well within video conferencing tools

Video conferencing software gives a team a virtual meeting room in which participants see each other face-to-face as if they were in the same space. With screen sharing, they can also work like they were side-by-side.

Like video calling, screen sharing is a form of real-time communication. Attendees can talk, see reactions and body language, and share their screen with ease.

In Webex, you don’t even have to worry about passing presenter controls to someone, as anyone can share their screen by default. Everything needed for real-time collaboration is right at your fingertips.

4. You can record a screen sharing session for later viewing

Not everyone can make every call, even if it’s an important walkthrough or screen share-enabled demo. Fortunately, straightforward recording makes this less of an issue.

The entire session can be recorded with just one button press in Webex. An .mp4 copy of the meeting is then emailed afterward and can be played back by simply clicking on the link. 

Screen sharing makes it more practical than ever to work from anywhere – no office required. Learn more about how Webex can help by starting for free today.

 

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video conferencing update
Webex Meetings 39.7: Fine-tuning the user experience for greater ease and convenience

We’ve just released the latest update for Webex Meetings, version 39.7. And while you may think there’s nothing too earth-shattering here, we’ve actually done much to perfect the user experience so that your day-to-day meeting activities can be even more convenient and accessible.

Webex Meetings Version 39.7 brings you the following meeting enhancements:

  • Better video conference meeting experience on the web app, despite network conditions
  • New ways to pair and share with Webex devices
  • Easier and faster meeting join ability through the mobile app
  • Extending the Webex user experience to Slack
  • Expanding PSTN audio coverage and scale

Better video conference experience on the web app

Whenever you use a web app, your experience is dependent on the speed of your network. Since you can’t always control your network speed, Webex is working to help you have the best possible experience regardless of network conditions. The Webex Meetings Web App for Safari is now supporting multiple resolutions, which also brings feature parity with Firefox and Chrome. Video resolutions supported on Safari now include 720p, 360p, 180p and 90p connection. This will be supported on Safari v12 or higher.

New ways to pair and share with Webex devices

Have you ever shared content locally with a few colleagues in a huddle room, and then wanted to seamlessly transition the content to a video conference so others can see it? You’ve probably had to stop sharing, dial into the video conference and then re-share that same content. Well, you no longer have to take all those extra steps. The Webex Meetings mobile app now supports local pairing and sharing on a Webex device AND the ability to move that shared content into a scheduled meeting or personal room – without having to hang up, dial and re-share. For executives who have eschewed the heavy laptop for a mobile phone or tablet, this feature brings added convenience and a few less steps.

Not to be outdone, the Webex Meetings desktop app also has a cool new local pair and screen share capability on Webex devices. Sometimes, during an active video conference on a Webex device, a person late to the meeting walks in and needs to sharing his/her content. For this person, sharing content from the desktop app to a device in mid call wasn’t possible until now. You may think this is a corner use case, but I’m sure you will appreciate it the next time you walk in late to a meeting and need to present. It has happened to me … and apparently others as well, because this feature came about by special request from a few of our customers.

Webex devices also have a special place in Webex Meetings 39.7, which now allows more advanced co-creation between Webex Boards, and even DX80s, in the conference. With the latest update, multiple Webex Boards and DX80s in a Webex meeting (up to 200) will be able to whiteboard and annotate in the same session. Imagine how collaborative development teams around the globe can be with the ability to co-create across the miles and have everyone in the Webex conference be able to see it.

Easier, faster meeting join through the mobile app

If you’re a Type A personality or, at least for those really important meetings, you probably like to dial into a meeting at least a minute or two early because it’s going some time to get in. But with the latest enhancements to the mobile app, you can have most of that minute back and still get into the meeting on time. One reason for this is we’ve optimized the user experience so that you can bypass a few steps. First time users can skip the audio/video preview step, and return users can set their preferences so that they bypass the preview and go straight into the meeting. This reduces the number of steps and the time that it takes to get into a conference, so you can just about dial in right at the time the meeting starts and that miss a thing.

Meeting you where you work

On the integration front, we continue to focus on bringing the best meeting experience to you within the tools that you use every day. And with that, we will be adding new features to enhance your Webex experience in Slack over the next several updates. Today, we have basic support for Slack users, but a series of changes coming between now and November, will allow you to experience the full Webex Meetings life cycle completely within the Slack channel. Version 39.7 kicks off the first of these changes beginning with Webex Meetings notification support in Slack. Slack users will receive notifications posted in the conversation. You will receive notifications when a meeting starts and ends, or when a participant joins or leaves. This allows you to be fully informed of the status of your meeting without having to leave your Slack channel. There’s much more to come over the next several months, so please stay tuned.

Expanded PSTN audio coverage and scale

We’ve also implemented some major enhancements on our support for PSTN audio that will help you save money and increase scale. First, we’ve doubled our support for PSTN dial to 1000 participants, up from 500, to match the total number of participants supported on a Webex conference. This means all of your Webex Meetings participants could be PSTN dialers if needed. In addition, we’ve significantly expanded the countries where we offer PSTN audio dialing. More details can be found in a blog shared earlier this month. Both of these audio features mean that you can support more PSTN dialers from all around the globe with Webex Meetings.

For more details about Webex Meetings version 39.7, please visit the Webex Help Portal – What’s New in Webex Meetings Suite (WBS39)– and click on “WBS39.7.”

 

Start a free trial of Webex Meetings for free today!

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screen sharing at work
Why my customer switched from Zoom to Webex

I’m in Sales, so I’m in the business of making customers happy, which means I listen to and solve issues every day. I’ve transitioned my customer, Truebeck Construction, from Zoom to Webex over the past eight months, and I’ve heard all the things that are important to them when it comes to great video conferencing and collaboration. These range from hard costs, to reliability, to simple screen sharing, to having a standard user interface. And these are the issues they struggled with while using Zoom.

I just scratch my head when I hear this because, to me, these are the basics of any good collaboration technology, not to mention scalable, enterprise-grade technology. Truebeck will certainly have all their needs met with Webex; we will see to that. But they will get so much more – including end-to-end, enterprise security, which you can’t take for granted these days.

We’re going to be sitting down with Truebeck’s IT director in a webinar on Monday, August 19th. Maybe you’re grappling with similar issues today and can glean some insight from Truebeck’s experience. Or maybe you’ll learn about the pitfalls to avoid if you’re just starting to roll out video conferencing – or roll out in a big way – at your company. You won’t want to miss this webinar.

Please join us on August 19th, 9-10 AM, PT, for an intimate discussion with Truebeck. You can register here.

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video conferencing
Best video conferencing software in 2019

For SMBs, video conferencing solutions are proven ways to improve the productivity of mobile and remote teams, reduce business travel expenses, and run more generally effective meetings. The numbers speak for themselves.

Exploring the benefits of video conferencing

According to a Buffer study, more than one-fifth of remote employees cited communication, collaboration, or loneliness as the biggest challenges to how they work – more than any other cause. Video conferencing brings even far-flung teams closer together, while opening up new collaborative possibilities through face-to-face chat and real-time screen sharing.

Travel expenses represent a larger chunk of the typical budget for SMBs than for large enterprises, above 10% in some cases. Video calling eliminates the need for so much business travel, saving the company money and reducing its environmental impact.

Online meetings with high-definition video and crisp audio are more focused and productive than audio-only conferences. Almost 40% of all meetings don’t add any value for a company, due to in part to wasted time and difficulty even getting started. A streamlined video conference platform addresses these issues and keeps meetings on track.

Finally, video conferencing is a key component in a unified communication strategy that keeps modern workforces in touch, no matter where they are or what devices they use. Like VoIP and instant messaging, video conference solutions are widely compatible with desktop and mobile operating systems, allowing for seamless multi-device workflows.

That said, how do you choose the right video conferencing platform in 2019 and beyond? 

Evaluating the popular options for video conferencing

To answer this question, Info-Tech Research Group recently released a category report on web conferencing, in which it compared Cisco Webex Meetings with other major video conference solutions including Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Skype. 

Overall, Webex Meetings ranked in the upper-right quadrant of Info-Tech’s plot, indicating its place as “leader” based on product features and satisfaction along with vendor capabilities. At 9.0 out of a possible 10, it also had the highest composite score of any evaluated video conference system.

Let’s look at how it stacked up versus several other widely used solutions.

Webex Meetings vs. Zoom

In a head-to-head comparison, Webex Meetings outranked cloud-based conferencing provider Zoom 9.0 to 7.6, respectively, in net score. It enjoyed advantages across all major categories, including business value created, quality of features, vendor support, ease of IT administration, and net emotional footprint—a measure of positive user experience. 

Webex Meetings vs. GoToMeeting

Compared to LogMeIn’s web conferencing service GoToMeeting, Webex Meetings had a higher net score, 9.0 versus 8.1. The key factors on which it outranked GoToMeetings included business value created, ease of data integration, vendor support, ease of IT administration, and net emotional footprint.

Webex Meetings vs. Skype

A side-by-side evaluation of Webex Meetings and long-running unified communications solution Skype revealed a higher net score for Webex, 9.0 compared to 8.3 for Skype. The general categories assessed were vendor support, ease of IT administration, net emotional footprint, quality of features, and business valued added.

How to select the best video conferencing solution for your SMB

These comparisons provide some general guidance into what to look for in a video calling platform. While functionality and vendor support are both core considerations, they’re just two pieces in a larger puzzle that also includes integration into existing IT infrastructure and common workflows. 

The best way to begin your decision-making process is with a free trial, to see how the video conferencing solution works for your team. Try Webex Meetings free to get started!

 

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screen sharing during a meeting
Best screen sharing practices for small businesses

Sharing your screen is a great way to give someone a virtual window into your world, or to gain insight into theirs. Whether it’s a meeting to run through a Microsoft PowerPoint deck with a prospect or to brainstorm and discuss ideas within a document, screen sharing is a collaborative powerhouse, especially for SMBs.

As a small business employee, a quick screen share or app share lets you connect with a customer or colleague in-depth, without the need for any travel or more complicated attempts at collaborating via email. 

Better yet, all of the key functionality of screen sharing – like scheduling online meetings, sharing your entire screen with meeting participants or just the specific application you are working in, and enjoying crisp audio and video quality – is contained within versatile business collaboration software that’s available on both desktop and mobile apps.

In this guide, we’ll walk through some tips for getting the most from your screen sharing tools in general and what can you do with Cisco Webex in particular. Read on to see how you can share your screen as productively and securely as possible.

The basics: Create the right screen sharing setup

Before we look at advanced features and workflows, we should talk about a few basic things to do first to ensure an optimal screen sharing experience:

  • Check screen resolution: Webex will automatically scale a document or presentation shared via the Share File (Including Video) for optimal viewing on each attendee’s monitor. If you are instead sharing your desktop or an application, you may need to change your resolution before the online meeting. The most common resolutions as of 2019 were 1366×768, 1920×1080, and 1280×800.
  • Remove distractions: You might want to disable desktop notifications during the meeting and hide any documents visible on your desktop. Doing so is pretty easy on both Windows and macOS, requiring just a few clicks and/or Terminal commands.
  • Make your cursor larger: This is optional, but it might help viewers follow along more easily. Windows and macOS each contain accessibility settings that include enlarging the mouse cursor.

Choose easy-to-use screen sharing software

Screen sharing should be straightforward, fast, and flexible. In Webex, it is. 

You can share your whole screen with up to two other people on a free plan. Alternatively, take advantage of a premium plan to choose which files and applications to share and keep everything else private. 

On a phone or tablet, you can also natively share your screen from the iOS or Android mobile app, so that it’s easy to get everyone on the same page no matter where they are or what device they’re using. Joining the online meeting itself is simple: Just click or tap to join, or have the meeting come to you via the Call Me option.

If you’re in a hurry or just don’t want to download anything, you can also join from a web browser. Audio, video, and screen sharing are all available within this lightweight web client.

Annotate documents and whiteboard your ideas

When you think of screen sharing, maybe the first image that comes into your head is one of looking at and discussing a slide deck or document. That’s a primary use case, but you can also go further with features for annotation and whiteboarding.

Let’s say you’re working at a PR or advertising firm and need to connect with a customer about a current campaign. You could pull up the draft copy that you had sent them earlier and use Webex to annotate the asset in question for real-time collaboration. 

Another option is to use whiteboarding in Webex. Digital whiteboards allow you to share drawings that you can create with touch gestures or stylus input. This workflow can be a quick, effective, and real-time alternative to sharing mockups over email, and a nice way to initiate a design project or just explain a concept visually.

Share your full screen – or just the application you’re currently working in

Screen sharing is a versatile workflow:

  • You can share your entire screen to walk someone through a detailed process like how to launch and use a specific program or site. This is possible even on a mobile device.
  • Alternatively, you can share just your current app or document to provide a more focused look that might be easier for viewers to follow.

It’s easy to perform either workflow in Webex. With screen sharing, meeting recording and broadcasts, you can keep everyone in sync from any location. 

Pair screen sharing with top-notch web and video conferencing

Screen sharing takes place in the context of real-time collaboration. In other words, it’s something that normally complements other tools like web or video conferencing.

Webex ensures you have the best possible audio and video quality during your online meetings, so that your screen shares don’t routinely get sidelined by choppy conversations or noticeable lag. You can even choose to have an active screen share next to a video feed of the meeting’s attendees. 

As a whole, Webex enables real-time collaboration regardless of location. As you and your customers become more mobile and spread your work across multiple devices, screen sharing via Webex is the perfect way to stay in sync. Schedule online meetings with ease, set up a video conference for superior engagement, and mark up documents and presentations in detail.

Try Cisco Webex for free today!

Learn More

Why screen sharing works better for sales than traditional conference calls

4 creative ways to use screen sharing

How to incorporate good presentation skills into a screen sharing session

 

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4 Delivery Tips that all WebEx Stars Know

Thanks to part one of The Presentation Company’s Masterful WebEx Presentation Series, you’ve chosen the perfect WebEx tools to engage your audience, have built the ultimate slide deck for your virtual audience and have planned for the size of your audience.  Now that the pre-presentation planning is out of the way and presentation day is here – what’s next?

In 4 Delivery Tips That All WebEx Stars Know, The Presentation Company’s second installment of the three-part Masterful WebEx Presentation walks you through the do’s and don’ts of sharing your presentation.

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