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man whiteboarding using Webex
Collaborate confidently without compromise

The hybrid workplace is here to stay

Over this past year, how we communicate, collaborate and connect has drastically changed. In the blink of an eye, companies were forced to adjust and adapt to a new environment through virtual collaboration tools. Today, as the uncertainty of the future of work continues, organizations have redefined their priorities and placed a large importance on collaborative experiences.

In a recent survey on the future of work, 98% of the workforce believe that meetings will consist of participants working from home. Currently, across just our customer base, approximately 40% of these meetings have at least one external user. To empower an inclusive future, Webex offers a safe, consistent and secure platform that supports and enables collaboration without compromise for users inside and outside your organization.

woman workng on Desk Pro at home

Seamless collaboration without settling for less

Work doesn’t stop at the organization’s door. Every day, companies work with partners, suppliers, consultants and customers. In this hybrid workplace, the most important tool they need is a way to connect.

Bottom line, in order to be successful, most companies need to be able to collaborate outside of their organization without a compromised experience or risk to their organization’s security policy.  By Collaboration, I mean meet, message, call, share files, co-edit whiteboards…you name it. This shouldn’t be a burden on the end-user, it should be the same great experience as when they collaborate internally.

With Webex, participants leverage a unified experience when collaborating with internal and external users. Through a true cloud architecture, The Webex app assigns a unique single identity to each users’ work email address, providing the ability to simultaneously communicate across spaces. Your company’s security policy is still in place, but so is the security policy of the external user’s organization. In short, I have the same amazing Collaboration experience inside and outside my organization with zero security compromises.

In contrast, our competitors’ architecture is reliant on Active Directory, great for internal users, but a patchwork at best for external users. Without a global identity platform, like Webex, that spans across all organizations, users end up being guest users, external users, or in some cases both. As guests, new identities are created for users which dismantles corporate governance for data loss prevention, retention policies, and access to features and content all while providing a confusing, unproductive experience. Imagine investing in a collaboration tool which lost you access to the very services you paid for – such as calling, your calendar, and more!

woman sitting on bench using phone

A unified Collaboration experience with uncompromised security for all users, inside or outside of your organization, is one of many Webex capabilities that enable greater workplace efficiencies across boundaries. Webex can connect you to all the tools and people in a single place. Existing applications are integrated into Webex for a flexible and customized experience, without the chaos of app switching. Through an open platform of APIs, tools like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Miro and many others can be integrated in your Webex experience. Even better, you can also integrate Webex into your other tools for ease across meetings, messaging and calling all while ensuring security and privacy standards are met. Without the daily struggle of opening and logging into several applications, you can now do your job all in one place. Webex provides a seamless Collaboration solution with security built in, not bolted on.

From my personal experience, navigating work from home has been quite the challenge, but with Webex, it has been 10X easier and better than the issues my peers deal with. A typical workday for me can consist of 10-12 hours of video calls. During my typical day, I meet, message and call multiple external contacts from our various partners and customers. I can work with dispersed cross functional teams without any concern of experience issues for users inside and outside my organization. The integration of existing applications continues to help and enable productivity amongst myself and my team while also maintaining security standards. I will also share that my Desk Pro has been a lifesaver and has singlehandedly resolved some of the meeting fatigue that we hear so much about.  With Webex, I know that I can rely on its intelligent features and security to keep my customers, employees and organization safe and productive anytime, anywhere.

As the relevance of email continues to decrease, an emphasis around secure, external collaboration becomes significantly more important. Ultimately, if a customer cares about external collaboration, it is hard for me to imagine them tolerating Collaboration platforms with terrible user experiences and serious security holes. We are all trying to thrive in a fast-moving hypercompetitive world; intelligent and secure collaboration with great experiences may be the difference between our success and failure.

If you are interested in learning more about Webex Security, you can check out Radhika Chagarlamudi’s Blog: “National Security (NSA) Collaboration Guidelines: 5 Key Questions for Assuring Security and Compliance”.

Collaborate safely through purpose-built devices for work, home and everywhere in between

 Enough about security and external collaboration, time to share an incredibly cost-effective way to add Webex Devices to your Collaboration experienceWork is no longer defined by where we are, but rather what we do. The future requires solutions that scale to meet individual everchanging needs and we can provide them. Of the current workforce, 96% want intelligent workspace technology to improve their work environment. Our devices are purpose-built and fused with Webex to enable an integrated software and hardware experience fit for every workspace.

To support the hybrid workplace, Webex is now offering new accessible and affordable ways to purchase Webex Desk and Room devices. Substantial discounts on these devices are available for new or existing customers with a Webex Meetings Active User or Enterprise Agreement. Remember that Desk Pro that I mentioned earlier, you can now get this world-class video endpoint for under $2,500 (without incremental charges like our competitors). This is almost ½ the price you would pay if you weren’t an enterprise wide Webex Meetings customer.

There are so many reasons why I love my Desk Pro, I even travel with it! Here are a few: multiple virtual background options, immersive share to present right next to my content, noise cancellation with Babble Labs, and so much more! Let the Desk Pro help reduce your daily meeting fatigue, now for ½ the price!

For more on Webex Devices, check out a recent blog post by my colleague Snorre Kjesbu: “Webex Devices to Help You Thrive From Wherever You Work — Now More Affordable and Widely Available”.

white boarding on a clear pane

Supporting the needs of all customers with the new addition of Active User 3.0

 Coming full circle, I am pleased to announce that the Active User buying model is now available in Flex 3.0 and Flex 3.0 FedRAMP. Active User is a usage-based subscription for meetings that allows customers to purchase meetings entitlements according to adoption, and closely track the return on your investment. With Active User 3.0, subscriptions can be purchased for a minimum of just 40 Active Users.

For a safe return to work, this is a great place to start your subscription! With Active User 3.0, everyone in your company will have access to Webex and you only pay for what you use. If Active User isn’t the right fit for you, check out one of our other buying models. Flex 3.0 now offers the full package of buying models (Active User, Enterprise Agreement and Named User) to support the Webex needs of all organizations.

We believe Cisco can uniquely empower organizations to succeed at home, work and everywhere in between through an all-in-one secure collaboration solution and world-class integrated endpoints. Webex is your answer for the future of the work.

Download the free version of the Webex app here today and experience secure, seamless collaboration with users inside and outside your organization!

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illustration of person cleaning devices with disinfectant
Cleaning shared touch-screen devices

The benefits of touch screen devices 

During the last decade we have seen a rapid increase of touch screen devices in the market. The touch screen has become pervasive in homes, offices, manufacturing and medical environments. This is in part due to the high degree of flexibility that it gives to designers and end-users.  

A touch screen provides a space to share visual content and interact so intuitively that most toddlers can do it without any training. Professional devices in the office space and medical applications draw from this simplicity to create high value products to their customers. 

However, sharing uncleaned touch surfaces is a matter of concern. All public and shared interfaces like keyboards, computer mouse, and office accessories should be properly cleaned to avoid spreading germs. The good news is that simple disinfectants are effective against this! 

Easy disinfecting 

One of the advantages of touch screens are how easy they are to clean. All Cisco Webex Rooms touch screens have glass screen that is resistant to most common alcohol-based disinfectants. As recommended in our guideline, use a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol onto a clean, soft cloth and wipe gently.  

Several of our products are actively being used in the frontlines of medical research and treatment in hospitals around the world. They help to connect specialists and provide better care to patients. In this situation, keeping devices clean according to medical regulations is critical. Fortunately, the design of Cisco Webex Rooms products allows for thorough surface disinfection. 

Avoid unnecessary touching altogether

Nevertheless, some users prefer to keep their devices personal or avoid unnecessary touching altogether. For these users we would recommend keeping a personal pen for the Webex Board, which can be ordered as a spare part through our partners. The PIDs, depending on the product are in the table. 

CS-BRD-PENKIT=  Cisco Webex Board S Pen Kit – 2 pens with 6 extra tips

 

CS-BRD-PENKITSOFT=  Cisco Webex Board Pen Kit – 3 pens with fixed soft tips 

 

CS-DESK-STYLUSKIT=  Cisco Webex Desk Pro Stylus Kit (2x stylus, 4x tips) 

 

Safety First

Cisco is actively working with the market leaders in the Global Infection Prevention industry on the best ways to clean and disinfect our products for the safety and health of our customers and their employees and will continue to update our guidelines regularly.  

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