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Webex board update
RoomOS November update

November already! They say that time flies when you are busy, and here at Cisco we have been super busy working on some new, cool features for RoomOS. These new features will make collaboration and co-creation a breeze.

Companion Mode

Friends are great. They have your back, and help you out when you need it. With our newly released Companion Mode feature, your board and device can help each other out, too. This feature is about getting a board and a room device in the same physical room and making them work as one entity by creating a virtual device. This means that you to focus on creating and communicating, while the room systems do all the rough work for you. This frees up precious time, so you and your team can get more done.

This is the first release of the feature, where the configuration currently tested is a double screen device with Webex Board’s on opposite sides of the room, facing each other. It can also be set up with the single screen device and Webex board next to it. If you want to learn more about this feature, check out this article.

Cloud Add Participants (Ad-hoc Calling)

No matter how hard we try, it can be difficult to keep up with who should be included in a meeting. Things change, and in the middle of a call you might remember that you forgot to invite someone. Now you can easily add cloud participants to your call. This feature has been available for on-premises from the start, and we now have finally made it available for cloud, too. If you are wondering about adding PSTN or SIP users, we are working on making that happen, and these two will come in future releases. Learn more here.

Webex Team Meeting and . Now you can easily add cloud participants to your call

Webex Board Touch-Redirect

We also are excited to introduce the Webex Board Touch-Redirect, a feature that has been highly requested by our educational customers. By connecting a laptop to a Webex Board, users can interact with their laptop’s app through the board’s touch interface. In educational settings, teachers can show their students apps that are only available to view on laptops/computers. This allows for a richer, more dynamic learning experience for the students, and teachers will no longer have to manually switch between a board and a laptop- they can focus on what’s really important, the teaching. However, this feature can be applied to multiple settings and scenarios. For businesses, knowledge sharing and interactive training sessions in-house will greatly benefit from this new feature. You can find out more by clicking this link.

Webex Board Touch-Redirect.png

What’s More..

In addition to these three features, we have many other interesting things in our pipeline. Our partnership with Microsoft was recently announced, which was born out of our customers need to enhance interoperability between different conference rooms and calling infrastructure solutions.

Check out the Microsoft announcement: here.

And, be sure to read up on how this partnership fuels digital transformation efforts and meets business goals.

We also have a great feature for our on-premise customers wanting to experience cloud services coming up in December. If you want to read up on this while you wait for the release, please go ahead and read Richard’s blog entry.

That’s it for November, and I will be back in December with some new and exciting features.

Stay tuned!

Learn More

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

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

Webex Board Updates

Two-way Whiteboarding

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

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

Microsoft OneDrive Integration

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

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

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

Stickies

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

Undo and Re-do Buttons

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

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

Updated Layout

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

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

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

This change should be in place for October 16.

Control Hub Updates

Advanced Configurations

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

Device Proactive Alerts

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

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

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

 

 

 

 

 

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new release for Webex conferencing device
August release of Webex RoomOS: Latest on conferencing devices

Hello again!

North hemisphere summer break is finished, and we are excited to share how we have been working hard here at our Oslo offices to bring you the best experiences with our Webex devices.

The August release is not heavy in the number of features we have, but it shows clearly the direction we are going. Our goal is to make your meetings the easiest to join, the ones with the best content sharing, and the ones where you collaborate with local and remote participants in the best possible way.

My blog before this one was all about the Webex board. And this one is not all about it, but we keep adding features to it.

Starting with one of the most important features we have release so far for board: WebApps.

WebApps is based on the web engine we released just a few weeks back. Users can now create buttons in the home screen of the Webex board, which will redirect them to a Web URL, where users can work using the touch interface of the Webex board.

Think about the case where your teams are working on a kanban board directly from the board, moving tasks around, editing text, and after the meeting it’s finished, there’s no need to take a picture, and go to your laptop to re-do all the work, or anything similar. The work is already done in the right tool. If this sounds interesting, please go to the blog post from my colleague Kristian Sandvik, or check out the video from Richard Bayes, PM for integrations has created a nice video about how to create them:

Let’s keep adding to the list of Webex board features. August release includes new pen sizes. Now when you are drawing in the Webex board, you have the option to click and hold the pen button to display different pen sizes, so your drawing gets more details. Easy, intuitive, and useful!

Moving on to a feature available for the whole portfolio: we have the Webex button!

What’s the Webex button? It’s a much easier and intuitive way to join Webex meetings. If your company is using Webex for meetings, then you should be familiar with the emails every participant receives when a meeting has been scheduled. This email has information around how to join the meeting, and our research shows that the most common way is using the long string of digits.

Before this feature was out, you would have to also look for the URI of the meeting, which many times, depending how the meetings were configured for your company, will be the same digits plus a domain, or just a long URI, then the user will need to start the workflow from the call button, assuming the users understand that they have to “call into the meeting”.

Well, we have done things simpler. Now users have to only worry about that string of digits and clicking on the Webex button will not only tell the users you are actually dialing into a Webex meeting, but it will ask only for those digits, which are easy to find in your email invite. Easy, right?

The last feature for this blog is USB headset support. We had USB headset support for the DX80 in the past, but some customer haven been asking us to support it in more devices. I can’t claim support for the whole portfolio yet, but we’ve started with adding support for the Room Kit, Room Kit Mini, and Room 55. More to come later.

Thanks for reading, go and play with these new features, and as always, feedback is very welcomed.

Enjoy!

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Conferencing devices, Webex Board
New release of Webex RoomOs: The latest on Webex Board

In my last blog, I promised a much richer release. Well, here you have it! The newest Room OS release is very focused on the Webex Board. We are working on some interesting material, particularly for the end-user. Firstly, we have released an end-user guide, highlighting the simplicity of the Cisco Webex Board experience. Following this, we will have videos showcasing how teams collaborate using the Webex Board, which will have everything you need to cover all your creative and collaboration needs with conference equipment in huddle spaces to the boardroom. The timeframe for the release of these assets will be coming in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

When it comes to features, we have a good line-up:

I’ll start announcing the availability of Webex Board for on-premises deployments. I know, this blog is about Room OS and the Cloud, but I think it’s something important to talk about, and shows how important this product is to us.

When registered on-premises, the Webex Board still has everything you need in order to collaborate effectively with your team.

First, it’s still an all-in-one device that lets you:

  • Share your presentations and documents wirelessly
  • Create, draw and digitally whiteboard on a blank canvas, or annotate on any screen capture or document. You then have the option to the share the content via email
  • Have video conferences

We believe in building bridges and not islands, so if a customer is comfortable staying on-premises, they now have that deployment option and when the journey to the cloud is desired, we offer a seamless transition.

One of the features you’ll love on the  Webex Board in the cloud is digital signage. Digital signage is a way to have custom information on the screen by using a web engine, which basically means that as long as the information is on a web page, you should be able to show it in the real state of your Webex devices. That’s right, this feature is not unique to the Webex Board. It also works on the Room series, with the difference that on the Webex Board – the experience is interactive. The signage will show up during half-wake, and an admin decides which page or pages to show.

Virtual assistants are in vogue, and we have our own. Webex Assistant allows users to control our Webex devices with their voices. The idea is simple – instead of reaching out to touch the Webex Board to interact with the device, you can just instruct the device to start sharing by saying: “Ok Webex, start sharing.” The Board is the last of the Webex devices to get this feature – and the list over possible commands is growing quickly.

You read above that you can use voice commands to avoid having to stand up to interact with the Webex Board. Another really convenient option we are introducing from the Board – completely eliminating the need to stand up and walk up to it, is Touch 10 support.. The Touch 10 has to be remotely paired with the Board since the Board doesn’t have a physical port to connect it to, but once you have the Touch 10 paired, you can answer those calls without having to leave your seat.

Following the work we have done with the Touch 10, we also added support for macros and customizations. Now, using a familiar workflow, , you can create macros and in-room controls for the Webex Board. We are always adding more APIs and better ways to interact with them – for example this time we have added HTTP get & post clients.

Until now, the physical Webex Board screen was all the space you could draw and annotate on.. In this release, we added the possibility of having an infinite whiteboard. You can keep drawing and drawing, Just swipe three fingers in any direction and keep drawing – the pinch and zoom and or out to get an overview of what you’ve just drawn.

If you’re not using Webex Teams, but still want to be able to save your annotations, we have now made it possible to save it as a PDF file and send it to any email address.. In this case, an administrator will configure the Webex Board with an SMTP server that will allow anyone using the Board to save their work by sending an email to himself, or any participant in the meeting.

We also have some exciting features for the rest of the Webex device portfolio this month. video on/off is now not only available on the Board – but also on the rest of the Webex video devices. Many customers know of this feature as “video mute”, and it gives more control over the user’s privacy by allowing them to turn off the video with the press of a button. We encourage the use of video, but from time to time we understand that it can make sense to stop the video to avoid unwanted interruptions – like in this case (Funny video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh4f9AYRCZY).

Around a half a year ago, we introduced the Room Kit Mini with the possibility of connecting the device to a USB-C port of a laptop and using it as a USB camera/speaker/mic. In this release, we are improving the behavior of this feature by setting the “do not disturb (DND)” mode on, just when the soft client starts to actually stream something to the device. Otherwise, the device is still available for regular calls, even if the USB-C cable is connected.

Lastly, we are not forgetting our admin friends, and we also have a feature for them. Up until now, in order to activate a Webex device, you had to enter a 12-digit code on the device’s interface, which meant that someone had to be in front of the device to do this job. When we designed this workflow, we designed it with ease of use in mind.Anyone could register a deviceby entering 12 digits, and an admin could send literally anyone to do that part of the job. Now we are allowing admins to actually do it themselves over the network, either with an API or through the web interface of the device. And of course, having an API means we now have ways to script this task, or open for new activation possibilities in the future.

I hope this was as good of a month for you as it was for us. Keep sending us your feedback, and stay tuned for the next post!

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collaboration devices
May release of Webex RoomOS

Hello again. Here I’m with an update for Webex devices for May 2019.

Room customizations are a huge part of our work. We feel proud that Cisco Webex conferencing devices are so flexible and allow customers to enable their own workflows to improve their day-to-day work. Of course, all this is possible thanks to our partners actively creating and deploying device customizations.

We started the room customization journey by providing APIs and in-room controls, soon to add more powerful tools such as macros. Since then, we have found a broad variety of new ideas that our customers are deploying.We are even turning some of them into standard features in our portfolio. Keep your eyes open for some of these features coming in June.

Macros have been available for most of the Webex room devices for quite some time, and with this release, we are introducing macros support for Webex Board.

There’s no difference to how macros work on the Webex Board in comparison to any other Webex device. You still use our provided editor to create your new macros, you still use java script as development language, and they are deployed the same way you are used to.

Hopefully you know already where to look for examples on macros, but if you don’t, please go and visit our web page where we have a lot of information on APIs, and a library of macros that can be used as an example to get you started, or inspire you to create new flows.

Go ahead and start playing and creating some macros on the Webex Board, and let us know if you think you’ve got some pretty good macros to show off.

We have also just released a brand new “Customizing Webex Devices” video series, giving you lots of exciting ways to get even more out of your Cisco conferencing systems. Click here and subscribe to the playlist and of course, let us know if you have any great topics you’d like us to cover.

This was a short blog for May, probably because we have many features in the oven just waiting to be done. June and July will be full of new and exciting features that will keep you testing and playing the full summer.

 

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