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The new Webex Assistant
Meet the new face of Webex Assistant

Your workplace digital assistant has a new look and, coming soon, an expanded experience.

The new face of Cisco Webex Assistant

You may be familiar with Webex Assistant, the AI-powered voice assistant for work. Now known as Webex Assistant for Webex Rooms, our original digital assistant allows you to control compatible Webex Rooms devices with your voice, making it easy to join a meeting with just a few words, manage your meetings and devices from anywhere in the room, and much more.

As we continue to enhance our collaboration platform with new AI-powered features, we’ve made some improvements to help make your day-to-day tasks more enjoyable. As of June, you’ll see that the hexagonal icon in Webex Assistant for Rooms has been replaced with the new, friendly face of Webex Assistant. With engaging visual animations, your digital assistant is ready to support you anytime you need it. Just say “OK Webex, what can you do?” to get started.

Expanding the Webex Assistant experience

Don’t have a Webex Rooms device? No problem. Webex Assistant is also available in Webex Meetings. With Webex Assistant for Webex Meetings, you and your team will benefit from higher levels of productivity and engagement in every meeting.

Young man smile through the desktop using the Webex Assistant experience

Featuring live transcription, automatic note-taking, voice-activated action items and more, Webex Assistant for Meetings makes the best team collaboration experience even better by allowing you to easily capture every detail during the meeting, so you can keep work moving forward after the meeting.

Learn more

Webex Assistant for Rooms is available now on compatible Webex Rooms devices. Check out the Webex Assistant adoption toolkit to get started.

To be among the first to experience the latest in video conferencing technology with Webex Assistant for Meetings, sign up for your free Webex Meetings account today.

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Test Drive the Cisco Webex Assistant for Free— Bring Voice Intelligence to Your Meetings

Working at the intersection of design, function and technology: Salamander Designs and Cisco Webex Rooms

The Rise of Webex Rooms

Secure, First-Party Recording Transcripts in Webex Meetings

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communication, video conferencing
Self-evaluating the way you communicate

Communication is important within every facet of our daily lives. Body language, tone of voice, and words chosen, can affect how people perceive you, talk with you, and how they work with you. This is why the way you communicate (or don’t) within the workplace can be helpful or costly for your business. Poor communication can result in misconceptions, missed opportunities, delayed projects, decreased morale, and more.

In an article, “How to Self-Evaluate Your Management Communication style,” Leonard Callejo, Director of Webex Online Marketing, walks through several management communication styles and discusses the importance of not only understanding your own style/method of communication, but also that of the people you work with. However, he adds that style isn’t the only factor in consideration. There are numerous methods for communication in the workplace today that can also affect the message that is being sent.

Callejo says, “matching the medium with the message, as well the communication style of your audience, is a key consideration in improving your communication effectiveness. Because in-person conversations may not always be an option, there are many alternate ways to communicate.”

Read further on how you can evaluate your own communication style, and improve ways of communication through other mediums outside of in-person conversations.

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expanding business with video conferencing
How do I expand my small-scale business without capital?

Many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t survive for more than a few years. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 30% of them fail to make it through their second full year in operation. The causes of failure are diverse and include everything from subpar software and IT infrastructure to basic lack of capital. This article will focus primarily on the latter.

The challenges of not having enough capital to run your SMB

Simply starting a company can require over $10,000. In many instances, SMBs turn to banks for loans to help get through the early stages of business formation. Even with seemingly adequate funding, though, SMBs can still face numerous headwinds right away. 

These range from the predictable (needing to procure sufficient inventory) to the more volatile (having to spend more on accounting services/software due to one-off changes in the tax code). 

Added to the other costs that SMBs must bear on basics like insurance and office space, it’s no wonder many don’t make it past year two. But it’s possible to make an SMB budget more sustainable by implementing video conferencing software. 

How video conferencing tools help with budget crunches

Video conferencing solutions can bring meeting participants together without requiring any pricey travel. Plus, web meetings enable more flexible, less capital-intensive remote working arrangements. 

As a whole, video conferencing supports better, more cost-effective collaboration. More than simply helping an SMB optimize its budget, video meetings can also support expansion by connecting employees, recruits, and customers across many locations, in high-definition.

Here are some of the more specific ways in which video conferences fuel SMB success, even on a shoestring budget:

1. Hold productive meetings, no office required

Office space is expensive. The associated costs have spurred organizations across the U.S. to seek smaller workspaces and to take advantage of co-working and hotdesking environments. For example, real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield has charted growing densification of office space throughout the 2010s.

With video conferencing tools, SMB employees can make the most of even a small office or conference room that would be too cramped for a comfortable in-person meeting:

  • Anyone can be invited to the video meeting, whether it’s meant to be a small linkup between a specific team or an all-hands gathering.
  • It’s easy to join. Meeting participants only need to click a button in the solution when it’s time for the event to start.
  • The web meeting can be recorded for later distribution and viewing, so that no one misses out on what was covered.

Video conferencing software empowers teams to lead engaging and useful meetings without being constrained by physical space. That makes SMB expansion more feasible, since huge office spaces aren’t needed when setting up shop in new locales or trying to reach more customers.

2. Hire the right people from multiple locations

Many job searches begin by looking only for nearby candidates who don’t want/need to relocate. This makes sense in some respect, because moving is disruptive and often expensive, plus the position specs might not permit remote work.

But implementing a video conferencing platform allows for more flexibility in hiring. Say your SMB is looking to incorporate in an additional state and bring some employees on board there. Video conferencing would help in multiple ways:

  • A crystal-clear video feed could be set up for the interview. The candidate and interviewer would get more insight into each other’s reactions, including body language.
  • If hired, the candidate could then use video for their own work, perhaps as part of a remote working arrangement. They could join web conferences, view content through screen sharing, and collaborate with colleagues from anywhere.
  • Video conferencing software could also be useful for specific external-facing tasks such as conducting in-depth sales demos. A video conferencing solution is a powerful asset for sales personnel, who can use its built-in screen sharing capabilities to walk prospects through a product or service.

3. Reach audiences on any device or in any location

One of the central challenges for any SMB is building a reliable base of customers. How an organization pursues that goal will vary based on its industry, size, and personnel, but video conferencing will often be a reliable supporting tool along way.

Webinars show how a video conferencing system can expand an SMB’s reach without breaking the bank. A majority of B2B buyers have used webinars to support their purchasing decisions, according to the 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report.

Within a video conferencing solution, video feeds can be configured to show, say, a panel of subject matter experts discussing a relevant issue for buyers. But a video conference platform can go even further and enable deep interactivity between presenters and the audience, thanks to features like polling. A solution can also help manage registrations and any follow-up questions.

Audiences can participate in these events from any device. Webex supports phones, tablets, PCs, Macs, and standards-based video conferencing systems. 

 To learn more about how Webex can help your SMB grow more efficiently and stay within its budget, get started with a free plan today.

 

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Our team not only runs on Webex, we are responsible for driving Webex adoption for the whole world. If anyone should be able to have the absolute best Webexcellent virtual planning session using the Cisco Webex collaboration suite, it was us.
Skip the trip with Webex Meetings

The beginning of the year is a contemplative time for me. I know I’m not alone in this – but my birthday is in early January so it adds another level of reflection. I like looking back on my year and planning what I’d like to focus on for this year. Last year I had ten intentions for the year and I kinda crushed them. Not bragging, just saying.

Webex online meeting tools

Lucky for me, my team also loves to plan our work and crush our plans. Our leadership team was set to meet in person for three days to plan our year, set goals, and, of course, bond during the process. But this year we decided to skip the trip and do the whole thing on Webex. How would this go? Our team spans three time zones and sitting in a Webex meeting for THREE DAYS… in a ROW could be mind-numbing. Our team not only runs on Webex, but we are also responsible for driving Webex adoption for the whole world. If anyone should be able to have the absolute best Webexcellent virtual planning session using the Cisco Webex collaboration suite, it was us.

Meeting walkthrough

We blocked our calendars for the full workday – but we chose to shorten the virtual planning sessions to be convenient for all time zones. Rather than requiring our West coast team to come to work at 6 a.m. or our East coast team to stay working until 7 p.m., we started the sessions at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time each day.

Having a shorter window of time required us to create a laser-focused set of objectives for our sessions so the time we spent together was the most efficient. Because we knew we didn’t have a second to waste, we came to the meeting prepared with our ideas and input…. And snacks and drinks within arm’s reach.

The truncated meeting window allowed us to do any required work before the next day’s session. The West coasters had a few more hours of the workday left each day and the East coasters could pick up the work when they got to work three hours earlier the next day.

The flexibility of the Webex meetings meant people could work from home or go into the office if they chose. One day a group met in the office and shared a conference room equipped with a Webex Board (and sandwiches for lunch).

To break up the “sitting in one place all day staring at the same screen” vibe – each day we broke into smaller discussion groups to deep dive on a topic or strategy for 30-45 minutes. Then we’d come back to the larger session to share. Some groups used Teams Calling to spin up an instant video call, and others used their Personal Room.

Whether we were in a conference room with a Webex Board or at home with our DX, our video default was always on. Even for snack time. The video wasn’t just a nice to have – it made sure everyone was seen and heard – even if they weren’t speaking. Video made it easy to see the head nods and the sentiment throughout the sessions. It also just made it fun.

Joining and meeting – made easy

The week before the session we used a Webex Team Space to plan and share all the relevant strategy documents we’d need to be familiar with. All the conversations and files and links were all in one place. It was easy while we were in the meeting to find and share our documents. Throughout the week we added new documents, notes, @mentions to track when tasks were assigned to people, useful links, and color commentary. We’ve continued to use this Space after our session to continue the work we’ve started. I know exactly where all the data is, I can continue to ask my team for input on the projects I’m responsible for completing and get answers to my questions in real-time.

Skipping the trip meant we didn’t interrupt our home life routines. We maintained balance. We all kept our New Year’s resolutions. For me, that meant I didn’t have to book travel, get a dog sitter, and I didn’t miss a day of my workouts.

Skipping the trip and meeting on Webex Meetings meant we didn’t interrupt our home life routines. We maintained balance. We all kept our New Year’s resolutionsThe session was a success.

In just a short time and with the help of Webex Meetings:

  • We invested three days to create a solid plan for the year. We set audacious objectives with aggressive key results (OKRs) to hold us to the same high standards we had in 2019.
  • We saved money that would have been used for travel, lodging, and food for twelve people for three days.
  • We reduced our carbon footprint by avoiding car trips, plane flights, the paper flip charts, print outs

What’s next?

If one of your objectives for this year is to have meetings that are supercharged– we got you. Check out our “30-day video challenge” kit and attend our “Thirty day video challenge” online class. Bookmark our revamped Webex adoption page to keep an eye on everything we add to help you collaborate even better in the new decade.

Sign up for the“Thirty day video challenge” online class

Or click here to try Meetings for free

Learn More

On line classes http://cs.co/onlineclasses

All adoption material  http://cs.co/webexadoption

30-day challenge ebook: https://ebooks.cisco.com/story/30dayvideochallenge/

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Blog_Webex_Perks_Woman_Winning_1200x720
Introducing Webex Perks – your new rewards program

Have you heard of Webex Perks?

Cisco Webex recently launched a rewards program that allows our customers to access resources, network with other Webex users, and refer their network to Webex’s video conferencing and team collaboration tools.

We are excited to announce the program is live!

So, how does it work?

Using your Webex account credentials, log-in to the hub and get on-boarded quickly, learning the ins and outs of all the resources available to you. Best of all, Webex Perks is FREE – no additional setup or cost needed. You’ll find tutorials to help you get the most out of your video conference meetings, live training- including webinars and online classes, and fun challenges to help you rack up points and place in the Leaderboard. The more points you earn, the more rewards you can unlock*. And, you can earn BIG points ($20 prize value) when you refer others to Webex Meetings and Teams.

Rewards vary from Webex swag, to drones, to tablets, and even Webex devices. Are you ready to get started? Log in here.

Cisco Webex recently launched a rewards program that allows our customers to access resources, network with other Webex users, and refer their network to Webex’s video conferencing and team collaboration tools.

If you’re new to Webex, try our video conferencing solution free today!

Then use your credentials to log into Perks to start earning rewards!

* Disclaimer: Rewards are for paid Webex users. Free users can still earn points and participate, but won’t be eligible for rewards.

Learn More

MAHEC’s use case: Removing the friction from video conferencing meetings
Using a video conferencing tool to manage outside vendor communications
Secure, First-Party Recording Transcripts in Webex Meetings
How to incorporate good presentation skills into a screen sharing session

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As part of our continued effort to make the Webex Meetings join experience as easy and fast as possible, we are enabling users to avoid having to press “1” when they use “Call Me” or a video system to join a meeting.
Webex Meetings December 2019 update: connect to meetings faster and have a great content share experience

In the last Webex Meetings updates of 2019, we deliver features that primarily make it faster and easier to join your meetings and to give you a richer content experience.

Connect to meetings even faster

As part of our continued effort to make the Webex Meetings join experience as easy and fast as possible, we are enabling users to avoid having to press “1” when they use “Call Me” or a video system to join a meeting. It’s one additional step in creating a frictionless video experience. You can configure it once and then forever bypass “1” from there on out. This is available for Webex Meetings and Events.

Connect to meetings even faster

Multiple participants can pair to a room device

We’ve probably all had this experience where we can’t figure out all the participants in a room because only one person has connected to the meeting on the cloud-connected room device. But, now, the Webex Meetings desktop app allows all the people in the room to pair to the same device, so you can easily see who’s connected to which device in the Webex Meetings participant panel. Users will be grouped under the device to which they’re connected. We also have a search bar at the top of the participant panel so you can easily search for a particular user. This is initially supported on the Webex Meetings Desktop App but will soon come to the Web App as well.

Multiple participants can pair to a room device

Optimizing user experience for high frame rate content

We introduced a high frame rate – 30 frames per second – a content sharing in 2019 and have since made a number of media quality improvements to keep the experience as high as possible. When users have packet loss, they may experience some freezing of high frame rate content. With the latest improvements to our media engine backend, we are reducing the incidence of content freezing and improving the overall sharing experience for users.

Great content on mobile

For both Android and iOS, users can now enjoy great content on their mobile apps, which can receive 4K content. This brings the Webex Meetings Mobile App in line with the Desktop App, so users can have a rich content experience whether they’re deskside or on the go.

For both Android and iOS, users can now enjoy great content on their mobile apps, which can receive 4K content.

Short video addresses now available

Finally, just a quick note to let you know that the short video address feature we told you about in November is now available. Like many of the features in this update, it will be easier for you to get into a meeting. The feature is off by default, but your administrator can enable it by reaching out to their Cisco contact.

This month’s features are associated with the Webex Meetings 39.11 update.

For more information on these features or to learn about the other features of this update, please visit the Webex Help Portal – What’s New in Webex Meetings Suite.

Learn More

See all the Webex Meetings updates here

Personalize your team meetings with these top four screen sharing features

Cisco Webex Meetings 39.8 — Bringing speed and simplicity to video conferencing 

You Deserve a Fast Join Experience and Meeting Magic, Webex Delivers

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10 Reasons to Upgrade to Webex Meetings 39.10
Webex Meetings update: Deep integrations with Slack and Microsoft Teams, Smarter background noise detection and suppression, and much, much, more…

You’ve probably heard us talk about building bridges, not islands. With this month’s Webex Meetings updates, you’ll see that we’ve done a lot to bring the power of Webex Meetings into the tools that you regularly use – like Slack, Microsoft Teams, iOS and Samsung devices, IBM Video Cloud, and more. These integrations, along with other features, will make your Webex Meetings experience more delightful, wherever and however you choose to have a meeting. And of course, simplicity of experience is always our top priority!

Checkout innovative updates with Webex Meetings: 

    1. Webex Meetings integrations with Microsoft Teams lets you have a great meeting experience from within a Microsoft Teams channel – from scheduling to joining and recording. When users schedule a meeting, all channel members are invited and become notified of the meeting. All end-of-meeting and recording notifications will also be posted in the channel in real-time. This is pending availability of the new MS Teams app in the Webex App Hub.
    2. We recently shared integrations that let you experience the whole Webex Meetings lifecycle within Slack. These further improve your meeting experience from within a channel with features such as user status updates, list recordings for hosts, meeting reminders support, and the ability to launch a Personal Room via a dedicated call button.
    3. Smarter background noise detection and suppression gives you a better audio experience. Webex reduces background noises coming from room video systems while minimizing voice suppression. The balance of these new features allows speech volume to be preserved during noise suppression.
    4. Easily move your Webex meeting from your phone to desktop with Samsung’s DeX dual-screen support. We recently did a demo of Webex Meetings working on a DeX display at the Samsung Developer Conference. Samsung mobile users can switch between mobile or external monitors while in Samsung DeX Dual Mode and then share their screen to a monitor via HDMI cable. This creates seamless ongoing Webex meeting transitions. One more feature: You can also use Samsung’s Bixby voice commands to join a Webex meeting.Samsung mobile users can switch between mobile or external monitor while in Samsung DeX Dual Mode and then share their screen to a monitor via HDMI cable – and their ongoing Webex meetings transition seamlessly.
    5. Share your own video and rear-facing video with dual-camera support on the Webex Meetings Mobile app for iPhones and iPads. With the dual-camera feature, you don’t have to choose between front OR rear cameras. For example, you can have a video call with an expert to troubleshoot a problem at a remote site – like a manufacturing site – and then send your video and the remote site video with the expert in the same video panel. This feature is unique to Cisco.Share pictures from local device file system into Webex Meetings from Android devices. When presenting from your mobile device, you can share photos from your device’s file system and even annotate on the photos.
    6. Livestream Webex Meetings: You can already live stream a Webex meeting to Facebook, which is a business-to-consumer solution. We’ve recently added the ability to more options to live stream to an enterprise audience. Webex Meetings’ recent integration with vBrick Rev and IBM Cloud Video means you have two additional channels to live stream Webex Meetings for large enterprise audiences, corporate townhalls, webcasts, and training, etc. This feature is currently in beta.
    7. Recover your video conference quality more quickly after network congestion and packet loss. Network conditions will not always be ideal. We have enhanced our algorithms so that whenever there is network degradation, Webex Meetings will quickly recover from latency and packet loss within a few seconds to maintain a smooth video experience.
    8. Improved user upgrade experience by decoupling the Webex Meetings desktop app from productivity tool plug-ins like Microsoft Outlook/Office and IBM Lotus Notes. Mac users who do not have administrative rights can now have Webex Meetings desktop app automatically updated. Transitioning to the O365 add-in requires the Outlook plug-in to be uninstalled, so decoupling allows Outlook plug-in to be uninstalled with no impact to the Webex Desktop App.
    9. Share pictures from the local device file system into Webex Meetings from Android devices. When presenting from your mobile device, you can share photos from your device’s file system and even annotate it on the photos.

Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to Webex Meetings 39.10

10. Take a shortcut into your personal meeting room: Introduced in October, Webex.new is now officially supported with a quick and easy way to get into your Personal Room– right from the browser. Letsmeet.new and mymeet.new will also get you there.

For more details on the Webex Meetings 39.10 update, please visit the Webex Help Portal – What’s New in Webex Meetings Suite (WBS39)

Learn More

See all the Webex Meetings updates here

Using a video conferencing tool to manage outside vendor communications

Secure, First-Party Recording Transcripts in Webex Meetings

Satisfy Your Need for Speed with Cisco Webex Meetings

 

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Embedding  Webex Teams Meetings with the  Java Script  SDK 
Embedding  Webex Teams Meetings with the  JavaScript  SDK 

We’ve brought  Webex  Teams video conferencing to an open source  JavaScript  SDK, using Cisco and open source technologies, allowing developers to create and customize their own media applications in the web rapidly.

Vibrant Ecosystem 

As the line between the browser and the operating system continues to blur, JavaScript-accessible technologies are becoming more powerful.  WebRTC  is one of the most dominant examples of this paradigm shift, minimizing the barrier to entry for media development,  and it’s on your everyday average web browser. 

Since 2016, an estimated two billion browsers were installed that support WebRTC.  Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all support WebRTC standards, with Edge support on its way. This has empowered developers all over the world to build complex media related applications in the browser of their choice.  It is clear the future direction of video conferencing applications, media exchange, and the like will be built here, right in your web browser. 

Leveraging and Expanding 

We, at Cisco,  are utilizing  this burgeoning technology stack to create solutions in  Webex  Teams for high quality, secure meeting collaboration. In our environment, we see over 90,000 Webex Teams meetings using WebRTC per month. 

Meetings  via the browser makes it possible to engage in real time video communication in Cisco’s powerful media network and with no installations, no browser plugins, and a familiar native app proficiency. In fact,  Webex  Teams  extends basic WebRTC calling to improve quality of service and adapt to network inconsistencies in order to provide the best quality web conferencing experience possible. 

Now we are taking this a step further, bringing  Webex  Meetings to an open source  JavaScript  SDK.  In a collaborative effort, we’ve combined the knowledge of our teams and over the course of a few months have released an open source tool that has all the capabilities of the  Webex Teams Web Client  today, in a flexible API format.  It  is  built to be platform independent, and is supported wherever WebRTC runs, even mobile browsers such as Chrome on Android, and Safari on iOS.  Some example features are joining a  Webex meeting, recording  meetings in the cloud, sharing  your screen, managing  a roster, and accessing  meeting statistics.  Groups  inside of Cisco have already started to bring these custom capabilities to new applications.  

Endless Possibilities 

Developers can now customize and integrate  video conferencing  into their applications rapidly.  The wealth of use cases to create for is endless. Imagine applications that enabled single use calls such as a doctor taking an ad hoc patient call, coordinating meetings with external vendors using just a link, or bringing thousands of people to a simulcast in an instant. What if we brought meetings to the billions of IoT devices and had collaboration from a refrigerator or a car in an instant? The combined power of the SDK and the Webex web clients will make all this possible.  

What’s Next 

We believe WebRTC is an important tool in the present and future of real time media. We are investing in building higher quality audio/video, more flexible and powerful APIs through the SDK, and more unified experiences in the clients through actively developing solutions for these everyday problems. 

We Want You To 

Read the documentation, pull the code, start making applications, or contribute! Everything is available through the  developer portal  today! 

If you’re not currently using Webex Meetings, you can try the free offer, here.

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Personalize your team meetings with these top four screen sharing features 
Cisco Webex Meetings 39.9: Discovering some video conferencing hacks
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See recorded transcripts at work in Webex Meetings
Secure, first-party recording transcripts in Webex Meetings

Recently, we finalized the acquisition of Voicea, and the first intelligent voice feature delivered from this is the ability to transcribe a recording in Webex. Recording transcripts are available to all Webex Meetings customers as part of their regular subscription. Once enabled, your recorded Webex Meetings or Webex Events video conference will be automatically transcribed. And that transcription today delivers industry-leading accuracy — exceeding what other vendors offer.

Having a transcribed record of what was said in a meeting can be invaluable for many reasons. Do you ever need to take note of decisions made, of follow-up items, or what was said and when? Or maybe you were multitasking or got distracted. Maybe the speaker spoke too quickly and you could not keep up. Imagine the benefit of transcripts for meeting participants who are hearing impaired. This is a first step toward making Webex Meetings more accessible for hearing impaired users, and we’re excited about more to come. For any of these reasons, recording transcripts mean you now never have to miss anything discussed in a Webex meeting (and don’t have to re-listen to the whole meeting to get the answer you need).

The highest in data privacy and security standards

Because Voicea is now part of Cisco, recording transcripts – unlike what other video conferencing vendors offer – is a highly secure, first-party feature. This is because we don’t have to send your meeting recording to an outside vendor to transcribe, wait for it to be sent back to us, for us to then send back out to you – a process that exposes your data to additional security risks. It all stays at Cisco.

Security is a top priority at Cisco, and our collaboration technology is held to the same rigorous data privacy standards as all Cisco solutions and products. The Webex Meetings recording and transcription process is managed and operated within the Cisco cloud and follows our strict security practices, so your data is secure every step of the way.

See recorded transcripts at work in Webex Meetings:

A few more details

Recording transcripts appear during recording playback and users can search for text in the transcript to verify what was said and when. Transcripts of your video conference are available in English and support transcribing English audio. Support for additional languages is being planned in the near future. Once customers choose to implement transcription, administrators can enable the automatic transcription of audio for MP4 meeting recordings by turning on this functionality for everyone, for specific users, or allow users to turn it on for themselves.

Much more to come

Of course, this is just the beginning of our voice intelligence story. There’s much more to come as we work to integrate Voicea into Webex. Soon, you’ll be able to see how our AI-powered voice assistant will let you quickly gather the most relevant information from digital notes and insights, turning talk into action. Our roadmap is well underway, and we expect to show you a lot more integration across our entire portfolio over the next few months. To find out more about what’s ahead, check out our published roadmaps.

And to try transcription in Webex Meetings today, be sure to get on the latest version. You can download it here.

If you’re not currently using Webex Meetings, you can try the free offer, here.

Learn More

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Cisco has completed the Acquisition of Voicea

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online meeting on the go
Cisco Webex and Samsung – Taking mobile meetings to a new level

How often during the past 12 months have you started a conference call from your car and finished it at your desk? If the answer is more than once, you know that experience can be cumbersome. Between dialing in, sharing content and taking notes, the switch between outside and inside was anything but seamless.

I said “was” because Samsung and Cisco Webex are working to take that meeting experience to a whole new level. The future of meetings is mobile and both companies are partnering to make the switch between those environments easier than ever.

“Hey, Bixby”

Let’s start with joining a video conference from your car:  taking your attention from traffic to your mobile phone to find your app and join a meeting can be dangerous. That’s why we’ve integrated Webex Meetings with a number of virtual assistants, and soon, we will support Samsung’s virtual assistant, Bixby. The experience of joining the meeting is as easy as saying, “Hey, Bixby, start my personal room.” Et voilà, Webex Meetings starts and joins your meeting room automatically.

Seamless integration from mobile to desktop

When it comes to switching from a mobile to a desktop, the latest Samsung mobile phones come with an embedded technology called Samsung DeX. Take a cable and connect your phone to a screen and this is the type of desktop experience that will appear.

DeX is not a different operating system; it’s just a different Android experience, optimized for desktop use. As people rely more and more on their smartphones for their primary compute power, this integration with DeX will be increasingly critical for highly mobile customers.

What did Cisco and Samsung do to improve switching from “on-the-go” to “at-the-desk”? We worked on tighter integrations: when you are on a Webex meeting on your mobile phone and need to switch to DeX, the meeting continues seamlessly. You can then share your DeX screen as easily as on a regular desktop. Samsung and Cisco can now help you be more productive, wherever you are.

Samsung Developer Conference

We previewed these innovations this week at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Jose, and the features will be available in Webex Meetings over the next several months. Edward Choi, VP of Alliances at Samsung and Matt MacPherson, Cisco CTO of Wireless, demonstrated these integrations in a Webex meeting with Amy Chang, Cisco’s EVP and GM of Collaboration.

Making life easier in the enterprise is the reason people at Samsung and Cisco innovate every day. We will continue to work hand in hand to bring these innovations in collaboration, networking and security in the future.


Try Cisco Webex Meetings free offer, today.

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How Brooklyn Nets Star, Spencer Dinwiddie, Uses Webex for his Growing Business
How Brooklyn Nets star, Spencer Dinwiddie, uses Webex for his growing business

When Spencer Dinwiddie steps off the court at the end of a game, his day is far from over. Since joining the Brooklyn Nets in 2016, this NBA All-Star has worked hard to build an impressive business résumé, with a line of footwear – K8iros – as well as an investment company and a great deal of philanthropy. He is doing what smart people always seek to do: leverage an asset into greater achievements.

Business of any sort needs tools. You have to work lean. You have to collaborate and keep in touch. You have to stay on top of your industry, and you have to remove waste and inefficiency. Anything less is just burning money and time. Spencer has many people that he needs to work with and communicate with. Investors, suppliers, customers and partners on the business side as well as coaches and teammates on the sports side.

He recently told us a little more about his business communication setup and why he chose Cisco Webex as the machinery behind his growing, multifaceted success.

“Outside of me playing professional basketball for the Brooklyn Nets, using Webex collaboration tools will help drive my business to the next level.”  – Spencer Dinwiddie

Basketball: Coaching, review and strategy

Ongoing success in professional sports isn’t all down to athletic ability. You have to have that, of course, but it will all go to waste if it is not reviewed and fine-tuned on an ongoing basis. That’s what coaches are for, after all, to identify the potential in an athlete and then draw it to the surface. It’s not always possible or practical to pull the whole team or even select players into a room to review footage of the last game. But it certainly is possible and practical to do so over high definition interactive video conferencing technology which includes the capacity to mark up and save the visuals.

The clarity of audio and video not only allow for clear analysis and markup, they also contribute to the vital elements of team dynamics: synergy, communication and emotional connection. That’s what exists at the heart of any great team. It’s always a people thing, facilitated through effortless technology.

K8iros Design

As someone who has spent thousands of hours on the court, punishing and wearing out hundreds of pairs of shoes, he is not only an expert in what is needed in a sports shoe, but is also hands on in designing them. His K8iros line looks great on and off the court, but like many experts, his sudden inspirations or design changes don’t always present themselves at the opportune time. Or even if they do, calling a meeting of the design and QA team is often highly impractical.

This is why the ability to co-edit his shoe designs from anywhere in the world is something he sees as a game-changer in driving his business forward, even when on the move.

When it is time to actually meet, access becomes a non-issue, both in terms of travel (not needed) and access (one button to push). As he says himself, “With Cisco Webex I know that my meetings will be secured and professional for both internal users and the clients that my business team and I work with.”

So it’s no surprise, at least to us, that he and his teams use Cisco Webex for communicating, collaborating and growing his empire. People often think of Cisco Webex as the go-to tool in the boardrooms and spaces of big glass-tower companies. Sure. We’re there. We’ve always been there. But Spencer’s a great example of the numerous other situations in which people work together in companies large and small. People in business need clarity of communication. They need immediacy and simplicity. They need to build on their momentum and synergy. Their technology should be a facilitator of these needs, and not an obstacle.

Pro-basketball or fashion design may seem more glamorous than some other business lines, but the rules are always the same. Great people make great things happen. The machinery of business helps people to become great – as leaders, team members, entrepreneurs, and customers. One of the present and the greatest achievements that Cisco Webex products can achieve is to become essentially invisible. They are there, in the meeting room and on your phone, quietly and efficiently making things happen. Making meetings run well, bringing people together, allowing ideas to flow unimpeded.

Spencer’s presence on the court and in the public eye, as a designer, business owner and philanthropist is testament to his hard work and tenacity, from his early years trying hard to join the big leagues of the NBA through to the present and the future. Cisco is proud to know him, and to be, in a mostly invisible way, part of the team.

See more of Spencer’s journey and sign up for your free Webex account.

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Building a bridge between Webex Meetings and Slack
Building a bridge between Webex Meetings and Slack

*Check out this infographic to learn about the integration.

Tackling Interesting and Complex Problems

Recently, at the Women in Product Conference in San Francisco, I was discussing workplace productivity with fellow product managers from various Silicon Valley companies. We were talking about how much more productive and innovative we are now than we were at the beginning of our careers. We agreed that one of the reasons for the increase in productivity is that the way we communicate with each other cross-functionally is much easier, even if we are communicating with teams located all over the world. We now have many great collaboration tools, such as Webex, that make it so simple! However, we also use many other collaboration tools day in and day out, and it would be so great if all those tools would work together.

The problems that we are working on solving today are super interesting and complex, yet we are able to tackle them head on because we can work with the right individuals, from all over the world, at a moment’s notice. At Cisco, we have a very diverse and globally distributed workforce, so it is definitely important that our communication is seamless and continuous. Of course, we are very lucky that we can use Webex Meetings every day and that the experience is as delightful and powerful as ever: meetings are easy to join on any platform, they deliver an optimal video experience, and provide an amazing mobile experience.

Smooth Transitions with 3rd Party Integrations

At work, we are constantly switching gears. For example, in typical day, I may start early with a customer call with a team in Germany, then join a scrum standup, and then I’m off to a 1:1 meeting with a UX researcher to discuss an upcoming product feature. After my meetings, I usually need to follow up on action items and share files and presentations. Making those types of transitions easy and seamless has been my focus this year as part of the Webex Meetings integrations team. Our team has been creating solutions that make transitions between apps a lot more efficient, for anyone who needs to collaborate smoothly across teams.

One of those cool solutions is the Webex Meetings integration with Slack, which is industry leading in terms of feature depth and experience.

Work Smarter with Webex Meetings and Slack

With the work we’ve been doing over the past several months, the entire Webex Meetings life cycle is now available in Slack. This is huge! If you’re a Slack user, your productivity will increase because now you never have to leave your Slack channel to have a great meeting experience. We’ve been working hard to bring together this amazing integration. Here is what you can look forward to:

Schedule, Start, or Join Webex Meetings directly from Slack

You may be having a lengthy chat conversation about a project in your Slack channel and decide that it will be best to have a live face-to-face discussion. You can schedule a meeting by typing in /webexschedule for regular meetings or /webexschedule myroom for your personal room meetings, then a dialog will appear where you can enter meeting details. This deep level of integration with Slack is unique to Webex.

Or you can start an instant meeting by typing /webex in the command line, which shares a notification to everyone in your channel so they can quickly join.

Start or Join Webex Meetings from your Outlook or Google Calendar

You can also connect to Webex Meetings on your Outlook or Google calendar. Directly join a Webex meeting in Slack through the Outlook or Google Calendar app reminder when a Webex meeting is added to the calendar event. Simply click on the Join Webex Meeting button, but note that the Outlook or Google calendar integration must be in place.

Real-time Webex Meeting Status in your Slack Channel

So that you never have to inadvertently miss another meeting, you will see a real-time Webex Meeting status card once the meeting has started, and you can join the meeting from there. This status card will appear in your Slack channel to remind you of your upcoming meeting, and you can even see who has already joined.

Webex Meetings List

You will also have the ability to see your upcoming Webex meetings list from Slack by typing /webexschedule list. If you are the host, you can start or cancel a meeting from within Slack. And if you are an attendee, you can join the meeting directly from the list. Just click the start button. No other meetings vendor has this level of integration within Slack.

End of Meeting and Recording Notifications

After your meeting has ended, you will see a summary in your Slack channel. If your meeting was recorded, then you will get a notification from which you can play the recording. You’ll also be able to see a list of all your recent recordings.

 

Building Bridges with Webex

So, as you can see, everything from scheduling a Webex meeting, to starting and joining the meeting, to seeing your recording can happen within Slack. This is all done with your convenience and productivity in mind so that you can experience Webex Meetings within the tools you live and love. The Slack integration is one of the many bridges that Cisco Webex has been working on building in order to delight our customers. We are very excited and cannot wait to hear what you think about it!


 

Please visit the Cisco Webex App Hub to learn more about the Cisco Webex Meetings for Slack integration: https://apphub.webex.com/meetings/applications/cisco-webex-meetings-for-slack

 

 

 

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remote worker using video conferencing
Sei Mani: One small business creating big workplace experiences

How often do you discover a new feature on your phone, laptop, or software that you didn’t know about or thought was too difficult to learn? When in reality, this feature could be saving you time. And potentially money. It happens often in businesses where companies invest in technology and only utilize a portion of the capabilities they have at their fingertips… and are paying for.

Founded in 2011, Sei Mani was created with a goal of helping businesses fully drive adoption of and value from the collaboration technology they have invested in. Headquartered in London, their team comes from backgrounds in coaching, change management, training, community building, engineering, and more. Alongside a diversity of backgrounds, their team is fully remote. So, the way they collaborate is extremely important.

Because their team is entirely virtual, they use Cisco Webex to talk to customers and help them unlock business benefits with collaboration technology. Putting trust and customer experience at the forefront, Sei Mani uses Webex Meetings and Cisco DX80’s to develop personal relationships and ensure their customers feel comfortable and ready to drive adoption.

Sei Mani joined a webinar to discuss how they thrive as a team despite being remote, and how they help their customers achieve the same. All this made possible with Cisco Webex, making meetings feel as good as being there, rather than distant or disconnected.

As a small company, Sei Mani creates thriving digital workplaces. Learn how you can do the same with Webex video conferencing and devices. Watch the webinar to learn more:

 

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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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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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Video conferencing in the office
Cisco Webex Meetings Suite 39.6 – Moving video conferencing from distractions to delight

Often, software updates mean bringing the latest and greatest new experience to users. But sometimes it’s equally important to make existing experiences better, by removing distractions that can take away from your video conference experience. We’ve done just that with some of features in latest Webex Meetings Suite update – 39.6 – and also added some new, great features, too.

  • Delightful audio experiences
  • Web page enhancements: Modern View and People Insights
  • Enhanced integrations with the tools you use every day
  • Webex for CarPlay
  • New lockdown release: Webex Meetings 39.5

Delightful audio experiences

I know we’ve all been disrupted in a meeting when someone starts tapping their pen or typing loudly. In the old days (and sometimes still today), someone would have to ask the offenders to mute themselves. A little more than a year ago, Webex introduced a feature that proactively suggested to the typer/tapper that they should mute themselves – hopefully before anyone else had to it. With the latest 39.6 update, we’ve taken it one step further by automatically lowering the microphone volume if loud typing or tapping is detected – but only if that person is not speaking. Once the person starts to speak (or stops typing/tapping for more than two seconds), the microphone volume will increase back to normal[1]– and no one has to do any awkward shushing.

And we’ve all been annoyed by hearing someone’s voicemail pick up in the middle of a meeting because that person didn’t answer their call-back. This means the meeting has to pause until the voicemail recording finishes playing. The 39.6 update fixes that. A new, smart feature within Webex detects that the call hasn’t been picked up within a certain timeframe and prevents the call from entering the meeting before voicemail is launched. This avoids disruption to the meeting and unburdens the host from having to eject that voicemail from the meeting.

“Modern View” redesign for the Webex site

If you’ve been video conferencing with Webex for a while, you’ll appreciate the efforts we’ve put into modernizing “Classic View” on the Webex site. With “Modern View,” you now see a redesigned look and feel of the dashboard experience – with everything at your fingertips. A centralized search bar gives quick access to important items such as upcoming scheduled meetings, your colleagues’ personal room IDs, and recording playback. If you’re still on “Classic View,” please note that we are defaulting to Modern View for optimal experience.

We’ve also extended People Insights support to the Webex Web App, so you can easily get to know the people you’re meeting, no matter how you join.

Webex bot making integrations better

One of our guiding tenets is to make video conferencing with Webex easy to access within the tools you use every day. So, with the new Slack bot introduced in the 39.6 release, Slack users can now schedule a meeting using the command “/webexschedule,” and members in the channel will be automatically notified of the scheduled meeting[2]. You can also use the command “/webexschedule list” to view scheduled upcoming Webex meetings or meetings you are invited to, as well as listing upcoming meetings for today or tomorrow. You can join a meeting from the list when it’s time, and the host can start or cancel the meeting from within Slack.

In other integration news – now, directly within Microsoft Teams, the Webex Meetings bot will notify you via 1:1 chat when a meeting recording is available. This recording notification also works with Webex Meetings scheduled within the Cisco Webex Meetings tab in Microsoft Teams. A URL link is included along with password (if existing). To better understand how to configure the Webex Meetings tab in Microsoft Teams, please review this help article.

What’s more mobile than Webex in your car?

The 39.6 update now provides CarPlay support for iOS users with existing Siri voice commands. You’ll experience the Webex user interface on your dashboard, with mute/unmute/leave meetings capabilities using their CarPlay buttons[3].

Also, on iOS, your cameras will now automatically brighten when ambient light is too dim, so you can send well-lit video into Webex Meetings. Auto-brightness will default to ON for new installs.

New lockdown version: Webex Meetings Suite 39.5

If you’re on a lockdown version of Webex, you’ll be interested to know that we will be moving off Webex Meetings Suite 33.6 and onto version 39.5. We’ve made significant improvements since version 33.6, including richer integration between Webex Meetings and devices, high frame rate sharing, Proximity pairing for easy access, one-way whiteboarding with the Webex Board, and People Insights among other great features. We’re also now supportingup to 200 video endpoints dialing into Webex Events so you can deliver Events directly from your Webex videodevices. Please update to the new lockdown version, 39.5, soon so you can enjoy all the latest features that Webex has to offer. You can find more info on 39.5 on the Webex Help Portal – What’s New in Webex Meetings Suite (WBS39)– by clicking on “WBS39.5.”

For all the latest features of version 39.6, please visit the Webex Help Portal link above and click on “WBS39.6.”


[1]This feature applies when connected through the “Call using computer” audio option

[2]Personal Room Meetings and recurring meetings are not yet supported

[3]iOS 11+ iPhones only; SmartDeviceLink (SDL) needed to see in-meeting user interface  and use of CarPlay buttons.

Webex, the leader in video conferencing.

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video conferencing securely
Video conference with security you can trust

Why is security important for Cisco Webex video conferencing?

Here at Cisco Webex, we believe in making technology and software that helps people around the world collaborate better, faster, and smarter than ever before. All without sacrificing your confidence in our security. Especially because an unsecured video conferencing solution not only opens up the possibility to meetings being listened in on, it could also indicate vulnerability of a compromised network. Both of which are extremely risky, no matter your business size, industry, or sector. Today, the power of video conferencing is incredible. It transforms meeting experiences and allows people to meet more productively, but if not developed strategically and with security at the forefront, it can put you at risk to privacy issues.

How does Cisco prioritize security strategy?

Our strategy at Cisco Webex prioritizes security in our design, development, deployment, and in the maintenance of its networks, platforms, and applications. When you choose Cisco Webex as your video conferencing and collaboration tool, we want you to be confident in your choice for all your business needs. Security shouldn’t be a concern before a meeting, during a meeting, and especially after a meeting.

What type of security does Cisco Webex offer?

To all of our customers, we offer the highest level of security, including: • SOC-2 Type 2 • ISO 27001 • FedRAMP compliant • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant • and end-to-end encryption But what does this actually all mean? It means that the second you share a document or send a message to someone else via Cisco Webex, your data becomes and remains encrypted from your device to your recipients’. Any data sent/received comes with a key and you own the key to all your encrypted data. You can put this key in your data center, and with it, you are guaranteed total security, control, and access to it at all times. Cisco Webex is the ONLY vendor that offers this end-to-end encryption. In addition, we have internal teams dedicated to managing, investigating, and publicly reporting on security vulnerability information related to Cisco products and networks. Examples include the Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) and the Cisco Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT).

Where can I find more information on Webex security?

Security will always be at the forefront as we continue to innovate on user experience and bring new solutions and features to market. We are excited about the future of Webex and hope you are too. To understand more about our focus on security, please read  our  white paper on meeting security. Try Webex Meetings for free: https://www.webex.com/pricing/free-trial.html.


Webex, the leader in video conferencing.

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People Insights in video conferencing
How to review and update your People Insights profile

Our latest Cisco Webex feature, People Insights, helps you learn more about everyone you collaborate with—and helps them learn more about you, as well. Now bios and recent news, professional history, key company info, and more are all just a click away.

Review your People Insights profile.

We don’t pretend to know you better than you know yourself! People Insights profiles display publicly available information, similar to what can be found in search engine results for someone’s name. Take a moment to look over your profile and make any necessary changes, or create a profile if we don’t have one for you yet.

There are a few different ways to access your People Insights profile:

Update your information.
Put your best foot forward by ensuring your photo, employment, education, and more are up-to-date. If there’s anything you’d rather not share, you can hide individual sections of your profile or the entire thing.

Add or update your bio to share information about your professional background, skills, personal interests—whatever you’d like! You can also add links to your other online profiles including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Make sure your internal directory info is current.
Content provided by your company’s directory integration, which could include things like your reporting structure, title, or contact information, is only visible to people in your organization and can’t be edited within Webex. To make any changes to this content, please update your company’s internal directory.

People Insights is available in Webex Teams and the desktop and mobile versions of Webex Meetings. Check out the People Insights adoption toolkit to get started.

Not using Webex yet? Experience the world’s most popular video conferencing solution for yourself with a 30-day free trial.


The Webex Intelligence team develops innovative experiences by leveraging state-of-the-art machine learning, conversational AI, and information retrieval techniques. Interested in joining us? Check out our current job openings.

Webex, the leader in video conferencing.

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customer uses Cisco video conferencing
Making the switch to Webex

I recently learned about our customer, Truebeck, and the challenges they faced in implementing a competitive collaboration solution. Their needs centered around simplicity, yet after 6 months, countless problem tickets, and time and money wasted, they were still no further along than they were when they started. I’m frustrated for them just hearing about it. I know what great collaboration should be like, because I experience it every day, so I knew we could help Truebeck solve their problems and save money. And we did.

Truebeck made the switch to Webex earlier this year and will be live on our August 19 webinar to tell you why and how they did it. My team will also be part of this webinar where we will share best practices and tips and tricks for having a Webexceptional meeting. So, if you’re using or considering a collaboration solution other than Webex, you’ll definitely want to tune in because we’ll compare and contrast the key features of Webex with Truebeck’s previous collaboration platform and highlight pitfalls you should consider.

If you need a little more incentive to join us, we will also have a fun game where you’ll have a chance to win a Google Home device. Plus, you’ll get a cool pair of Cisco Webex socks just for participating.

Please join us on August 19!

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The webexperience of Cisco Live US
The webexperience of Cisco Live US

Over the past week, all the collaboration tech blogs and social media feeds that cover Cisco have been loaded with updates and perspectives on the various keynotes and product announcements at Cisco Live US 2019. With over 30,000 customers, partners, (and surely some interested competitors!), there was A LOT going on in sunny San Diego. One area that was loaded with activity was the Webexperience Theater – home of the Lightning Talks that were given by various Cisco Collaboration executives and SME’s covering a wide array of topics. Across four days there were 35 Lightning Talks and 7 Executive Talks. To give you a little taste of what we talked about, here are some sound bites from those talk.

Selected Sound Bites from CLUS Lightning Talks

  1. On-Premises, Cloud and Hybrid Calling Evolution…  Wade Hamblin (Director, Product Management): “I want to introduce to you today to the new Cisco Webex Collaboration Cloud.  It’s all about how to deliver your calling, your meetings, your team collaboration, and your contact center solutions across award winning devices with enterprise grade security, open & intelligent platforms to build and deploy on, hybrid and cloud architecture that gives you the flexibility and agility to do what you want.”
  2. The New Webex Calling  Sonali Karnik (Senior Manager, Cloud Calling Product Marketing): “Webex Calling is the integration of the Broadsoft acquisition of cloud calling into the Cisco Webex platform.  So this is bringing together the best of cloud calling with the power of the Cisco Webex platform.”
  3. The Power of the Platform…  Jono Luk (Director, Product Management): “If you look at where Webex is going, we’re helping with education, we’re helping with healthcare, we’re helping with verticals where you have to be able to rely on your platform.  That’s the first and most important quality of the collaboration platform.”
  4. Jabber & Teams Working Together…  Shane Long (Technical Marketing Engineer): “What is Jabber Team Messaging Mode?  It’s a relatively new deployment model of Cisco Jabber where it’s a hybrid approach where you can deploy your Jabber client as per usual with UC Manager.  So you’ve got your rich calling feature set from soft phone, desk phone, multi-line, some contact center features, VDI, etc.  however with Jabber Team Messaging mode we’re taking advantage of the power of the Webex Teams Platform.”
  5. Adopting Webex in EducationSuzanne Phillips (Collaboration Adoption Manager): “As I’ve been talking to teachers, the number one most thing they’re excited about is figuring out how do we allow students to collaborate with each other and give them the tools so that even when they’re in classroom times they’re able to work together and pick off each other’s brains or when they’re at home the learning doesn’t have to stop and they can work on things like group projects outside the classroom. Other things people are excited about Webex is when you can have remote virtual experts join your classroom.”
  6. Webex + Meraki…Jing Zhang (Senior Product Manager of Cloud Calling): “We’ll be building bridges between applications: Jabber, Teams, Meetings.  Bridges between the platforms: Webex Meetings, Calling, and also our on prem and cloud altogether as a hybrid.  And we are also building bridges with Cisco Collaboration and other SaaS services:  Microsoft, Google, and Apple.  Today we are going to talk about another bridge.  Another different type of bridge that is bridging the network (Meraki) with collaboration.”
  7. People Insights… Maureen Vild (Technical Marketing Engineer): “What is People Insights? An AI-driven platform, a massive ingestion engine, this huge database.  This engine is constantly pulling information from the web – public information, on people and companies.  We’re starting with Meetings but eventually it’s going to be across our entire collaboration portfolio.  We’re taking that information, we gather it, we parse in, we attach it to a person, and we put it in Meetings in the form of a contact card.  This is going to transform the way you relate to people in meetings.
  8. Intelligent Video Devices…Scott Edwards (Senior Director, Product Marketing for Webex Meetings, Teams, & Devices): “We want to make that technology become invisible to the end users.  We don’t want you to learn the technology. We just want you to have a natural way and a seamless way to have a meeting experience.  And that’s our goal – to make technology to become invisible.”
  9. Jabber VDI…Bryan Morris (Jabber Product Manager): “So basically what we’re trying to do here is bring the capabilities for a VDI user, or a virtualized user, up so they have a comparable feature set (Presence & Instant Messaging, Desk Phone Control, Softphone, Video) to the full desktop users in your organization.”
  10. Webex Edge…Ken Snyder (Business Development Manager Cisco Webex Worldwide Go-to-Market): “[Webex Edge] is one of the most impactful products in the history of Webex.  This enables us to bring our rich heritage, our powerful Cisco networking best-in-breed solutions and combine that with our Webex platform and deliver that to our customer in a seamless connected experience so they have this true hybrid meeting experience that’s going to optimize their costs as well as drive the best, meaningful meeting experience.”
  11. Evolution of the Unified Client Experience…Lorrissa Horton (VP & GM Webex Teams, Jabber, & Intelligence): “Both [Jabber and Webex Teams] are unified clients in their own right.  They do calling, messaging, meetings, one on-prem, one in the cloud.  What we’ve been doing over the last year is really consolidating all of these capabilities into a single platform to minimize the user experience changes and really the overall change cost to you as an administrator and you as a manager training your employees just to get their work done.  So, we’ve taken the overall user experience, the look and feel, and have really made it common across Jabber and Webex Teams so it doesn’t matter if you’re an on-prem architecture or a cloud architecture, your experience is the same.”

How do you summarize a week’s worth of non-stop content and announcements and messaging across our full list into an 800-word blog?  You can’t!  But hopefully these little teaser sound bites will whet your appetite to learn more! Full videos can be found on the Cisco Collaboration Facebook page.


Experience Cisco Collaboration for yourself and give Webex Meetings or Webex Teams a try for free:

https://www.webex.com/pricing/free-trial.html

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partners at Cisco Live
Know before you go: The Webex ecosystem at Cisco Live 2019

Cisco Live US is upon us and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be in San Diego next week! This is the perfect opportunity for our Cisco Collaboration customers and partners to have first hand conversations and demonstrations from our innovative integration partners in the World of Solutions. So I thought it would be useful to highlight a few of our prominent Webex Ecosystem partners so you can know what to expect before you arrive.

You’ll see that these companies add value to the entire Webex portfolio whether it is Meetings, Teams or Devices. Plus several of the vendors have cross portfolio/architecture value whether that be to our Unified Communications, IP Phones, Jabber or even Meraki offerings. Another common trait you’ll see is that several of these solutions are available on the Cisco Global Price List. Plus, a few of them even offer you a way to schedule time with their teams in advance online like Appspace and Vyopta!

Directly next to the Webexperience Zone where the Cisco team will be showcasing all of our awesome products and latest features, you’ll find our Collaboration Partner Village where many of these partners can be found. Here’s a sneak peek of what that area will look like and one piece of advice- definitely do not miss out on seeing Oblong’s unique footprint and demo at the center of the Village.

In the village we will have a full lineup of speakers throughout the week in our theater. Make sure to keep an eye on all of the presentations scheduled and attend any that you feel may be able to help you get the most out of your Webex environment. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Conferencing devices
New release of Webex RoomOS: The power of Webex Meetings & Conference Devices

I’m Juan Gallardo, Product Manager for Room OS, the software that runs on our Cisco Webex Collaboration Devices. With this new blog series, I will be sharing all our exciting new features with you, and opening a communication channel with our users. I hope you enjoy it and provide as much feedback as possible.

The Webex Meetings experience becomes even better when combined with Webex devices. Joining a Webex meeting from a Webex device gives you the best video and audio quality you can experience on the market.  In the March 2019 release, we have therefore focused on unleashing the power of the platform, giving you more flexibility when meetings and apps come together as one Webex.

Whiteboarding

The Webex Board is a great all-in-one collaboration tool. You can make video calls, share content wirelessly, express your ideas on a blank whiteboard canvas, and annotate on top of your shared content. We are now making it possible for you to share your creative ideas with everyone in the meeting. In this release, anyone using Webex Meetings can view whiteboarding content from a Webex Board. So, whether you join from a Webex device, a 3rdparty device, a laptop or a mobile phone, you’ll be able to see the shared content.

Content Sharing

Users shouldn’t need to know if the conference device in the meeting room is registered to the Cloud, or on-premises in order to know which client they should use to share. We are now enabling the ability to share wirelessly out of the call to any device through Webex Teams and Webex Meetings apps– regardless of where they are registered.

Just enter the room, open your laptop, launch your preferred client, and start sharing in your local meeting. Easy, right?

Wireless sharing of video with audio is also now supported on cloud systems, so Webex Teams users connected to a cloud-registered Webex device can share videos, animations, and any dynamic video and audio content to remote sites.

Webex Events Support

Webex Events lets you easily host events and webinars for several thousand attendees at the same time, and what better than combining this experience with powerful Webex devices? Imagine using Cisco’s speaker tracking technology or using some advanced configuration in a customized meeting room while speaking in a Webex Event. That is what we are making available on this release. Speakers and panelists can log into the Webex Event using a Cisco Webex device and enjoy any of these wonderful experiences created by the hardware and software combination that only Cisco provides in this area.

Webex events support-webinar

Cognitive Collaboration

Artificial intelligence is quickly changing our lives and the way we work.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning removes mundane tasks, increases meeting efficiency and builds more meaningful relationships. Webex Assistant is one of the first iterations of what we can do when we pair AI and Webex devices. Using this new feature, users can control room devices by simply using their voice. Just say “Ok Webex” and the system wakes up and waits for your command. Users can then join scheduled meetings, call someone in the directory, join personal rooms, or even adjust some device controls like volume! And this is just the beginning of many ideas we are cooking in our R&D department.

Cognitive collaboration in action

Device Analytics

You may have heard about what we are doing with analytics and our conference devices. Our friends on the Webex Teams App side had a great blog post around this a few weeks back. You may want to go and check what they are doing there.

Providing information on how Webex devices are been used is something that our friends in the IT department have been asking for a long time. This information can be used to take intelligent decisions around adding, removing, or changing devices in different rooms based on some actual data. The information is available through Cisco’s Control Hub, where you can find interactive charts that allow you to filter on a specific device type, utilization, etc., everything to provide admins a better perspective of what’s happening in their meeting rooms.

Remember, RoomOS is getting updated quite often, and we are excited about creating these new experiences for you. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date with what’s new so you can enjoy all the fantastic new features we want to create and make your meeting each day better! I would love to hear your feedback below.

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Video conferencing in the classroom
Howe Public Schools uses video conferencing to create more opportunities for its students

Dr. Lance Ford and his wife, Carol Ann, live in the quaint town of Howe, OK, home to a dozen streets, 800 people, and zero stoplights. But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in innovation, especially at Howe Public Schools.

Dr. and Mrs. Ford first met and fell in love while teaching together. Their shared passion for education and desire to walk alongside and push their students to their highest potential bonded them then and continues to bond them today. Now married for 26 years, Lance’s office and Carol Ann’s classroom share a door at Howe Schools. They even teach a music class together. But teaching at Howe is not Lance’s only job… he also works full time as a Cisco employee.

His journey to Cisco came from presenting on technologies in classrooms to writing a curriculum that trained teachers—the actual users of the technology—how to fully utilize the resources they had at their fingertips. In a single day, he can be on the phone with a school in Switzerland educating on the possibilities of collaboration technology, on a Webex Board, video conferencing with teachers in Hawaii, training them on how to use the technology, and between, walk into the room next door and use the technology to teach music theory to his students. Over the past five years, he has helped bring Cisco collaboration technology into the classrooms in Howe.

Bringing video conferencing into the classroom

 Howe Co schools serve 650 students and in the past five years, have invested in Cisco technology, including Cisco Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, IP phones and Webex Boards. So, why have they done this? Ford states, “the goal is to give students opportunities to learn that would otherwise not be available to them.”

This looks like:

  • Video conferencing with subject matter experts who give new and exciting lessons to students
  • Working on collaborative projects, using Webex Teams to meet, discuss, and whiteboard out solutions together
  • Virtual field trips: Howe, OK connected with people at the Great Barrier Reef and Columbus Zoo (trips the students would never have been able to take due to distance)
  • Enrollment in college classes: High school students use Webex Meetings to video conference into classes at the local college (last year’s valedictorian graduated high school one class shy of an Associate’s degree).

It doesn’t stop there—they continue to look for creative ways to reach learners into the future. They hope to start using technology to offer professional learning opportunities as well.

Outside the classroom: Breaking communication barriers through team collaboration 

It’s not just the teachers and students using this technology. It’s in the hands of the building principals, counselors, security officers, and maintenance. Outside of the classroom, the technology is being fully utilized to enhance communication between everyone in the community. Buses have routers for GPS positioning and access to Teams. The school always knows where the bus is, who is on the bus, and can even notify parents when buses are getting close. In addition, security officers can send emergency notifications to administration, enhancing the safety at the school. Technology has the ability to change the culture of a school and the way it does business.

But regardless of the vertical, every person and company has a chance to teach and to learn. That’s essentially the core of collaboration.

How will you choose to teach and learn today?


Dr. Lance Ford will be joining our webinar on May 30th, discussing the rise of collaboration tools and how to augment them for parent-teacher conferences and office hours for students. The focus will be on how teachers and administrators can transparently open lines of communication between the school and parents/students through collaboration technology. AND use the technology as a conduit to identify and overcome challenges so students have the best opportunity to learn inside the education environment. You won’t want to miss it. Register here.

For more information about Howe Public Schools, visit: https://www.howeschools.org

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Webex Assistant
Meet Cisco Webex Assistant, the voice assistant for work

Here at Webex, we’re working on some innovative features to help make your online meeting experiences more intelligent and intuitive than ever, with the assistance of AI and machine learning.

We’re excited to share that one of these features, Webex Assistant, is now available for users with compatible Webex devices. You can now join video conferencing meetings by entering a room, make calls with your voice, and much more with hands-free help from the voice assistant for work.

Let’s walk through how this works.

Join a meeting with a few simple words.

Short on time? Just say “OK Webex, start the meeting” and you’re in. Need to quickly hop into a Personal Room? It’s as easy as saying “OK Webex, join my Personal Room” or “OK Webex,  join Amy’s Personal Room.”

Manage meetings from anywhere in the room.

We’ve all been there—you’re in the middle of an important meeting and lose your train of thought as you search for the right button. With just a few words Webex Assistant can help with a variety of tasks like sharing your screen, starting a recording or ending the meeting, so you can get back on track in no time.

Make hands-free calls.

Call anyone in your company’s directory by using their name—for example, “OK Webex, call Jane Jones.” You can also accept and reject incoming calls or ask Webex Assistant to dial a number without lifting a finger.

Control your device.

Easily adjust the volume, mute the microphone, or show or hide the self-view on your Webex device with simple voice commands.

To get started with Webex Assistant, locate a conference room with a supported Webex device and say the wake word “OK Webex,” followed by a command from our ever-expanding list of spoken instructions.

Here are a few more examples of tasks Webex Assistant can help you with:

Meetings
“Start the meeting”
“Record the meeting”
“End the meeting”

Calls
“Call John Smith”
“Answer the call”
“End the call”

Personal Rooms
“Join my Personal Room”
“Join Mary’s Personal Room”

Devices
“Turn up the volume”
“Lower the volume to 50%”
“Mute me”

Room calendar
“Is this room available now?”
“Is this room available at 4pm?”
“Show me the schedule of this room”

General questions and help
“What time is it?”
“What’s the name of this room?”
“What can you do?”

Webex Assistant is currently available on cloud-connected Webex Room Series devices, with more devices coming soon. Check out the Webex Assistant adoption toolkit to get started.


The Webex Intelligence Team develops innovative experiences by leveraging state-of-the-art machine learning, conversational AI, and information retrieval techniques. Interested in joining us? See our current job openings.

 

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team collaboration helps change AI
The 5 ways AI will transform team collaboration

If you want a glimpse into the future of collaboration, there’s no better place to look than Enterprise Connect. From the startups to the heavyweights, collaboration providers gathered in Orlando last week to demo their latest innovations. And this year, cognitive collaboration, or the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve team collaboration experience, dominated the conversation.

With a few days to reflect on my experience at Enterprise Connect, I’ve come up with 5 predictions on how cognitive collaboration will change the way we work by 2020.

1: Your digital assistant will become an indispensable part of your day

Digital assistants are mainstream with over 100 million devices sold that connect to consumer assistants, like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Enterprise-grade assistants with conversational AI capabilities will make your meeting a zero-touch experience, so you can join a meeting, call a contact or start a recording with just your voice. While available now, this is still a burgeoning technology and you’ll see functionality increase rapidly with the ability to assign action items, scheduling meetings and take notes.

2: Distributed collaboration becomes more productive and personable than in-person meetings

AI-driven capabilities will provide you with contextual insight that’s just not possible to get during an in-person meeting. As an example, People Insights for Webex Meetings, which was introduced in Amy Chang’s keynote, provides you with information on the people you’re meeting with, right in your meeting space. No more searching on LinkedIn or Google – our participants’ work history, education, latest blogs, company information and links to social media accounts are a click away. This allows you to discover shared background and interests and ultimately help you build stronger connections. Another example is facial recognition, which will display the names and titles of participants in a virtual meeting – this becomes very useful when a room is occupied by multiple participants.

3: Your collaboration platform becomes an AI-platform

From your team space to meetings and devices, everything in your collaboration suite will be enabled with cross-product AI functionality. Imagine joining a meeting and having your last conversation with someone automatically pop-up or the last whiteboard from your team space becomes available in your virtual meeting without having to search for it because the platform knows you met with the same people earlier to discuss the same topic. On an individual level, this may seem like a small, measurable improvement to your daily work life, but that small improvement scaled across a large organization can have profound effects on collaboration and productivity.

4: Interoperability sets collaboration suites apart

While a platform is critical for leveraging AI use cases across your collaboration tools, interoperability needs to remain a key factor in toolset decisions. During a panel discussion, Sri Srinivasan, SVP/GM of Teams Collaboration Group at Cisco, explained: “We are increasingly driven by end user choice — the culture of how people work matters most. We need to make software that interoperates for the technology mix.” From productivity tools, like Office 365 or Google’s G Suite, to customer relationship management tools, like Salesforce, collaboration solutions need to integrate and work well with other software. One of the important factors to consider is that employee preference for what they use to get their job done is always evolving, so organizations need a solution with a proven history of developing for interoperability.

5: Enterprise adoption of AI hastens future capabilities

AI capabilities will continue to evolve as more organizations adopt the technology. There are two reasons for this:

  • The Data: As Michelle Burbick says in her Enterprise Connect roundup blog, “If Data is King, AI is Queen” (it’s worth a read!). The more data available, the more likely AI and machine learning can be leveraged to discover and test new patterns that will lead to unique AI-use cases and greater efficiency gains.
  • The Providers: It won’t be long before organizations see the business value of an AI-enabled collaboration suites. This will drive demand for the solutions that are best positioned to deliver capabilities now and in the future. Collaboration technology providers will continue to invest in these capabilities as AI-features become a key way to set themselves apart from the competition.

With the introduction of AI, technology decisions can no longer be based on which point solutions solves a particular problem, here and now. Instead, decision must be about investing in a strategic platform that will fundamentally change the way people work together, how they connect and innovate.

To learn more about cognitive collaboration, join the upcoming webinar: Cognitive Collaboration: How AI and Machine Learning are Transforming How We Work and Collaborate


Try Webex teams, team collaboration tool, for free.

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team collaboration update
February update of Webex Teams: from our team, for your team collaboration

The Webex Teams Product team has been busy over the past number of weeks designing and delivering new features to enhance and enrich your team collaboration experiences. We think you are going to love the new features across all areas of the client including Messaging, Meetings, Calling and Device experience. Let’s get started.

Messaging that brings a 🙂 to your face

We think emojis help capture what we’re trying to say. What better way to say something is awesome than with a 😎emoji? We’ve enriched the Webex Teams client with emojis over the past number of releases and now, we’re excited to deliver Emoticon support in the desktop apps. So, next time you feel like saying you’re happy, your standard emoticon : ) will translate into a beautiful emoji 🙂.

Clarity with a Quote

Have you ever been in a team space conversation when you wanted to use somebody’s previous response to help give your answer more clarity?

Well, now you can. With our new Quote feature, you can use a colleague’s earlier response as part of your reply, giving everybody greater context. I really love this feature as it allows me to quickly address questions in large spaces. I find myself using it on a daily basis as I collaborate with my colleagues.

The Quote Feature in Webex Teams

Another great new feature is an additional right click menu that allows you to perform quick actions on spaces. Hover over a space name, right click and use the new contextual menu to mark the space as a favorite, view space settings, leave the space, and much more. Now, you can get to where you want to go, faster.

Stream on and bring everyone closer together

Here at Webex Teams, we are constantly striving to improve meeting experience and team collaboration for our customers. Our goal is that no matter where our users dial in from, they can experience a feeling of being together in the same room.

You can now stream 30fps video and audio to your colleagues in your Webex Teams Meetings through our Room Devices, and to other Webex Teams users- allowing everyone to have the same great experience.

As part of further enhancements to the Webex Meetings experience in the Webex Teams app, we’ve also added the option for admins to allow the meeting recordings to be stored locally as MP4 local recordings onto the desktop.

Calling- the way you want it to be

As we build out our native calling experience in the Webex Teams application, we’re providing a bridge to allow users of on-premise calling apps to access these capabilities from Webex Teams. With February’s release an administrator can set Jabber to be your default calling application so anytime you want to make a call in Teams, the call will be placed using Jabber, allowing you to leverage Jabber’s rich calling feature set.  You’ll also be able to set any tel protocol registered third party app to launch for calling also if that’s preferred

There’s a lot happening in the Webex Teams world right now. The Product Team are really excited about new and exciting features coming to the app and we’re really looking forward to seeing the 🙂 on your faces.

And hey, you can quote me on that 😉.

Try team collaboration tool for free.

See all of the Webex Teams Releases here

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video conferencing
Not just a better way–the only way–we could work

By Steve Strauss, USA TODAY’s small business columnist, a best-selling author and corporate spokesperson. He has written over 17 books including the best-selling The Small Business Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed in Your Small Business. He is often called “the country’s leading small business expert.”

A few years ago, I had what I thought was a bright idea. A very bright idea. Except it almost wasn’t. In fact, it was almost a Very Dumb Idea. Almost an unmitigated career disaster idea.

The only thing that saved me from myself was Webex video conferencing.

Let’s backtrack for a second. For many years, I sat on the board of the World Entrepreneurship Forum. This was an incredible think-tank that would, once a year, bring together global entrepreneurs, innovators, academics, and experts from around the world for a week-long confab where we would share notes and ideas, wins and losses, ideas, and strategies.

Entrepreneurs from South America. Experts from the States. Business people from China. African innovators. We had it all.

It was at one of these get-togethers that I made what was my almost-fatal error. Being the author in the group (The Small Business Bible, etc.), I shared this thought: “This is an incredible group,” I said. “Our collective expertise on every aspect of entrepreneurship is truly impressive.” And then I uttered the fateful words:

“We should do a book together.”

Needless to say, everyone loved the idea. The problem (though I didn’t realize it at the time) was two-fold:

  • Even though they were all accomplished in their own right, many of these folks had never written professionally
  • We lived on five different continents

Nevertheless, a dozen of my colleagues proved to be either incredibly persistent, very enthusiastic, or both, and I returned to the U.S. with a very creative idea for a book idea to pitch my publisher.

They bit, and eventually we published Planet Entrepreneur, but not before the twin problem outlined above almost derailed the project altogether.

The writing problem was not insignificant. While these were world-class entrepreneurs I was dealing with, they were not professional writers. For many, English was a second (or third) language. Eventually, as the lead writer and editor, I was able to find a balance between creating a manuscript with a voice that was both authentically theirs, while, at the same time, one that read well.

Let’s just say it was a lot of work.

It was actually the second problem that proved more vexing. How would we work together, being as remote from each other as we were? Eventually we figured out the solution here as well.

Webex.

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6 winning strategies for a video conference interview
6 winning strategies for a video conference interview

Congrats! Whether you’re a future employee preparing to interview with your dream company or an employer who may have found the perfect candidate for a position, you’ve taken a step forward in the interview process. And quite possibly, one toward your next video conference interview.

In the race to secure top-talent – and the quest to land the ideal gig, regardless of location – videoconferencing has emerged as a connective bridge. Ideal, a company of specialists using artificial intelligence for task automation, found that about 63 percent of organizations use video interviews during their recruitment process. And with two-way video interviews saving as much as 67 percent on necessary travel costs when compared to more conventional recruitment techniques, it’s no wonder videoconferencing’s popularity has grown.

Video conferencing has transformed the interview process for both candidates and employers. Whichever side of the camera you’re on, use these tips to take interview convos from “hello” to “hired.”

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video conferencing at work
Removing silos and optimizing productivity with video conferencing tools

Silos restrict the free flow of information across an organization and reduce collaboration between its teams. The effects speak for themselves: A 2017 eConsultancy survey of marketers found 40 percent of respondents thought each department in their respective agencies had its own agenda, compared to only 29 percent who reported following collaborative processes. Almost one-third (30 percent) also said they designed and measured customer experience on a channel-by-channel basis, a direct result of siloed workflows that lead to time-consuming and duplicative work.

Granted, bringing everyone together, regardless of role or location, was long challenging due to the technical limitations and usability issues of collaboration tools. Not anymore. With Cisco Webex Meetings for video conferencing and messaging, it’s never been easier to start a meeting anytime, anywhere.

The logic of breaking down workplace silos 

Even a seemingly efficient silo can hurt an organization because of how it isolates decision-making processes and places particular pressure on remote and mobile teams, which may feel cut off from everyone else. Company communication, responsiveness to change and general capacity to finish projects on time and under budget are all reduced when silos dominate. Entire movements, such as DevOps in software development, have arisen to eliminate these silos – and for good reason.

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video conferencing
Better together: Video conferencing meetings, before and after

Whether you dread them or delight in them, meetings are a part of everyday work life. And while unproductive ones can be seen, at the least, as an annoyance, the cost of meetings like this can be astronomical; as in costing companies more than $37 billion annually.

Technology can be the great differentiator between dynamic and mutually rewarding meeting experiences and unfruitful gatherings where ideas become stuck and conversation stalls.  Do you know what tech your meetings are missing that could be slowing down progress? Take a look below and see how Webex video conferencing tools can help fill in missing meeting pieces.

The “Gather ‘Round the Conference Call” Meeting

Before

Meeting attendees hunkered around a conference speakerphone, jockeying for space and hoping their input is heard.

What’s Missing?

Webex video conferencing that fosters face-to-face connections with remote team members, which in turn, promotes better idea sharing.

After

An interactive meeting where everyone is seen, feels engaged and has a voice.

The “Can Everyone See This?” Meeting

 

Before

A meeting attendee, only partially facing their audience, sketching out a potentially ground-breaking idea, as others struggle to see it.

What’s Missing?

Interactive WebEx “white boarding” that allows teams to share and collaborate in real-time with key visuals.

After

An engaging visual representation of possibilities, plans and progress discussed during the meeting.

 

The “We’re Sorry – Your Password is Incorrect.” Meeting

 

Before

The irritation of remembering (and entering) complicated passwords when trying to join a video meeting or conference call.

What’s Missing?

The ease and simplicity of connecting to a meeting with the touch of a button.

After

Remote team members who can join the discussion quickly, no matter where they are, on the device of their choice.

 

What technology is missing from your meetings that would empower your teams to achieve more? Have a more detailed look – and explore other WebEx tools that lay the foundation for easier and more reliable meetings – with a free WebEx trial.

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Team collaboration for Small Business
5 ways to “weatherproof” your work life with team collaboration tools

From iced-over bridges to snow-covered highways, Old Man Winter has had a firm grip on most of the country recently. And while that may mean a snow day for some, for many, the work day must go on.

Thankfully, video conferencing and team collaboration tools like Webex Meetings and Webex Teams are available to keep teams connected and work moving forward. And even though snow is a rarity in San Jose, over the years, I’ve learned lots of work life “weatherproofing” tips that keep productivity up when inclement weather keeps you away from the office.

1. Morning Consistency is Key

It’s totally understandable how blustery weather would make you want to stay bundled up in your pajamas or work from your laptop in bed. But if you’re working remotely due to the weather, keeping to your morning routine as much as possible can mentally set the stage for a more productive work day.

If you normally exercise outside in the mornings, but can’t, do a quick workout in your living room to maintain your normal pre-work routine. Go to your closet and get dressed, even if you’re just going down the hallway to your home office. Whatever it is that you do to kick off your work day, do it! It will kick start your mind into work mode.

2. Keep Your Desk Ready-to-Go

Speaking of your home office, the moment you hear bad weather may keep you housebound is the time to ensure your work space is work ready. National Clean Up Your Desk Day was great inspiration for me to take a few moments to declutter my home office space. Everything is now in its place, which saves me a rush cleaning job when impromptu WebEx meetings have to happen. An added bonus? Studies show that a decluttered workspace leads to more productivity.

3. Check Your Tech

One minute before a remote meeting or video conferencing call begins is not the time to discover your technology has gone on the fritz.  If weather is keeping you housebound, you’ll need to rely on your tech tools to stay connected, so make it a habit to ensure any and all technology software and hardware you use is online and ready to go when you need it.

4. Plan B & C & D Location

If bad weather knocks your power or causes internet connectivity issues for example, having a nearby location to work from is a must.

A nearby coffee shop or even a library are just a couple of options. Wifi is often free and nothing beats a hot cup of coffee if you’re forced to travel to another location.

5. Set Expectations and Boundaries

You know when you’re working from home that you’re actually working. But does everyone else?

When bad weather keeps people who do not work remotely inside, it’s easy to see how they may not understand how you could be carrying on your work day as normal. If you have children, they’re probably home with you if the weather is bad and may not understand that yes – you have real work to do. In these instances, set boundaries and expectations early so everyone understands that even though you’re physically at home, you have to remain focused.

There is definitely something to be said about maintaining a work-life balance, so be open and communicate to your children or friends when you can chit-chat, play games or watch a movie with them.

Has bad weather kept you in the house recently? Share how you’ve been able to stay in work mode with me on Twitter @WebEx, with #WinterWork.


Don’t let the weather keep you from your work. Click here to try a 30 day free trial of Webex teams.

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What’s new with WebEx?

At WebEx, our team is always looking for fresh ways to create a better user experience. If you manage or use collaboration tools for your business, you know that a seamless user experience is essential to keeping everyone connected and making sure tech tools are adopted by your team. And when your tools work together, everyone can spend less time troubleshooting and more time collaborating.

We’re excited to share just a few of the coolest new features we’re rolling out that integrate WebEx with some of your other favorite tech tools. Check them out below and give them a try during your next meeting!

Background audio noise detection

WebEx Meeting Center now automatically detects background sounds like knocking, typing, sirens and dogs barking. You’ll be prompted to mute your microphone after detection, to help eliminate distraction and keep the meeting focused on the task at hand.

The noise detection functionality distinguishes between users who are actively speaking and background noises, so you won’t be cut off mid-sentence if Fido chimes in.   

 MacBook Touch Bar support                    

Mac users using the WebEx Desktop App can now access meeting controls directly from their MacBook Touch Bar. Just click the button in the Touch Bar to use some of the most popular WebEx functions, like audio mention, mute/unmute, start/stop video and more.

Control your WebEx Meeting with controls on the MacBook Touch Bar.

Easy controls at your fingertips. What’s not to love?

Google Calendar Integraion

If you use Google calendar to keep track for your work week, you can now schedule and start Personal Room meetings more easily with the Cisco WebEx Scheduler, which you can download here from the Chrome Web Store. You can also. Simply schedule and add join information by typing @webex in the “Where” line of your Google Calendar invite.

Download the Cisco WebEx Scheduler to schedule, start, and join WebEx meetings directly from Google Calendar.

This type of compatibility means you can use WebEx with other productivity tools you love.

Cisco WebEx app for Slack

Last but not least, Cisco WebEx is now available in Slack. Add the WebEx app to a Slack channel and quickly share your WebEx meeting or Personal Room URL with your team. Simply type /webex to share your WebEx Personal Room link.

Want to know more? Follow us on Twitter @WebEx to stay up to speed on the latest product updates, or share your ideas for features you’d like to see!

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Easy annual planning for remote teams

 It’s that time of the year again! The days are shorter. The weather is cooling down.  And your manager is asking to see your team’s 2018 plan ASAP.

When there’s a lot on your plate between work and home, staying productive and efficient is non-negotiable. Add in the logistics of coordinating a remote team and the stress can add up quickly. But those end-of-year deadlines don’t have to bring your team down. Follow this simple guide for streamlining your workflow to get that annual plan wrapped up. Hint: the key is collaboration.

Step 1: Create a work space

First things first, you need to assemble your key players together in one place. And I don’t mean a conference room.

To work together fluidly, you need a virtual workspace. Create a Cisco Spark room and include everyone who will contribute to the planning process. You can use it to chat about updates in real time, share documents, review feedback, and even add bots to help you with scheduling and project management. Label the room and ask your team to use it for annual planning only, so conversations stay focused and on-task.

Step 2: The kickoff

Next, schedule a WebEx session to kick things off. Share an agenda in advance to keep the meeting structured. Ask your team to turn on their video – having some face-time can go a long way in rallying everyone around a common goal and help ensure you’re all on the same page.

Consider preparing a few slides with an outline of the plan and share your screen during the meeting. Have everyone weigh in with initial ideas about what’s been working, what’s not, and what the priorities should be for the next year.

Before you close the meeting, be clear about the expectations and next steps. What should be included in the plan? What are the deadlines? Recap team assignments so everyone can divide and conquer.

Step 3: Sharing is caring

Now it’s time to get to work. After your meeting, share a recap in the Cisco Spark room to reinforce the next steps and deadlines.

As each member of your team fulfills their assignments, have them share updates and documents in Cisco Spark. It’s a lot simpler than searching through lengthy email chains to find attachments or links.

Collaborate in real-time via chat or call team members directly, all within Cisco Spark. Bouncing ideas around in as they come up will help move things forward quickly, and you can keep your team in-the-know if things change.

Step 4: Review and revise

Once your plan is drafted, it’s time to start editing. Set up another meeting with your team to review the plan together as a group. Ask yourself a few essential questions along the way. Does the presentation tell a clear story? Did we accomplish what we set out to do? Is our data presented in an impactful way?

Make edits in real-time during the meeting, and continue any follow up via Cisco Spark if you need to add finishing touches.

Step 5: The final presentation

This is where all of the team collaboration will pay off. It’s Showtime!

Schedule a meeting with your manager/stakeholders over WebEx. Have everyone fire up their video and share your deck (just be sure to share your application instead of your entire screen to avoid any distracting notifications). And don’t forget to record the meeting – you can send out a link so anyone who missed out on the presentation can catch up.

Step 6: Celebrate! And keep the conversation going

After you’ve nailed your presentation, congratulate your team and pat yourself on the back. Now that your annual plan is in place, you can keep the work moving in Cisco Spark. Create new rooms for individual projects and initiatives once your plan is approved, and check back in throughout the year.

Having the best collaboration tools makes a big difference when it comes to planning, and every team has a different style that works for them. How does your team approach planning and workflows? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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Debunking remote work myths

Work from home. Telecommuting. Remote workers. They’re all just fancy words for people that work in pajamas with dogs at their sides, right? Well, while my lab Fletch sometimes makes a surprise appearance on a video call, remote work is burdened with misconceptions that I set out to debunk:

Misconception 1 – “Are they even working?”

Remote workers are often accused of “phoning it in,” only half listening to meeting conversation as they surf the internet, watch television or answer other emails. The truth is, studies show remote workers report being more productive – 91% in one study – than their office-dwelling peers. Working remotely also encourages having more detailed communication with managers and team members to clarify objectives, which is not the mark of a lazy person.

Misconception 2 – “Is that even a real job?”

Just because remote workers are surrounded by the comforts of home when they work doesn’t mean that they’re not working a “real” job.

Cisco and many other respected brands, including Amazon, Dell, Apple and Wells Fargo, support remote work. And this trend is growing; a survey by Global Workplace Analytics found that 40% more U.S. employers offered flexible workplace options than they did five years ago.

Misconception 3 – “Do you ever leave your house?”

The beautiful reality of being a remote worker is that – well, we can work remotely from wherever our happy work spot may be.

I do have a home office and it where I work from most often. But tools like WebEx and Cisco Spark provide flexibility that gives me the freedom to hunker down in my favorite local coffee shop to work and even attend meetings.

Misconception 4 – “That must be really lonely.”

Though remote workers may be physically alone when they do their work, video conferencing enable us to become expert collaborators, connecting with teams in real-time.

Personally, I love the interactive drawing and whiteboard feature offered by Cisco Spark. Our team uses it to share graphics and outline concepts, all in real-time. And whatever devices we’re all using – cell phone, lap top, tablet – Cisco Spark allows us to share files and message one another and engage in occasional “virtual” water cooler talk. Again, all in real-time.

Misconception 5 – “You must find it hard to turn off.”

In the age of collaboration (rolling over first thing in the morning to check emails, anyone?), this is an issue that we are all working on. Regardless of your work environment, work-life balance is critical. Though this can seem like a challenge if your home is your office like mine, it’s not impossible. It’s all about pacing.

What works for me is creating barriers between “work-mode” and “family-mode”. For example, I don’t work during dinner time and I don’t check emails until I’ve dropped my kids off at school. For you, it may be designated a certain area of your home as a place you don’t enter until it’s time to work.

What do you enjoy most about being a remote worker? Share with our community on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

 

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Remote meeting distractions – and how to deal

Did you know that 87% of remote works feel more connected  to their teams when they use video conferencing? And did you know that 100% of remote workers absolutely detest remote meeting distractions that don’t have to happen?

Ok. That last stat was not discovered in any recent journals or news stories – but we have no doubts that it’s true! All of the benefits that remote meetings offer team members – increased productivity, flexibility for those who are on the go and reduced traveling stresses – are lost if annoying remote meeting distractions derail what teams are trying to accomplish.

Thankfully, several WebEx tools that can help do away with remote meeting distractions. Check out our “top four” list (provided in no particular order – we love them all) and let us know your biggest remote meeting distraction pet peeves.

 

1. Pesky passcodes

 season 3 black and white episode 16 telephone 3x16 GIF

It’s very easy to become distracted during a meeting. And even more so when you’re running late and somehow can’t get into the meeting! Passcodes are often the culprit for this type of distraction.

WebEx’s “Call Me” feature eliminates this worry. With “Call Me,” meeting attendees simply click the “Join” meeting button and then the “Call Me” button. From there, it’s as simple as answering the phone when the WebEx meeting calls. No passcodes, no problem.

 

2. Background noise

What do a barking dog, rumbling lawn mower and a full-on marching band have in common? They’re all just a sample of distracting (and annoying) background noises that can disrupt your meeting when you’re working remotely. Unfortunately, you don’t always have control over what passes by your home office window.

 

Rather than issue the standard, “who’s not on mute?” question, WebEx users with the WebEx noise cancellation feature don’t have to stress. When WebEx detects background noises that could hinder your meeting, a friendly pop-up reminder to mute your phone will briefly appear.

 

3. Connecting on-the-go

Working At A Cafe GIF - Eow Bored Cafe GIFs

 The beauty in working remotely is you can actually get things done and stay connected on-the- go your favorite place – like your local coffee shop instead of fluorescent-lit cubicle. But sometimes you don’t always have your laptop and a strong Wi-Fi connection handy when it’s time to connect to a meeting. Luckily, no matter which device you or other team members use to connect, WebEx’s mobile features make remote meeting a breeze.

From a phone, a tablet – even an Apple Watch – WebEx’s mobile app system provides “on the move’ users the freedom to host and attend meetings. And with the addition of Cisco Spark, remote meetings are never delayed because anyone can join no matter which standards-based video conferencing device they use.

 

4. Meeting crashers

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot WebEx can do if the smallest and cutest distractions are determined to join your meeting. Our advice? Be quick on your feet!

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The evolution of a serial entrepreneur and how to manage a remote team

Cisco WebEx and Influencive are teaming up to bring you real-world tips for taking your remote business to the next level. Check out the advice below or and don’t miss our Facebook Live discussion at the bottom of the post to learn more about how to build and manage a remote team effectively.

Operating a business is so different today than it used to be. When I first entered the world of entrepreneurship as a 16 year-old entrepreneur in the suburbs of Massachusetts, I didn’t even know I was an entrepreneur.

I was selling products on Ebay as a way to make money because I didn’t want to work at a grocery store, but after a while someone told me that I had started a business and I didn’t even realize it necessarily. This was the start of my entrepreneurial journey.

Ever since my eBay days I have went on to build, grow, and exit multiple businesses which have led me to founding Influencive.

With the way that technology continues to advance, the way that us entrepreneurs conduct our day-to-day activities also continue to evolve. Ten years ago, social media and networking online is nothing like what it is today. Now, you barely meet people in person first anymore because it happens online. The first impressions you give someone are online and are even more important today than they have ever been.

Social media and networking has evolved immensely over the past few years but an area that has allowed entrepreneurs like myself to build and manage a remote team is through software tools and apps like Cisco WebEx and Cisco Spark.

Without technology, I don’t think I would be nearly as “successful” as I have been. These types of tools are used by my team and I use them to communicate on a regular basis, but also use them for meeting clients. Having apps like this on my desktop or mobile are important for me to stay in the loop and in communication with team members as needed.

At Influencive and my other companies, most of the team members are remote. Managing a remote team can be tricky. Here are 3 ways to help you manage a remote team.

1. Have Open Lines of Communication

When you have a team spread out over time zones and countries, it’s important from day one to set expectations that your team is able to communicate with each other. The days of telling your employees and co-workers to just email each other are dwindling by the day. If you do this, you are going to create more work than necessary. I don’t know about you, but I get more spam than ever before and it’s increasingly difficult to find important emails.

What we do at Influencive to help minimize our daily emails to each other, is we have a chat group that we communicate and message each other in. This helps increase our productivity almost tenfold because we can ask questions right away, send documents, and can even do calls as needed. We know that if we want to contact anyone, we can just send them a message. Then people can reply on their own time instead of being constantly interrupted with in-person water cooler talk and other shenanigans that has been proven to reduce productivity.

If you are still relying on your email inbox for communication, find a messaging platform or chat group you can use with your team to help minimize the amount of emails you send.

2. Implement Weekly Check-In’s

The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve started to get away from actually holding meetings with my teams. We all have 1000’s of thoughts going through our brains at any given time and holding meetings daily with your team usually only hurts them because most meetings aren’t very productive.

As a matter of fact, most 1 hour meetings could be done in under 10 minutes. Crazy right?

When you have a remote team, one way to set expectations and maintain order and productivity is to implement weekly check-ins with your team. Everyone has different schedules and work better during different hours of the day.

For that reason, sometimes a scheduled meeting is pointless because schedules shift, people are on sales calls, in-person meetings and etc. I’m not a big fan of set weekly meetings for that reason.

Instead, all communications can be done through Cisco Spark. And the check-ins can happen when and if they are needed rather than having meetings just to have meetings. This saves the team time and money.

3. Promote Autonomy

One of the benefits of having a remote team in the first place is not having a team member be location dependent. You can pick people to be a part of your team no matter where they live. This is a major advantage to have.

Rather than relying on the uber competitive talent pool in the city of the founders, you can look elsewhere to add to your team.

Something that you need to implement from day one is that you want to give all employees autonomy. They all need to feel a part of the team, but they also need to feel that freedom to make mistakes and take risks. Now, this doesn’t mean go out there and make the company look bad, it just means employees need to feel that they can make some decisions and their boss isn’t looking over their every move.

A quote I really like is:

“If you don’t trust your employees to work from anywhere, you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.”

This is so true. You need to trust your team to get the job done and if you don’t trust them to work from the beaches in Bali or from the coffee shop down the street then you probably shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.

Allow them autonomy and the ability to do their job from wherever they want. Just make sure that they actually get their work done. If they get their work done, and are the best at what they do, then you shouldn’t have anything to complain about.

With the power of the internet and remote collaboration tools like Cisco WebEx and Cisco Spark, location is irrelevant so stop using location as an excuse and instead use it as an advantage.

Want to know more? Check out our live discussion from the WebEx Facebook page below.

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Bringing tech to the classroom – 3 strategies for 2017

Back to school doesn’t have to mean back to the same old classroom experience. The start of each school year means one more year of innovation has passed and our classrooms should evolve with our digital world. The days of all learning happening within the bubble of one room with just one teacher are gone; our connected world gives students access to learn beyond traditional boundaries.

Overcoming Concentration Hurdles

Distraction can feel like a losing game in the classroom (or in any interaction with students), but even more so in the screen-laden world of our children. That’s why teachers should meet students where they already are – 70% of children under 12 are using tablets and almost 40% start using mobile tech before kindergarten.

When kids walk into a classroom to see mobile devices, they are not only comfortable with the tech, but excited by the innovation. Any teacher knows when children are excited and comfortable, they are engaged in learning. It’s a “hands on” learning environment with a touchscreen twist, making abstract ideas tangible and within reach.

Visually Engaging with Video

We’ve all heard the term “visual learner,” but did you know all students retain visual information more easily than auditory info? Studies show students recall 65% of what they see but only 10% of what they hear. In a learning environment where 100% of the curriculum matters to make the most of a child’s education, teachers should take this research into the classroom.

Video conferencing and access to online videos can greatly enhance even the most established lesson plans. Through video, students from anywhere in the world can take a visual tour of the Great Wall of China or see inside the machines that make the Hoover Dam so powerful. Video conferencing opens the door to invite students from around the world into the classroom. Imagine students learning about a culture from students their own age living it every day. By tapping into our students’ visual learning skills, we can step outside the classroom and enhance learning.

Collaboration Beyond Boundaries

As our world evolves, so too does the profession of teaching and its importance. A Texas study showed that an effective teacher is 20 times more likely to boost student performance than any other factor. It’s essential, for students and teachers, that we give these teachers the tools to seek out the most current information for their students and connect them with leaders in the fields they teach.  Tapping digital collaboration tools is one way teachers can seek expertise beyond their own knowledge.

I saw the power of collaboration outside the classroom in my own son’s excitement. As a fourth-grader, he was tasked to build a sandcastle – and not just any sandcastle. With the help of experts and engineers in San Francisco, he designed a sand-constructed roller coaster. Of course the project was fun – his teachers knew these beach-loving children would jump at the chance to work in sand, one of their favorite mediums – but the value added by the experts will last much longer than their sandy creations.

As I send my son on to his last year of elementary school, I’m hopeful that the passion of the teachers he’s had so far and the exciting tech innovations will make this 5th grade a year of engagement, excitement and, most of all, learning.

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3 moments of clarity through video meetings

Sometimes you get so used to things just working that you forget about the amazing convenience of the tools we now have at our fingertips. As part of the Cisco WebEx team, I experience that more than most when it comes to video meetings. On a daily basis, I collaborate with people located across town, across the country, and also across the world. Of course, with video, we’re able to connect face-to-face, which helps develop our relationships and we can make decisions faster – not to mention we cut down on travel costs. This is when I had a few moments of clarity – at the airport, where I was able to appreciate the tools at my fingertips that helped me look like a professional.

I was scheduled to return from a conference on the same morning that I was leading a quarterly project meeting with the global team.  While it would be a busy day, I should have had enough time after landing to get to the office and lead the presentation from one of the conference rooms.

As you may have guessed, that’s not how things worked out. My morning layover flight wasn’t delayed — it was cancelled. I knew I couldn’t reschedule the meeting — it had to happen that day. I knew I’d be fine, though, presenting from my mobile phone from the airport.

 

Moment of clarity number 1: Confidence in my meeting tool
It could have been a major setback. It would have been a major setback if it hadn’t been for the ease of using Cisco WebEx. I had zero anxiety about a situation that would surely be ulcer-inducing for most.

While I sat in the terminal, I noticed a man a couple of seats away who seemed to be having a work-related conversation. There he was, preparing to join a meeting from the airport. And he wasn’t using Cisco WebEx. Things went OK. His meeting got started a few minutes late because he couldn’t find the meeting codes, another participant had to download a plug-in, and he said he couldn’t share his video from his mobile phone, but overall it wasn’t too bad.

Moment of clarity number 2.  Makes me look professional
This guy was trying to position his new one-man design shop as an established, trusted company. It was almost time for my meeting to start, so I couldn’t stick around to find out how it went. As I went to find my own quiet space, I had a renewed pride that I get to work with Cisco WebEx. It’s a reliable product that comes with a reputation of professionalism, so I could depend on it.

Moment of clarity number 3. Simplicity – Started the meeting on time
I joined the meeting with a click of a button in my phone app — not just on time, but a few minutes early!  For my meetings with Cisco WebEx, I don’t have to worry about those issues. It just works.

One of our partners in London, Sheila, entered the meeting from her Skype for Business account, because Cisco WebEx meetings integrates seamlessly with the third-party solution.

Shameless plug: Cisco WebEx is built to provide excellent audio and high quality video, so — even though I was at the airport on my mobile phone — it felt like I was presenting in person. The team joining from the office was able to start my meeting in my personal room before I even joined because I gave them alternate host privilege. It was easy to see everyone’s expressions, so I could tell when I needed to provide additional detail or clarification.

While I didn’t enjoy the delay flying home, the experience allowed me to appreciate what I take for granted so often. Whether your team is spread across the globe or sitting in separate corners of the same city, an established video conferencing tool that provides reliable and secure service is important to look like a true professional. Cisco WebEx is simple. I connected to my meeting smoothly in a single click, so I could focus on what matters: Leading a successful meeting for my colleagues.

Learn more about Cisco WebEx video meeting capabilities.

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5 Reasons to Join a WebEx Now

I can give you a million reasons to join a WebEx meeting – a quick-turn project, a public relations issue, or even an unbelievable business opportunity that fell into your lap. Getting a meeting organized now is sometimes very necessary.

People work in different offices and even time zones – real-time collaboration can get a bit tricky. Thankfully, simple and powerful collaboration is possible with a few clicks.

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Excuse Me Sir, You Dropped Your Data

And now – the pièce de résistance!

In the first two installments of The Presentation Company’s Masterful WebEx Presentation Series, we took a deep-dive into a Sweat-Free Virtual Presentations and then learned 4 Delivery Tips All WebEx Stars Know. Now that you’ve prepared and presented the perfect presentation, it’s time to learn how to leverage the data you gathered from your WebEx tools.

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Protecting Your WebEx Meeting Information

Earlier this week Brian Krebs uploaded a blog post titled Who’s Watching Your WebEx, focusing on WebEx meeting configuration. We have two reasons to thank Brian. He has drawn attention to important meeting best practices, but he also allowed us to share advice with our customers first.

For those who administer Cisco WebEx sites, you should already have seen an update that included our best practice guide. If you need any related assistance, our support people stand ready to help.

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