An Integrated Collaboration Experience at George Mason University with Webex
Customer Success Blog Series
The Customer Success Blog Series highlights Customer Success Managers (CSM) and their Customers where we spotlight a Customer Success Story. Learn how Cisco’s collaboration technology is making positive organizational impacts, solving real-live business challenges and can impact a customer’s outcome.
Integrated Collaboration Experience with Webex
George Mason University is the largest public research university in Virginia. The university prides itself on setting the standard for a “bold, progressive education” that serves its students and communities. With a student population of more than 38,000, Mason is home to students from more than 130 countries.
The university strives to uphold its motto of “Freedom and Learning” by fostering an innovative and inclusive academic community, helping students grow as individuals, scholars, and professionals, and ensuring the well-being and success of the student body.
Lack of Standardization Across Communication Platforms
Being progressive includes being at the forefront with the latest innovations. With this in mind, the IT team at Mason realized they should standardize on a communication and collaboration platform. Before deploying Webex, Mason didn’t have a standardized application to communicate, so users had a variety of communication tools, which made it difficult for the IT team to provide support.
Improving Collaboration with Webex
Webex allowed everyone to get on the same page, which enhanced workplace collaboration and streamlined communication within and among different departments. Now, with Webex, everyone has the ability if they want to talk to someone or collaborate on a project. Webex has also made it easier for staff to communicate with one another by jumping on a video call that provides the experience of an in-person conversation.
When I took over the Mason account as their new customer success manager (CSM), I had the opportunity to help them drive the adoption of Webex. At deployment, the IT team expected to have around 240 users. The response to Webex, however, has been overwhelmingly positive, and as a result, Mason has more than 700 users regularly using Webex. End users love the simplicity and ease-of-use Webex provides. Both the Mason team and I are very excited about the interest in Webex and we are looking at ways to expand its usage around campus.
Everyone at Mason has been thrilled with the impact that Webex has had so far, and they are excited about the potential Webex has to promote collaboration and communication among different departments and between students and faculty.
Providing Webex for everyone
Mason’s goal is for everyone at the university to use Webex. Currently, the primary users are staff and faculty, but we hope to expand our reach to students soon. One way we hope to accomplish this is via the Education Connector, which will enable the university to deploy Webex to all students by integrating it into how classes are taught, how professors communicate with students, and how students collaborate. The plan is to roll out the Education Connector soon in conjunction with Blackboard, the university’s learning management system.
Helping remote students feel connected
I’ve also been working closely with the Mason staff to deploy Webex for students in remote areas or otherwise unable to be in the classroom. In my experience, many online students don’t feel connected because they are not physically on campus. By integrating the endpoints and applications, we hope that Webex will allow these students to feel more connected and have the same educational opportunities as their on-campus peers. The idea is that Webex and the Education Connector will provide online students a more traditional college experience. I am confident that Webex will help Mason bridge the gap between and give online students the same experience, or as close to, as on-campus students.
Going forward, we are looking at driving Webex usage in the athletic department. For example, coaches could use Webex Teams and Webex Boards to whiteboard plays. I have created a use case around this and plan to create two more. Also, we are working with the Office 365 team to deploy the hybrid calendar integration. This will provide the ability to use @webex for scheduling in Outlook and One Button to Push for video endpoints.
I am beyond excited for the future of Webex at Mason. Overall, I believe the adoption of Webex has been extremely successful, and we are excited to continue our efforts and expand the outreach to more students and faculty at the university. Contact your Customer or Partner Success Manager to guide you through the steps of a meaningful adoption journey or find additional information in our Webex for HigherEducation Toolkit
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Sep 16, 2021 — Aruna Ravichandran