Since the beginning of the pandemic, the use of digital collaboration tools has increased 74%, based on research conducted by Futurum Research. Remote work, already adopted by federal agencies and their civilian counterparts, will continue as it evolves into hybrid work models. As these models unfold, these federal agencies will need to expand their collaboration capabilities with their counterparts while retaining the ability to control access to these ecosystems and maintain their data security stance, including their data loss protection measures.
This month, Webex expanded the collaboration capabilities for Webex for Government (FedRAMP Moderate), allowing FedRAMP users to message and share files with commercial Webex users and other FedRAMP organizations. It is important to note that while these capabilities have expanded, the feature trial we’re making available this month, “Guests Invited,” upholds the data security stance dictated by the Webex for Government organization initiating the process. Guests Invited helps maintain a secure collaboration ecosystem, reduce complexity and redundancy in the workstream, and drive collaboration among partnering organizations at scale.
The Guests Invited feature — an industry first — removes the barrier for Webex for Government users to collaborate with users outside their organization. By extending the collaboration boundaries and moving away from an isolated collaboration ecosystem, FedRAMP license holders can increase their productivity and collaborate with countless contractors, suppliers, and partners through a single, easy-to-use, and seamless app — the same app they use every day. Plus, this feature allows administrators within a Webex for Government organization to invite guests without adding them to their Webex instance, avoiding the need for additional licenses.
With the Guests Invited feature, FedRAMP license holders can invite commercial Webex users to 1–1 or group spaces for messaging and sharing files and links. The spaces are always initiated by the FedRAMP or host organization, and the host can invite more than one organization to a shared space. During this initial launch of the feature, only messaging and file transfer will be available for invited guests to FedRAMP. This feature works with the constraints needed to meet the FedRAMP security requirements by keeping sensitive data secure. (This feature works with Webex App version 184.108.40.20611 or higher and is bundled into the default Webex for Government services.)
When deploying the Guests Invited feature, only the FedRAMP (host) organization’s compliance officer and administrators will have visibility of the messages and content exchanged with guest organizations. The compliance officer and administrator in the respective guest organizations will not have visibility into their users’ messages and files exchanged with the FedRAMP users. Consequently, the host organization will be able to use retention policies, eDiscovery, and data loss prevention tools on the messages and files exchanged with guest users.
The Guests Invited feature facilitates conversations by connecting team members through a single tool that has messaging, meeting, video, and file-sharing capabilities, leading to more seamless interactions. Plus, organizations benefit by leveraging file-sharing and messaging permissions to help control the leak of data.
When using the Guests Invited feature, medical and medical benefit organizations, for example, can interact with health care and insurance providers for the management of care, benefits, or reimbursements. Many vendors in this space need to collaborate closely with government agencies by sharing appropriate files and messaging securely. Without this capability, such work could only be conducted by email, phone calls, fax, and snail mail. As a result, Webex is a powerful accelerator for reducing the turnaround time taken to handle a citizen’s case.
Similarly, manufacturers and suppliers to government agencies can streamline their processes and workflow. By leveraging their guest status in Webex for Government, they can securely message and file-share with their federal clients and partners. By sharing and messaging relevant work orders or build-of-materials information in one secure ecosystem, the process is streamlined.
Our goal at Webex is to help our users reduce redundancy and complexity while improving their efficiency and enhancing their ability to build valuable relationships with their partners. The debut of the Guests Invited feature is the next step in expanding and extending collaboration capabilities in Webex for Government toward that goal of enabling hybrid teams. As a leader in this area, Webex provides this seamless capability to allow cross-organizational messaging and file sharing without compromising security for sensitive data.
In the coming months, we will continue to release features and tools that enhance the collaboration experience in Webex for Government — further enhancing capabilities and management of the collaboration ecosystem.
To learn more, you can visit Webex.com.