April 1, 2021
Just days after a global pandemic was declared one year ago this month, offices around the world shut down and millions of employees began working remotely on a full-time basis. Doing so was greatly facilitated by collaboration software, including Cisco’s Webex platform. And now Webex is better than ever, with enhanced features being released monthly that improve user efficiency and productivity.
Here’s a quick rundown:
Webex now includes an Assistant that can summarize meetings, send action items, and share assets with the team to get them more engaged. Webex has also added moderated unmute mode to control who can be heard – as well as Q&A support for meetings so questions can easily be seen in the chat window and answered accordingly. These features aim to make the follow-up after a meeting as frictionless as possible. This is especially valuable when you can’t pop by someone’s desk to remind them to send a file or ask a question about something that might have been missed during the meeting.
Gone are the days of “I can’t open the attachment” or “did you email that file?” Webex Teams users can simply share content through OneDrive or SharePoint file access options for all members of a Webex space. There’s no need to enable individual access in OneDrive or SharePoint. Additionally, Webex has made it easier and faster to drag and drop files into chat windows and has added team space moderation capabilities. New device pairing options untether users from their PCs and allow for a more “on-the-go” experience.
Webex provides a complete cloud-based business phone system with rich features. The latest updates include the ability to manage call distractions as well as manage call history (like deleting calls to reduce clutter). Webex is also enabling hybrid calling migration journeys from on-premise PBX to cloud calling services. Additional features include centralized dial plans, geo-redundant routing policies for enterprise trunks, call media optimization, a WebEx app with Unified Communications Manager, the ability to record phone calls, and an indicator of calling presence (on-hook, off-hood, do not disturb). There’s also a simplified redirect URI for single sign-on. Phew! Now those are some features!
Webex continues to add capabilities that enable app and device experiences in support of hybrid work environments. Edge allows users to join meetings natively with a variety of video devices; “Immersive Share” places the presenter in front of shared content for a more engaging experience; 5×5 grid view culls all meeting participants on one screen; an Admit All button greatly speeds up the meeting admit process; audio enhancement makes clear meetings possible even in noisy environments; menus for each connected device have also been modernized and optimized.
CONTROL HUB, SECURITY AND EDGE SERVICES
A boon to admins everywhere, Webex Control Hub puts everything you need for management, monitoring, troubleshooting, analytics, edge and hybrid services all on one screen. For instance, Webex Control Hub can identify quality issues and help IT make decisions to improve the customer experience. Admin can set respective languages for announcements for global multination teams. They can also enable Cisco Emergency Responder allowing users to automatically share their location in case of an emergency.
FREE REAL-TIME TRANSLATION
Generally available in May, this money-saving service can convert spoken English to captions in 100 languages, including Arabic, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. According to Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s SVP and GM Security and Applications, it will create” a level playing field for users regardless of factors like language or geography. Enabling global Real Time Translations is another step toward powering an Inclusive Future, and an important component of driving better communication and collaboration across teams.”
CISCO WEBEX CONTACT CENTER
Though not new to the Contact Center space, Cisco Webex Contact Center seeks to revolutionize the Contact Center as-a-Service (CCaaS) category. Webex Contact Center is built for agility and maximizing customer experiences while minimizing upfront capital costs.
Here are some of the highlights of this new platform:
- Digital-first customer experiences through support for text/SMS, social media, chat, email, and voice calling options ensure a true omni-channel experience.
- End-to-end customer experience management via rapid feedback capture. Integrated Webex Experience Management post-call surveys can be sent to customers via text, email, or IVR to provide immediate feedback and responsiveness to customer sentiment.
- Intuitive agent experiences and AI-powered agent assistance via integrated agent desktop. This fresh, widget-based view provides all the vital information an agent needs to deliver a seamless customer experience.
- Fully customizable platform that enables user-focused tools and integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and Zendesk.
- Integration with existing collaboration tools to allow agents to utilize cross-department relationships and solve issues.
Thanks to highly effective vaccines and gradually improving distribution, we seem to be in the waning months of COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean remote work will cease. On the contrary, countless companies have said they’ll stick with it in some form going forward. And Cisco is there to lead the way. At a time when it’s more needed than ever, CEO Chuck Robbins said during a recent earnings call, the company is “bringing incredible innovation to the collaboration market at an unprecedented pace.”
Click here and here for more details on the features we’ve mentioned. This blog is just scratching the surface on the powerful capabilities that Cisco continues to release in an effort to help organizations and their people be more productive, effective and happy.
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