Authored by Magnus Eldevik, NTT Communications and Martin Old, Arkadin

You think you know Cisco Webex, but do you?

Cisco Webex has for a long time been the industry standard for high quality meeting experiences, but a lot has changed over the last 2 years. The Webex suite has evolved to a point where you might have missed a lot of the great capabilities that now make this a more compelling suite than ever before.

Cisco Webex is more than just sharing your screen

The evolution of the Cisco Webex suite delivers more than the sum of its parts; integrations and simplicity are at the heart of the ecosystem and user experience leads the way in simplifying multi-app working and collaboration. You no longer need to be a digital pioneer to make Webex a central part of how you organize your daily work routine as you switch between applications.

Webex is your phone system

The latest edition to the Webex family ‘Webex Calling’ sees the integration of cloud PBX into the Webex suite. This release now enables all key touch points within your business network to be reached from a single integrated service - whether from a simple telephone call or large scale meeting. This is a major problem-solver for enterprises with a full suite integration of Cisco Webex. Every mobile device is fully integrated with the Webex suite of communication, collaboration and productivity apps.

End to end ownership of the experience

Ownership of the single experience is not something you may think of as being important, but the ease of switching from a simple desktop/mobile experience to a room environment should feel second nature. Cisco made a strategic decision to control both the software and hardware development of Cloud PBX and Webex Teams because control over the end-user experience never leaves Cisco’s domain. Quite often voice integrations in platforms are simply avoided altogether for risk of not knowing ‘how to’ or fear of breakdown during use.

Where Cisco has excelled is through innovative hardware that offers a lot of great features, where joining is as intuitive as on the desktop. Cisco room endpoints with built in AI now knows who you are (through proximity detection) and can provide assistance to start the meeting. Sharing content happens without wires and the AI doesn’t stop there. Just like with Siri, calls are now placed with your voice and participants can be framed with annotations.

Working with Teams is easier

Included with Webex Meetings and Calling is Webex Teams, which is your persistent chat, file sharing, meeting space that makes team/project work more effective. Chat continues before, during and after meetings, and email is slowly taking a back seat while contextual chat and file sharing rules.

With Microsoft O365 integrations, working on shared files is frictionless as well as the calendar integrations when scheduling meetings. No longer is there a need for ‘plug-in’s when scheduling a meeting, just add ‘@meet’ in your location field and a team will be set up with all the participants to start collaborating in advance of your meeting.

Webex Meetings is more than sharing your screen

Webex meetings has also had a major makeover. Not only is there a refreshed look but the whole user experience is simpler to use and harmonised with Webex Teams for a common feel. Still with all of the advanced options for power users, a simplified interface now benefits less frequent users.

The updated approach supports video first meetings with full screen video from the beginning with up to 25 people active on screen at any one time. Support for video playback is now possible with audio, by simply sharing an application or screen, just think of the last time you have seen a video with audio played back in one of your meetings!

Knowing who you have in the meeting can be problematic at times and understanding the roles people have in the meeting can be limiting. ‘People insights’ provides a contact card that can display publicly available information such as job tiles.

You are able to see the role the person has, the company they work for and an array of information that contributes to a better understanding of attendees, which helps when meetings are infrequent or happen for the first time.

The Big Green Button

An often overlooked feature that has had growing prominence when using Webex tools is the big green button. Cisco have made it easy to join meetings to a point where the green button is your single access point to join a meeting. In the past clicking on URLs or finding out how to join a meeting has occasionally been a real barrier. Now you get on screen prompts when your meeting is about to start.

In the meeting room, you can simply control the system with your device using simple on-screen prompts and device proximity to start meetings or share your screen. Technology is no longer the barrier. At the end, high quality experiences count.

Please get in contact if you would like to hear more and we will be happy to assist you.