On November 5, 2020, Cisco briefed on its upcoming virtual legislative session tool Webex Legislate. Webex Legislate enables legislators around the world to vote and conduct hearings virtually, with applications for national/international, state/regional, and local governing bodies. With Webex Legislate, Cisco aims to build on the large international demand governing bodies have for its products: globally, there are 544,856 legislatures with a Cisco presence. While Webex Legislate is orderable on the Cisco Global Price List, there is limited availability through November but general availability in December.
At launch, Webex Legislate will support desktop, laptop, tablet, Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS platforms. However, all platforms will require a WebRTC browser: currently, Chrome, Safari, and FireFox cannot support voting functionality. Hardware that can support Webex Legislate includes DeskPro and the RoomKit Mini, which can be used as IO for WebRTC.
Licensing for Webex Legislate will consist of one license per voting member per month for a legislature, appearing as an add-on to Webex Meetings and Webex Teams. Webex Legislate is FedRAMP certified.
Key features of Webex Legislate include:
There is currently no PSTN access for dial-in or dial-out, and no timeline on the roadmap for its inclusion.
Throughout the pandemic, Info-Tech’s governmental agency members have sought ready solutions to virtually replicate the townhall or legislature experience. Typically, solutions have included MS Teams, Cisco Webex, and Zoom – tools that may meet general requirements but do not go all the way to meet specific needs required for governmental hearings and sessions. Indeed, near the beginning of the pandemic, Info-Tech reported on the strengths and weaknesses of these tools for virtual townhalls, especially MS Teams.
Cisco has responded to this demand with Webex Legislate, which is surely now the must-have tool for governmental agencies to conduct virtual and hybrid sessions – especially if they are already leveraging Cisco products. While lack of PSTN access could hold the tool back, there is much to say about the voting functionality, live interpretation, and sidebar meeting rooms that make this tool attractive.
Info-Tech’s Rapid Application Selection Framework offers a streamlined process for choosing new software. If your organization needs to make a quick decision (1-2 months) for determining Webex Legislate’s suitability, our framework provides the tools and insight required to do so.
On October 29, 2020, Verizon briefed on BlueJeans’ product vision and direction. This note outlines the new and upcoming features that users can expect from BlueJeans for the rest of 2020 and into 2021. However, with the table stakes margin for features rapidly increasing in the web conferencing marketspace, BlueJeans’ new features are less a way to stand out from the crowd and more as a necessity to keep up.
On September 1, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Cisco about current and upcoming features of its Unified Webex app for September. Significant changes include the introduction of Cisco Webex Classrooms and the Webex Control Hub, with notable updates also coming to Webex for Education, Webex Meetings, and Webex Teams.
On September 4, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Zoho about current and upcoming features of Zoho Workplace, a global enterprise collaboration platform. Organizations, especially SMBs, that want to look outside of Microsoft’s and Google’s office productivity suite duopoly should consider shortlisting Zoho Workplace as a viable option.
Enterprise Connect’s virtual conference and expo for 2020 featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for the enterprise. In this fourteenth note of fourteen, I report on Recon Research’s latest study on how COVID-19 has cemented web conferencing as the future of the workplace.
Zoho Workplace – a global enterprise collaboration platform – has reported that it is now supporting 15 million users and is experiencing a surge in usage for its business applications. However, compared to Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite, Zoho still has a long way to go in this marketspace.
Google has announced several updates to its G-Suite offering, which aims to heavily integrate and better secure its teamwork applications. The move represents a clear attempt by Google to directly compete with Microsoft’s office productivity suite, with several of the G-Suite updates mirroring the logical architecture of Office 365.
As of July 1, 2020, over 70,000 small business users receiving their Microsoft 365 services from Navisite will now receive them from Intermedia. The move means that Navisite’s users now have access to a range of Intermedia offerings, including Unite, Contact Center, and AnyMeeting.
Zoom recently announced Zoom for Home: an all-in-one hardware and software for home users designed to enable the work-from-home user with a single home appliance for web conferencing, phone calling, and interactive whiteboard collaboration.
Thinking about choosing a new software vendor but don't know where to start? Narrow down your shortlist by focusing on software that has received an Info-Tech Research Group award. New data from SoftwareReviews shows that organizations reported higher satisfaction when they switched to software that had received an Info-Tech award.