Cisco has announced several updates for its Unified Webex application in 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.
Currently in closed beta mode, Cisco Webex Classrooms aims to enhance Cisco’s appeal to educational institutions that are engaging in hybrid or distance learning. Key features of Webex Classroom include:
Webex Classroom complements the series of updates that Cisco is rolling out for Webex for Education. These updates include:
Cisco continue to improve its enterprise collaboration tools, too, especially with its recent acquisition of BabbleLabs. This acquisition intends to bring noise removal and voice enhancement natively to Webex. Using AI and local processing, Webex will be able to distinguish human voice from background noise no matter where you are and also enhance your voice no matter what language is being spoken. This functionality will be available in fall 2020.
This news follows a string of updates for Webex Meetings and Webex Teams for September:
Webex Room Kits are also now Cloud Video Interop (CVI)–enabled for Microsoft Teams, improving software/hardware integrations for meeting rooms.
Finally, the new Webex Control Hub simplifies call management and security for the Unified Webex app. These features include:
Source: Team Messaging and Collaboration Data Quadrant at SoftwareReviews. Accessed: September 6, 2020.
Cisco is pulling out all the stops to ensure it leads the way for not only remote work but also remote education. Indeed, it is difficult to think of any other communication and collaboration suite that matches the extent of the capabilities available within Cisco’s Education licensing. Office 365 might come close with its A licensing, but Microsoft Teams surely falls short of the range of capabilities Webex Teams and Webex Meetings can offer, especially the advanced breakout room feature. SoftwareReviews thus lists Webex Teams and Webex Meetings as leaders in the Team Messaging and Collaboration marketspace and the Web Conferencing marketspace, respectively.
Source: Web Conferencing Data Quadrant at SoftwareReviews. Accessed September 6, 2020.
Moreover, with the acquisition of BabbleLabs, Cisco puts the pressure not just on Microsoft but also on other best-of-breed web conferencing software for background noise reduction and voice enhancement. End users will welcome not needing to listen to their colleagues slurp on their coffee during online meetings anymore!
However, Cisco continues to confuse with the range of tools available in the Webex Unified app, especially when many of these tools overlap in capability (e.g. Meetings, Calling, and Teams). With Webex Teams beginning to solidify its place as Webex’s go-to collaboration tool, it will be interesting to see whether Cisco decides to merge Webex Meetings and Webex Calling into the Webex Teams umbrella – especially since Webex Teams now has full calling functionality.
This note highlights the top three trends to watch for in the 2021 UCaaS market.
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 November 5, 2020, Cisco briefed on its upcoming virtual legislative session tool Webex Legislate. With a range of features that governing bodies around the globe have desired throughout the extent of the pandemic, Webex Legislate surely becomes the must-have tool for conducting virtual and hybrid sessions – especially if an agency is already leveraging Cisco products.
On October 6, 2020, Cisco introduced a slew of updates for Webex software and hardware, coming October and early November. This briefing predominantly featured the release of Webex Room Navigator with of IoT technology, which seeks to reduce COVID-19 spread and optimize office footprint.
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.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall reports on Nemertes’ latest research. Nemertes studied the impact of team collaboration software on the enterprise and the need for a rationalized collaboration toolset.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall briefly explores Lenovo’s findings on the major challenges that employees face related to remote work, as well as best practices to counteract those challenges.
Enterprise Connect 2020 Digital Conference & Expo featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for enterprise. Thomas Randall reports on Cisco’s new solutions for remote work and a safe return to the office.