Cisco Live!, Cisco’s annual tech event, was held for the first time in three decades. Will Townsend and Matt Kimball, principal analysts at Cisco, were there in person. My coverage of Cisco’s keynote can be found. I discuss how Cisco unifies its cloud experience. As Cisco strives to offer the best hybrid collaboration experience, I want now to focus my attention on Cisco’s Webex announcements.
Before I get into the Cisco announcement, I want you to know some of the unique challenges that hybrid work presents. In a previous blog, I reiterated what I said about composite video conferencing solutions.
A hybrid environment presents a challenge because it is difficult to produce consistent quality conferencing experiences across multiple rooms and settings. Because each room has unique acoustics and size, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for collaboration. Each conferencing space, whether it’s in your home or business office, needs customized audio and video solutions.
Quality and consistent video calls must be provided in the conference room and remotely. For hybrid work to be effective and profitable, there must be a reliable and consistent communication and collaboration medium. Cisco is working to address these issues with new hardware, software, and services that integrate intelligence and consistency in its Webex solutions.
The Cisco Phone & the new Webex Video Bar
The Cisco Video Phone 875 is a classic phone that has been modernized and optimized for mixed-use. Although the phone may seem old-fashioned, the concept of the classic phone is still relevant in the modern world of video calls. Cisco took the traditional phone you held in your face and made it a mini-conference room with a camera and screen to show all the participants. It is a business-as-usual persona that recognizes the hybrid world we live and works in. Cisco’s one-button push and intelligent features are retrofitted to the Video phone. Users can sync their calendars, for example. It is more tailored to the more experienced generation than the Webex Desk hub, which is more focused on the smartphone. It also integrates with the Webex Desk hub’s calendar. It is also powered by Webex audio intelligence, which removes background noise and enhances the user’s voice.
Cisco has launched a Webex Room Bar that will reduce video fatigue and encourage participation. Video calling solutions aim to make collaboration more inclusive and impartial, regardless of where they are located. Video calls can be more challenging when colleagues are present, such as conference rooms. The conference workspace was traditionally one video call. This makes it difficult for participants to interact and see each other. Cisco offers several modes in Webex, which allow conference rooms to be divided by person, speaker, or manually, with Speaker View and Frames View.
The Webex Room Bar boasts a 12MP wide-angle lens camera that can shoot in 4K. While 4K isn’t the best resolution for video calls, it can be used in Frames view to give each person a sharp, digitally zoomed image. It also has a USB Bar that makes it easy to plug and play with mini-PCs or laptops. It also features an additional microphone input and a noise-canceling array of microphones. The Webex Room Bar addresses the problem of dull, unengaging meetings.
Enhances Mobile Experiences
Webex also enhanced its Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN), by expanding its AI-powered audio Intelligence technology to non-Webex users, such as customers and partners. It is easy to overlook the PSTN, and Cisco has included enhanced AI technology in PSTN calls. This allows Cisco to be consistent across its Webex offerings. Webex also improves PSTN survivability by ensuring that on-site PSTN Webex calls do not drop due to a service or network outage. This gives Webex an edge in highly volatile work environments where reliability is a core value.
Webex makes it easier to move from a Webex meeting to mobile devices. Webex also integrates with CarPlay. Webex’s new feature addresses the traditional side of hybrid work. It can be not easy to transition from the office to remote work. However, switching from Webex meetings on mobile to an office can help you save time and put your productivity to good use. From a safety perspective, Webex Meetings to CarPlay is not ready. This should be considered a first step, not a solution to the entire car problem.
Webex integrates Salesforce and Eloqua into webinars, allowing marketers to incorporate webinars in marketing automation and CRM platforms. Oracle Eloqua is Oracle’s marketing automation software. Webinars are a key component of marketing. Marketing teams can spend more time on important matters and less time manually entering webinar data into campaigns by automating this process.
Webex integration with Salesforce allows sales and marketing teams to communicate about customer activity. Webex integration allows sales and marketing teams to communicate with customers faster and more efficiently. Webex integration enables webinar data to be more easily accessible to sales and marketing teams. It also allows revenue tracking to specific webinar programs. Webex integration with Eloqua or Salesforce should be easy for sales and marketing teams.
Like many other videos calling solutions, Webex is trying to address hybrid work environments. It does this with intelligent and reliable features. Cisco Video Phone is an updated version of a familiar face, which I feel improves hotdesking. With its new Frame view mode and Speaker view mode, the Video bar will offer a unique experience.
Cisco also made PSTN more reliable and quality by improving its mobile experience. Cisco has also made it easier for hybrid workers to switch between Webex meetings and mobile devices. Cisco also takes video calls in the right direction using integrated CarPlay features.