New features and industry firsts help customers keep employees productive in the home office and safer in the workplace
- The future of work will blend working in an office and working remotely.
- Cisco has created a blueprint to help customers navigate this future. (More detail here.)
- As part of this blueprint, we’ve introduced new features and industry firsts that empower remote workers and create the conditions for a safer return to office.
SAN JOSE, Calif., August 4, 2020 —Work is no longer a place you go; it’s what you do. The future of work blends being in an office and being remote (whether home or elsewhere). To help customers confidently move forward, Cisco—the leader in collaboration, trusted by 95% of Fortune 500 companies—has outlined the technologies and considerations to create a blueprint that enables the remote worker while also paving the way for a safer return to office. Highlights of these pieces are as follows:
Empower the remote worker
The hybrid/blended workplace needs to allow for equal and inclusive team collaboration experiences; you need to be able to be productive no matter what device you use or what your Internet connectivity is like.
Today, we’re highlighting six features—including an industry first—that can help you through your workday no matter where you choose to work from:
- Video for everyone: Too many remote workers suffer from a poor bandwidth experience at home. We’ve further refined our application, so employees still maintain a great experience even with 50% packet loss. And with intelligent super-scaling of 360p and lower video, we’re able to deliver 720p-like quality. And with “region of interest” video encoding, Webex can provide a higher quality image for the more important areas of the video—like a person’s face. Now, remote workers with less-than-ideal networks still get an optimal experience.
- Virtual, Customized, or Blurred Background: Webex is the first in the industry to deliver virtual and blurred backgrounds across all devices and platforms – Windows, Mac, and Android. Blur your background, choose a virtual one or create your own to remove unwanted distractions—the conversation will be focused on you and what you have to say, not on what’s behind you.
- Webex Assistant for Meetings: Simplify your work life by having Webex Assistant take notes and record action items; even the transcript becomes searchable if you are looking for a key topic discussed across multiple meetings. With Webex Assistant you can be even more efficient at home than you might have been in the office. See it here.
- Screen Share Preview: Have you ever been in a meeting where the presenter forgets to push the “share my screen” button—and may not realize it until Slide 5? Or inadvertently shares a highly confidential document? The screen share preview feature delivers visual verification of what you’re sharing right from the start. See it here.
- Hand raising: Asking a question or making a point can be a challenge when you’re working remotely. While Webex has always had a “Raise Hand” feature, we have now enhanced it to let you do that no matter what device you’re using—even if you joined a meeting using your phone (PSTN). Even better, now when you raise your hand, you’re bumped to the top of the participant list to be more visible than before.
- More business calling capabilities in Webex Teams: Many have quickly transformed a corner of their kitchen into a home office, with a laptop and cell phone. With Webex Calling and new calling features available in Webex Teams – including visual voicemail, local contacts search, and call pull – connecting to co-workers has gotten easier. The capabilities bring the enterprise calling features you love from the office to your desktop and mobile.
Additionally, spending hours crouched over a laptop at home on video conferences is not an equal experience. That’s why we purpose built devices like Webex DeskPro— to deliver an engaging, anti-fatiguing, “I can do this all day” experience.
Paving the way for a safer return to office
Some people are already returning to the office; some won’t go back for months. We all need to feel safe and be protected when that day comes. To that end, Cisco is providing touchless and intelligent workspaces as part of its blueprint for the hybrid workplace. See it in action here.
- Webex Teams has long operated as a remote control for Webex devices. With it you can call, mute, change audio, share screen, end a meeting or call – from your phone or laptop, without having to touch anything that’s not yours.
- Plus, you can leverage voice-activated controls, so people don’t have to touch anything to start a meeting or share their screens in those meeting.
- Easily promote safe office practices and social distancing guidelines across any common area office screen.
- Room capacity notifications appear in real time when too many people are in the room based upon high-end sensors in the room devices.
- Schedule cleaning notifications, so employees can rest assured knowing when the room was last cleaned.
- For open floorplans, a personal Cisco headset can instantly log you in and out of shared workstations and hot-desk environments without needing to touch anything.
Of course, security is always at the heart of everything we do at Cisco. Webex has always supported end-to-end encryption and we continue to enhance security options available to IT to deliver the highest level of protection. And now we have updated the encryption cipher for Webex Meetings to AES-256-GCM.
“Everything we’re doing is designed to make it easier to get work done,” said Javed Khan, SVP and GM, Cisco’s Collaboration Group. “We are building features and functionality that you can trust – that enable you to thrive at ‘work’, wherever that is.”
- Blog: “A Blueprint for Hybrid Workplaces”, by Javed Khan, SVP and GM, Cisco Collaboration.
- Learn more about preparing for the hybrid workplace with Webex here.
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