Friday, June 21, 2024

Cisco augments Webex with new videoconferencing features

In a bid to restore its share on the rapidly growing videoconferencing service market, networking equipment maker Cisco announced a slew of new functionalities and enhancements for the Webex conferencing platform – including speech amplification and background noise cancellation, closed captioning, spontaneous meetings, and even an analytics feature.

cisco webex videoconferencing new features

With a growing estimate of 600 million monthly users, the move to amplify Webex is forced by the emerging platforms like Zoom, companies that experienced fast-paced growth at the height of the pandemic. In a face-off article from PCMag last April, during the time when demand for videoconferencing services increased exponentially, Zoom won against Webex primarily due to its ease of setup and simplicity.

In order to address its recurring issue of having a steep learning curve, the new devices from Webex are designed to promote functionality without sacrificing simplicity. In fact, in the case of the Webex Desk Camera, users can now mute and unmute their microphones with a gesture – a function that the company claims is an industry first.

Alongside the camera, the Webex Desk Hub allows a more flexible hybrid workplace where users can authenticate using their own badge or smartphone. Unlike traditional hotdesking, Desk Hub enables seamless transition to video meetings and quick connection to personal headsets, laptops, and displays.

Meanwhile, in a similar tone of enhancing shared workspaces, the Webex Desk work and collaboration station allows for better presentations using the immersive presenter feature. This function is a combination of noise cancellation, virtual backgrounds, facial recognition, and a high-quality camera, microphone, and speaker array.

These new innovations revolve around utility for remote work. Since Cisco recognizes an impending boom for a hybrid workforce and workplaces in the post-pandemic world, these announcements are the company’s realization of the technology-driven future, and at the same time its challenge to possible entrants in its industry sphere.

“More and more, the line between work and play have become more blurred into a complex life experience. What we’ve created is a tool that simplifies that complexity and provides a platform where everyone can experience life as seamlessly and safely as possible,” said Karrie Ilagan, managing director for Cisco Philippines.

While the Webex App Hub features a wide number of integrations for its messaging space, it will also now be bringing the experience for meetings. These integrations include Box, Dropbox, Salesforce, ServiceNow, MIRO, Mural, Workplace for Facebook.

According to Jeetu Patel, Cisco SVP and general manager for security and applications, Cisco is aiming for a more inclusive environment and collaborative technology with its portfolio. Since the future of work is hybrid, Cisco will be zeroing in on Webex experience improvements that are better than in-person interactions.

“Webex enables a shift towards hybrid working and less reliance on geography-based hiring, opening the global economy and giving everyone a seat at the table, no matter where the table is. Our team is passionate about delivering this vision which fuels every device we build, every line of code we write, and every feature we create,” Patel said.

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