24th January 2019 Meetings By

What is Webex?

With Webex, most people think about Cisco Webex Meetings (formerly know as Webex Meeting Center), a service that lets you conduct cloud-based, highly-secured online meetings with integrated audio, video, and content sharing. Webex Meetings is the flagship service, but the whole Webex suite offers much more, and this is why it continues to lead in a crowded market.

What is Webex?

Webex is a range of Cisco products and services built around video collaboration. It comprises:

  • Webex Meetings with sister products Webex Training, Webex Events and Webex Support
  • Webex Teams, a continuously evolving teamwork app that brings together video meetings, 1:1 group messaging, file sharing, white boarding and traditional telephony
  • Webex Room devices, a range of specialised in-room devices for high-end videoconferencing.

Webex Meetings is well known in the marketplace, but let’s have a brief look at each of the other Webex services:

Webex Training

Webex Training is a service specifically designed to accommodate the needs of trainers and teachers in the modern world. The days of having to teach in a physical class room have ended. 

Webex Training has the same functionalities as Webex Meetings but offers extra options for before, during, and after training to enhance the learning experience. For example:

  • Before the session: Enhanced registration management and e-commerce for paid learning.
  • During the session: Test students understanding, instant grading, instructor scoring, breakout sessions, hands-on labs, Q&A panel.
  • After the session: Advanced reporting.

Webex Events

Events like conferences, companywide meetings, or town halls are a great way to spread messages to large audiences. The downside of such events is they can be very expensive: renting the venue, catering, travel and accommodation, not to mention lost productivity, the costs can easily spiral. Webex Events has been designed to significantly lower the cost of such gatherings, while still providing an engaging experience. An added advantage of hosting these meetings online is that you can reach far more people than a typical in-person event. Webex Events allows up to 3,000 participating attendees and additional streaming for up to 40,000 others.

In addition to the standard Webex Meeting features, Webex Events offers:

  • Pre event: Program and campaign management, enhanced registration management, e-commerce for paid events
  • During the event: Q&A panel, tools for managing panelists, run test session before live event, audio broadcasting.
  • After the event: post-event surveys, lead source tracking and enrolment scoring, advanced reporting.

Webex Support

Technical support costs organisations a great deal of time and money. A poor support experience causes employees to become frustrated and disengaged from their work, and customers to vote with their feet and seek out competitors.

Webex Support has the same basic functionalities as Webex Meetings, but the interface has been simplified for both the customer and the supporting technician. Each technician can have up to eight concurrent sessions with five participants in each. It facilitates seamless transfer of support cases to other technicians in second line support.

Webex Support offers two flavours:

  • Remote Support: an easy to use application for support technicians to invite customers to live sessions where they can share screens and take control and solve issues when needed. 
  • Remote Access: an application that can be installed on each remote PC or server, allowing designated technicians to perform maintenance independently. 

Webex Teams

Meetings seldom happen in isolation. In reality, we continually chat, email, share documents, brainstorm, and debate ideas. This relies on different means and technologies: messaging apps, phone calls, various document repositories, meeting rooms whiteboards, and flip charts. This leads to a fragmented working experience with information becoming more and more difficult to find.

In Cisco Webex Teams all of these experiences exist in one place, improving the collaborative flow and making it easy to find past content and conversations. One of the most powerful features is the ability to instantly start a meeting with any group of people, internal or external – it really is just one click. Then you can keep the conversation going with messaging until your next meeting.

Webex Teams is based around the idea of spaces, which anyone can easily create. Spaces are groups of people gathered for a specific purpose. In your space you can message, share documents, schedule future calendar meetings, spin up ad hoc audio or video calls, and even work together on whiteboards. It becomes the virtual workspace for the whole team.

Read more about What is Webex Teams in our blog

Webex Room devices

Teams are increasingly global and so are our customers, which means we have come to rely more and more on phone calls and email. But visual contact is still the best way to build trusting relationships. This is why your laptop comes with a webcam. But often in video meetings poor quality and room perspective remind us we are separated by a screen. Until holographic projection is a reality for business, videoconferencing rooms offer the closest thing to real in-person meetings.

Cisco offers a wide range of video conferencing devices and a cloud-connected management service, with pricing options that are affordable for small and medium companies, as well as large enterprises. Sei Mani has tested all of the Webex Room devices and chosen to invest in DX80 devices at home. They’ve become indispensable because the quality of experience puts us in the same room every day, when in reality we’re hundreds of miles apart.

Here are the Cisco Webex Room devices in a nutshell:

  • Webex Rooms series enables exquisite videoconferencing for rooms of all sizes. You can either purchase with ultramodern Cisco screens, or hook up to your existing meeting room screens. The service can be deployed on premise or in the cloud.
  • Webex Board is an all-in-one device for team collaboration, where you can wirelessly present, whiteboard, videoconference, and even annotate shared content. You can also wirelessly connect to Webex Boards via Webex Teams when having meetings with remote participants.
  • Webex Share is a pocket size device that allows you to connect via HDMI to any screen so that you can share content wirelessly from your laptop. It automatically pairs with Webex Meetings and Webex Teams.
  • Webex DX80 is a 23 inch touchscreen with high end audio and video quality that allows you to meet and collaborate with remote people almost as if you were in the same room, directly from your desktop.

Webex in a Digital Workplace

This all gives a whole new perspective on Webex, doesnโ€™t it? It’s so much more than just meetings. The range of solutions address many of today’s digital workplace needs for companies of all sizes.

To learn more about the world of Webex, see the range of playbooks we have written in partnership with Cisco

Are you excited by Webex? Get in touch to explore the possibilities…

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