The collaboration giant made a number of updates to its popular Webex offering, here they are
Ahead of Cisco Live!, and after Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said the company would postpone the event due to racial tensions in the U.S, I sat down with Cisco ‘Distinguished’ Engineer, Keith Griffin. He told me, 2020’s Live! would be different than those from the previous three decades of the company’s annual developer conference. Due to the novel Coronavirus, Cisco Live! was to be held online, a trend that could stick around well after the virus. We spoke about the video conferencing industry, and Griffin maintains businesses have never faced upkeeping continuity during such uncertain periods. And that reflects in the Cisco Webex platform now supporting three times the volume of traffic it normally experiences, I’m told.
“That amounted to 25 billion meeting minutes in April”
Now that Cisco Live’s officially kicked off, we can spill the beans. Here’s what Cisco announced at its annual developer conference, the company’s first digital iteration. Direct to the devices of developers, collaboration, UC, and video conferencing industry experts, Robbins said the company made updates to its security and compliance capabilities, along with adding intelligent and actionable insights functionalities via a partnership with cloud-based content management platform ‘Box.’
“This will sit alongside the built-in file sharing capability Webex already has and give customers greater choice and flexibility, I’m told by a spokesperson. During the COVID pandemic, many companies in the video conferencing, programmable API/CPaaS arena saw an uptick in usage in areas such as healthcare, and Cisco is a beneficiary, too. Robbins said the company now integrates with Epic’s medical software which houses 250,000,000 patient records.
The partnership is poised to give patients more choices regarding how they interact with healthcare providers. He added, Cisco’s extending its data loss prevention, legal hold and eDiscovery to Webex Meetings. “This provides additional protection for sensitive meeting content like recordings, transcripts, and meeting actions,” Robbins continued. Making note of the status quo, Robbins highlighted, that this is what he called “particularly” important at a time when more sensitive business activity takes place remotely.
This extension of the above features could give Cisco customers an unprecedented level of security for meetings. Making a move similar to that of Zoom, Cisco expanded its end-to-end encryption options to include AES 256 Bit encryption with GCM to extend more protection for meeting data and against meeting intrusion.
Robbins also announced that Cisco had “boosted” the Cisco Webex Control Hub. Via the platform, IT teams can manage collaboration workloads, leverage analytics, and management tools for remote workers as well as a returning office-based workforce.
The cloud-connected UC feature aims to simplify IT workflows for hybrid deployments and expanded Webex Calling analytics. Jim Lundy, Founder, CEO & Lead Analyst, Aragon Research, told me remote work’s been a defining factor for businesses that want to reap the benefits of economic continuity, continuing: “Ultimately we’ll understand that work is something that we do, not somewhere we go.”
Lundy said strategists within companies have the opportunity to rethink the way things are done in what he calls the “next phase.” And the implications of this phase are significant, from real estate holdings to recruitment strategies and best-of-breed collaboration technologies. “Don’t forget secure video at scale, which is key as companies reimagine the way work gets done,” Lundy concluded.
Dave Michels, Lead Analyst, TalkingPointz hosts Javed Khan, VP & General Manager, Cisco Webex, Omar Tawakol, VP & General Manager, Cisco Contact Center and Aruna Ravichandran, VP/CMO, Cisco Collaboration, in this video: