Cisco unveils revamped Webex experience to take on Zoom

Cisco on Wednesday announced addition of new features such as noise cancellation and speech enhancement to its video conferencing solution Webex.

The development comes at a time when collaborations tools have gained unprecedented popularity this year due to the pandemic, allowing meeting platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet add a large number of new users in a very short span of time.

Cisco also added other features such as transcriptions and closed captioning and enhanced video layouts and Webex Huddle — spontaneous meetings with a single click – to its video conferencing solution.

The revamped Webex experience is aimed at improving the work-from-home experience and help organisations collaborate seamlessly with customers.

The new features were unveiled at WebexOne, Cisco’s digital collaboration conference being held from December 9-10.

“We are driven to deliver a Webex experience that is 10x better than in-person—and at the same time make in-person interactions 10x better too,” said Jeetu Patel, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Security and Applications, Cisco.

“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.”

The announcement of the latest innovations comes as companies across the globe are preparing for a “hybrid” future of work — where employees move between office-based and remote working with greater frequency — in a post-pandemic world.

The new Webex provides a single secure place for connecting and getting things done — call, meet and message on one app, Cisco said.

A number of Artificial Intelligence-powered features in messaging and new calling features are designed to help customers focus on what matters most and new analytics features are designed to deliver highly personalised insights and actionable recommendations to individuals, teams, and organisations.

Cisco also announced real-time translations in nine different languages, in-meeting gestures powered by body movement recognition, and immersive sharing capabilities.

These features will be available in the coming months, said Cisco which also unveiled a range of new Webex devices such as Webex Desk Camera packed with intelligent features like facial recognition and occupancy metrics. It allows users to mute and unmute their microphone with a simple gesture.

Two other such devices introduced on Wednesday are Webex Desk Hub and Webex Desk.

All the three new Webex devices are designed to empower the remote worker and enable a safe return to office, Cisco said.