Cisco announce the convergence of Cisco Spark and Webex platforms. The result is a new Webex Meetings application for your meetings and a new seamless team collaboration application called Webex Teams (formerly Cisco Spark). Cisco is putting their award-winning video devices onto this newly converged platform adding a new hardware device that turns any workspace with a TV into a Webex room. Cisco is making everything easier to buy and continuing to apply machine learning and artificial intelligence that will dramatically improve meetings, as we know them today.
Launch of an all-new version of Webex meetings
The first thing you will notice about the new Webex Meetings is that it is “video first,” meaning you will be strongly encouraged to turn on your camera. Gone are the days where you stare at the screen only to see the presentation. You will see all your teammates, in crisp, clean layouts whether you are using your laptop, your Cisco video room device or your mobile device. The update of the new version of Webex shall take place simply over the next coming months.
(TOP: Whether you use Webex meetings or Webex Teams, you’ll see all your teammates, in crisp, clean consistent layouts – whether you are using your laptop, your Cisco video room device or your mobile device).
New version of Cisco Spark with a new name
Cisco want to make it simple for Webex users to take the next step to team collaboration. The goal has always been to make Cisco Spark the simplest, most secure team collaboration tool on the planet. The new version of Cisco Spark is now: Webex Teams. When companies are ready to make their move to team collaboration, they can do so with Webex. All they need to do is add the Teams extension to start using team-based persistent collaboration.
This new version has completely integrated the technology across the applications for rich Webex meeting functionality in Teams meetings, and a common experience no matter which you choose. Webex Teams has more tools including white boarding, persistent messaging, simple guest access, content sharing and integrated tools—to support teams both during and after the meeting.
A device that turns any space with a TV into a Webex room.
Webex Share, a low-cost, super-simple way for teams to share content on the big screen in the space. Simply plug the palm-sized adapter into the back of the TV. Pair with the system, and start sharing your document or screen. When you are done, keep the work going in your Webex Teams space. With Webex Share, teams will be able to easily reserve rooms, know when a room is already booked, and much more. Webex Share will be available for Webex Meetings and Teams towards the end of 2018.
New roadmap for how Webex will work with tools from Google, Microsoft, and other companies.
Cisco want customers to be free to choose whichever tool is right for them. Do you want to use Webex for meetings but Microsoft for team collaboration? No problem, with the new Webex you can do just that. Cisco work with Google, Slack and others, too.
Buying great tools for your team easy.
The Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan allows companies to pay a subscription fee for each active user and with Webex Meetings, now up to 1,000 people can join and Cisco have added more storage, advanced security and analytics capabilities.
Artificial intelligence (AI) to work to end lousy meetings.
In November, Cisco announced plans to use AI to make meetings better. Today Cisco build upon that in two ways:
- Webex Assistant (formerly Cisco Spark Assistant) will be available on more devices and with more functionality. Cisco continue to inject AI into every meeting, every call, every conversation and every interaction that you have. Based on technology from Cisco acquired MindMeld, Webex Assistant will start showing up over the next couple of months in all our cloud-connected Webex Room Kit and Room Series devices.
- Noise suppression saves the call. The loud typist. The barking dog. The side conversation. These are just a few of the annoyances that disrupt many meetings. But not anymore: all Cisco cloud-connected and on-premise video devices can now suppress disruptive noises. This means the next time someone starts loudly shuffling papers on a call, the system will automatically turn the volume down enough so that the sound no longer interrupts the conversation. And when the paper shuffler chimes in with a comment, the system will “know” that and automatically stop suppressing the sound. To the user, it’s magic: no need to do a thing.
“Everything we do is designed with people in mind—to help them work, collaborate, and create together. That’s why we have invested so much in Webex,” said Rowan Trollope, SVP and GM, Applications Group, Cisco. “Our vision is to bring this amazing experience to a billion users and conference rooms all around the world.”