Most CEOs are eager to bring people back into the office, even if their employees aren’t enthusiastic in doing so, years after the epidemic pushed knowledge workers to sign into their jobs from home.
According to Jeetu Patel of Cisco, this ends up becoming “Currently, there is a great deal of trying out new things. Do you put in four days at home and two at the office? Is your staff entirely remote? How do you plan to interact with folks who aren’t physically present at work?”
In spite of the progress made in the previous two years, “we are still in the first inning as far as all the things that we need to accomplish for this next wave of how people need to function,” Patel, EVP and GM of Cisco Security and Collaboration, stated.
A year ago, Cisco made a concerted effort to win over remote workforces by releasing a significantly updated version of its Webex video conferencing technology. According to Patel, the firm is committed to continuing to invest heavily in Webex so that it can better assist businesses in adopting hybrid and remote work arrangements.
He explained that his company was helping businesses by “offering tools and technology to make it easier” and “giving advise on how their culture could adapt.”
The WebexOne conference will include a number of major announcements from the firm, but the advances driving Webex can be boiled down to just a few key categories. First, we must rethink the office environment itself. You can’t simply focus on the individuals in the room, Patel said; you need to optimise for everyone.
Therefore, Cisco and Microsoft have formed a partnership to provide the Microsoft Teams Rooms experience to Cisco’s collaboration devices. That is to say, you won’t need to reboot your Cisco conferencing room system in order to utilise it with Webex, Teams, or any of the other major video-conferencing services.
Compared to the competition, “that’s a significant leg up,” Patel added. According to him, over 85% of Cisco Webex users switch between two and four different platforms daily. You can’t rely on a single system for furnishing offices.
In addition, Cisco is now providing a Hybrid Workspace Design Guide based on its implementation in its New York City headquarters to assist clients in planning their own hybrid workplaces. Cisco’s Smart Building Solutions, as well as its networking, security, and collaboration tools, are all a part of this package.
Cisco is not just thinking about how to accommodate different work patterns, but also how to reimagine the office space. For instance, the Webex Suite now includes a Whiteboard software that, when used in conjunction with a Cisco device or a web browser, enables remote users to participate in whiteboard sessions.
It’s when people are hybrid that the individual in the conference room starts doodling, according to Patel. Now, thanks to digital whiteboards, that’s not an issue; participants from outside the room may immediately begin contributing to the sketching process.
Vidcast is another service that Cisco is releasing to the public. As part of Cisco’s Webex Leap accelerator programme, the asynchronous video solution was created last year with the goal of creating sophisticated yet easy-to-use software for globally dispersed teams.
Even when employees can’t meet in person, simple, asynchronous video solutions may help firms create rapport and a solid corporate culture, according to Patel.
Effectiveness in the future, he said, would be measured by the depth of relationships established with people who had never met in person. We’re creating a suite of resources to help individuals hone their relationship-building skills.
Finally, Webex is developing advanced security features. Webex now has enhanced security measures, including audio watermarking. This function assigns each member of a private meeting an inaudible audio tag. In the event that a recording of the meeting were leaked, the corporation would be able to identify the person responsible for the leak no matter how the recording was distributed.
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