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Cisco Webex plays critical role in powering an Inclusive Future

Minhaj

With feature-loaded innovations like live transcriptions, noise cancellation, virtual backgrounds, AI assistant, and more, Cisco Webex offers an effective collaboration that drives enhanced customer experience

As cyber-attacks get more sophisticated and virtual meetings grow more regular, it is paramount for businesses, regardless of size and sector, to identify and leverage the right virtual collaboration platforms to assure data safety and security of the workforce and external stakeholders.

Minhaj Zia, Director for Collaboration Sales, Cisco India & SAARC

In the era where digital CX is on high priority for any business, how is Webex improving its virtual meeting experiences?

Today we live in a hybrid world, where video conferencing has become our way of life. Collaboration without compromise has become mission-critical, especially as these platforms continue to facilitate critical functions like governance, citizen services, banking, and more. According to Gartner, by 2024, in-person meetings will account for just 25% of enterprise meetings, a drop from 60% prior to the pandemic. Undoubtedly, hybrid working is here to stay, as employees and businesses are seeing tangible benefits across key indicators – from improved overall employee wellbeing to better productivity and work performance. Nonetheless, to fully leverage the opportunities of a hybrid world, it is important that organizations provide a best-in-class virtual experience to their employees and customers alike.

At Cisco, our purpose is to power an inclusive future, and Cisco Webex plays a critical role in achieving this by enabling everyone, regardless of geography, language, and personality type, to participate in virtual meetings. To make the most of the hybrid era, organizations need to make sure their solutions are flexible, inclusive, supportive, secure, and easily managed on the backend by IT, and Webex is all about simplicity. With our feature-loaded innovations like live transcriptions, noise cancellation, virtual backgrounds, AI assistant, and more, we are offering an effective collaboration that drives enhanced customer experiences. They are focused on enabling seamless and secure collaboration, smart hybrid work experiences, and intelligent customer experiences. We also have Webex for Customer Experience that enables companies to create lifelong relationships with customers, including the ability to listen, engage, augment, learn, and adapt. Therefore, we are continually re-investing in our platform to align with evolving customer needs to empower remote workers and make their Webex experience 10x better than in-person interactions. As we go deeper into the digitally connected world, we want to enable a shift away from the reliance on in-person interactions, opening the global economy and giving everyone a seat at the table—no matter where the table is.

Can you explain how Cisco’s acquisition with Slido is helping the Webex platform?

In the hybrid world of work, one of the key challenges to address is to ensure that everyone has a great collaboration experience, equal opportunities, and an outlet to voice their opinions, regardless of their physical location. And this is where the integration of Slido in Webex shines. For participants that might be hesitant to ask a question or share their voice, Slido’s ability to display questions anonymously enables a higher degree of participation and feedback.

One can host interactive meetings for 10 to 10,000 participants and run live polls and quizzes, making meetings more inclusive, productive, and meaningful. It also allows the presenter to collect feedback and drive engagement in real-time. And by using Slido to crowdsource questions in advance, presenters can be sure to share content that resonates – ultimately leading to a more constructive session.

What are the latest innovations introduced to the Cisco Webex platform? Are any specific innovations focused only on the India region? 

Besides enhancing collaboration capabilities, Webex has been updated with over 1000 new innovations in the last 12-18 months to give users an uninterrupted, immersive, and intelligent experience. Cisco Webex features span advancements for the hybrid workforce, workplace, events, and IT teams. Our innovations are flexible and adaptable for any workstyle or device, irrespective of the location.

Firstly, we have Webex’s People Insights feature that aligns with the goals people set personally for their meetings, work-life integration, connections, and focus time, helping people work smarter and combat burnout. Secondly, we firmly believe that eliminating language barriers is one significant step in making the platform inclusive. Through our real-time translation feature, Webex customers can preview translations from Hindi into 100+ languages. Our AI-powered gestures capture body language and let participants interact more naturally. Thirdly, we have also introduced AI-powered noise removal and speech enhancement technology. Fourthly, Webex simplifies communications via robust calling, meeting, and messaging features integrated into the frequently used apps. It integrates seamlessly with industry-leading apps and tools so you can get more done without toggling between applications. Lastly, the integration of ThousandEyes into Webex Control Hub provides better experiences for Webex Suite users by empowering IT admins to proactively monitor app performance issues.

As emerging technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality make their way into video conferencing technology, virtual meetings will slowly shift to the usage of AR headsets and immersive 3D photorealistic holograms. Last year, we also launched Webex Hologram in global markets, the industry’s only real-time meeting solution that leverages augmented reality headsets to combine feature-rich Webex meeting functionality with immersive 3D holograms.

How Cisco Webex offers top-notch data privacy & security to customers

As cyber-attacks get more sophisticated and virtual meetings grow more regular, it is paramount for businesses, regardless of size and sector, to identify and leverage the right virtual collaboration platforms to assure data safety and security of the workforce and external stakeholders. Today, organizations need flexible and inclusive solutions with security built into them and not just bolted on.

Our Webex portfolio is at the centre of our customers’ strategies for securely empowering teams and increasing productivity. Webex has a 360-degree approach to security, including strong encryption, highly secure search, device and browser protection, and retention and archiving defined by customers’ policy. Additionally, Cisco’s Security and Trust organization oversees security and privacy for Webex and publicly discloses security vulnerabilities. We have also upgraded Webex Meetings to use Zero Trust security, with identity verification and added support for Webex Devices – only authenticated users can view messages and files in Webex spaces.

Security and privacy are core to Cisco. Protecting customer data is an ongoing priority, and we continuously invest in compliance capabilities and adhering to the country’s regulation policies. Webex offers advanced data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities to ensure more visibility and control over sensitive data. Thus, Webex is the best choice for security-conscious organizations around the world.

What have been your organization’s achievements and your future plans? 

At Cisco, we are committed to using technology to empower a workforce and transform workspaces. During the pandemic, Cisco Webex has been instrumental in keeping people safe and connected while ensuring business continuity across sectors. With Webex, we have helped educational institutions, healthcare frontline workers, and government agencies in India connect seamlessly and securely during the pandemic.

We are continuing this momentum and helping the automobile manufacturer – Maruti Suzuki augment their offerings and reach a broader customer base across India. Maruti customers can come to their website and request a virtual tour of the showroom and the car they wish to explore from the comfort of their homes. It allows them to have a rich audio-video interaction with the ability to share the screen and co-create the car customizations through the 3D rendering of the cars. We are also enabling e-justice in India with the supreme court and many state high courts using the Webex platform to deliver justice today.

Our vision with Webex is to empower digital workers on the planet to participate equally in a global economy. If we do this right, we can level the playing field – creating opportunities regardless of geographic borders, socio-economic background, or language. We know that we are just at the start of a journey to redefine the meeting experience. This is a huge undertaking that will profoundly impact our lives, our communities, and our companies. As an organization, we believe the time to act on this vision of powering an equitable future is now, and we have the technology and, more importantly, the intent to make a real difference.

What volume of growth are you expecting from the Indian market in the post-Covid era?  

Globally, Webex had around 600M monthly participants since the onset of the crisis and was one of the few platforms with the global scale to empower the digital workforce. India consistently continues to record the second-highest usage outside of the US. Even with people moving back to the office, the numbers reveal that Webex meetings in March 2022 were over 25% higher than in March 2020. The rapid digitization occurring agnostically across the country is commendable and a testament to India’s appetite for digital innovation. Forrester recently projected the tech spending in India to grow 8.7% in 2022, one of the highest in the Asia Pacific region. Therefore, we expect to foresee a massive opportunity for Cisco Webex in this digital world.

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