New Cisco Collaboration Products And Features Unveiled At WebexOne 2023

From new, easier-to-implement room systems, to contact center agent wellness features, here’s a look at the AI-powered updates that the tech giant launched this week during WebexOne 2023.

Hybrid work is here to stay, which is why Cisco Systems keeps upping the ante within its collaboration business. The tech giant has spent the last several years strengthening its popular Webex platform and all its offerings, such as Meetings, Calling, and Contact Center. Cisco’s cloud-based collaboration services are among the most popular in the crowded market and the company wants to continue its reign with the help of its channel partners.

Cisco this week during its annual WebexOne event came armed with a solidified AI strategy that the company is making good on with a smattering of generative AI-based features and functionality that’s being baked into the Webex platform. The company highlighted several new device options, promoted its Apple partnership, and even discussed how teamwork and interoperability with third-party collaboration providers, such as Microsoft Teams, is the way forward. With so much at stake as customers come up on their renewal cycles following the pandemic’s panic buying, Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration, called this year’s WebexOne the “most consequential.”

CRN was on the ground at Cisco’s 2023 WebexOne event in Anaheim and rounded up the latest collaboration products and AI features that the tech giant unleashed this week. Here’s how Cisco is bolstering the Webex platform.

Webex on Apple TV 4K & Apple Watch

Cisco and Apple are no strangers to working together. At WebexOne, Cisco revealed that the partnership is going deeper by making the Webex app available for download on the Apple TV App Store. Once installed on Apple TV 4K, users can scan a QR code to easily log in to view and join upcoming meetings from their big screens. With Continuity Camera support in tvOS 17, Webex users can wirelessly connect their iPhone or iPad to Apple TV 4K to use the device’s camera and microphone to participate in meetings, according to Cisco.

Also part of the Apple partnership, Cisco announced that the Webex app for Apple Watch offers the ability to view a list of upcoming meetings and join them with a single touch in audio-only mode. Users can listen and participate in a Webex meeting using just their Apple Watch and AirPods.

New Webex AI Assistant features

Cisco’s Webex AI Assistant, already embedded in Cisco Collaboration devices, now includes a new set of features for both hybrid workers and contact center agents.

* Suggested Responses to messages, a capability for contact center agents responding to customers across digital channels that pulls in context history from the conversation and customer data.

* Meeting Summaries lets users catch up on missed portions of meetings or entire meetings in real-time with summary of what was missed that will be organized into chapters and highlights. Message Summaries, on the other hand, will recap unread messages that can be customized, so a user can ask Webex AI Assistant to summarize messages from their boss, for example.

* Slido Topic Summaries generate common topics shared in interactive Q&A and polling during virtual and hybrid events so that participants can easily see what's trending.

The new capabilities are in various stages of availability, with shipping planned to begin before the end of 2023, Cisco said.

Cisco Bang & Olufsen Wireless Earbuds

The new Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950 earbuds, the first earbuds created in partnership between the two companies which have already come together on headphones, make for a clear audio experience for any setting, according to Cisco.

The earbuds were designed with a hybrid workforce in mind and can interoperate and are optimized for Webex Meetings and Calling with high-fidelity audio, and the comfort and fit in which the Bang & Olufsen brand is known, the companies said. The Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950 earbuds also offer built-in security and can be easily managed by end users, Cisco said.

Cisco Room Kit EQX

Cisco launched a new collaboration hardware offering, the Room Kit EQX, which the tech giant called an “expansion of its cinematic meetings” capabilities.

The Room Kit EQX is built on built on the Nvidia Jetson edge AI platform and lets customers and channel partners deploy video-based meeting rooms simply and consistently across sites, no complex integrations required. It includes advanced audiovisual capabilities and interoperability across third-party platforms. In fact, it’s Microsoft Teams Rooms certified. The offering also includes unified management and security for IT administrators.

The Room Kit EQX is available now through Cisco partners.

AI Capabilities in Webex Contact Center

The contact center, one of Cisco Collaboration’s most successful businesses right now that’s seeing triple-digit growth, has been upgraded with a new set of features for agents and IT administrators.

* AI-powered agent burnout detection lets businesses proactively address agent wellbeing by pushing automated breaks to agents.

* Automated sentiment scoring and intelligent routing takes in customer context and sentiment to match customers to the best agent.

* Suggested responses use generative AI to automatically suggest responses to when responding to customer questions on digital channels.

* Conversation summaries give agents a clear summarization of issues and resolutions in their interactions with customers.