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7 Free Collaboration Software And Videoconferencing Tools For Working Remotely

Vendors are coming to the rescue with free videoconferencing and collaboration tools for healthcare and government organizations on the front line, as well as students and employees working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cisco Webex

Cisco Systems at the beginning of March expanded the capabilities on its popular videoconferencing platform, Webex, in all countries where it is available. The new Webex features include unlimited usage or no time restrictions and support for up to 100 participants. Cisco is also providing free 90-day licenses to businesses who are not Webex customers in this time of need through its sales team and Cisco partners.

Cisco Webex has gained popularity as a result of the coronavirus outbreak as many businesses make arrangements for their employees to work remotely. Traffic on the Webex backbone that connects China-based Webex users to their employers increased more than 22 times since the outbreak began. Cisco Webex saw 4 to 5 times as many users in Japan, South Korea and Singapore, with the average time spent on Webex video meetings doubling in those countries. Impacted countries are seeing free Webex sign-ups increase seven-fold compared to pre-outbreak sign-up rates, according to Sri Srinivasan, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Team Collaboration Group.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins this week said that during the first 11 business days of March, Cisco logged 5.5 billion meeting minutes on Webex. “In the last 11 days our volumes have literally doubled," Robbins said.

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