Cisco has announced around 50 major updates to Webex that are set to make the video conferencing app a more direct competitor with Zoom, Slack, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. The revamp was released at Cisco’s WebexOne conference in December 2020.
At the conference, Cisco said the new additions will "deliver a Webex experience that is 10x better than in-person—and at the same time make in-person interactions 10x better too."
The new version of Webex is already available and offers a slew of new features to deliver on its lofty promise. For example, Webex will use AI and machine learning to identify and automatically suppress background noises, while concurrently amplifying the speech of meeting participants. The platform will also offer automatic meeting transcription and real-time closed captioning, verbal commands, enhanced video layouts, and Webex Huddle—a single-click method for starting a spontaneous meeting with other Webex users.
Upcoming features announced in the conference include in-meeting gestures such as “thumbs up,” immersive sharing, real-time translation, capabilities to host 100,000 participants, as well as meeting templates.
The news comes as Fusion Connect announces it has added Cisco Webex to its business communication platform, FusionWorks, to support secure virtual meetings from any device, anywhere. FusionWorks is a cloud-based business communication service that combines the cost-savings benefits of hosted voice with the productivity of unified communications.
The partnership will see Cisco combine its Webex software with FusionWorks voice services to create a premier UcaaS platform. Businesses will be able to hold secure virtual meetings with up to 1,000 attendees. They can also screen and file share, whiteboard, record and transcribe, instant message, and make calls from one phone number. FusionWorks with Webex also integrates with third-party applications like Outlook, Salesforce, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, Box, and others.
"The changing business landscape requires greater enablement of remote workers for collaborating across locations and making video usage a priority, as in-person meetings are currently not an option," says Jeff Blackey, Senior Vice President of Product at Fusion Connect. "Combining our award-winning FusionWorks voice service with the latest Cisco Webex software creates a premier UCaaS platform for our customers."