Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
Webex Assistant, Who Is in My Meeting?
The web conferencing feature arms race continues with Cisco’s announcements at Enterprise Connect 2019. Users will be delighted now, but long-term value will take a lot of effort.
The features that Cisco Collaboration unveiled at Enterprise Connect 2019 for Webex Meetings include:
- People Insights (trial available, general availability release in June)
- Webex Assistant features Proactive Join (general availability release in June) and First Match (generally available now)
- Facial recognition (US release target of June 2019)
People Insights provides just-in-time information on meeting participants from:
- Internal information sources
- Active Directory and Azure Active Directory
- HR Information Systems
- External information sources
- News sites
Cisco Webex Meetings is a SoftwareReviews 2019 Gold Medalist in the Web Conferencing category, and it ranks first in the category for Product Strategy and Rate of Improvement. These features are another example of this excellence. The People Insight and facial recognition features sound particularly powerful, especially for people who are constantly meeting new people.
These features will be less powerful for those who mainly work with the same people. They’ll want information on projects and ongoing operations. This information usually exists in black holes with very little architecture or metadata (e.g. SharePoint, Dropbox). Structuring this information well enough for artificial intelligence to comb through will take a lot of effort.
These features should help IT departments to delight their users in the short term. Given Cisco’s reputation of innovating, I’m excited to see where these features go from here.
Want to Know More?
On September 1, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Cisco about current and upcoming features of its Unified Webex app for September. Significant changes include the introduction of Cisco Webex Classrooms and the Webex Control Hub, with notable updates also coming to Webex for Education, Webex Meetings, and Webex Teams.
On September 4, 2020, Info-Tech briefed with Zoho about current and upcoming features of Zoho Workplace, a global enterprise collaboration platform. Organizations, especially SMBs, that want to look outside of Microsoft’s and Google’s office productivity suite duopoly should consider shortlisting Zoho Workplace as a viable option.
Enterprise Connect’s virtual conference and expo for 2020 featured a wide variety of sessions on communications and collaboration for the enterprise. In this fourteenth note of fourteen, I report on Recon Research’s latest study on how COVID-19 has cemented web conferencing as the future of the workplace.
Zoho Workplace – a global enterprise collaboration platform – has reported that it is now supporting 15 million users and is experiencing a surge in usage for its business applications. However, compared to Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite, Zoho still has a long way to go in this marketspace.
Google has announced several updates to its G-Suite offering, which aims to heavily integrate and better secure its teamwork applications. The move represents a clear attempt by Google to directly compete with Microsoft’s office productivity suite, with several of the G-Suite updates mirroring the logical architecture of Office 365.
As of July 1, 2020, over 70,000 small business users receiving their Microsoft 365 services from Navisite will now receive them from Intermedia. The move means that Navisite’s users now have access to a range of Intermedia offerings, including Unite, Contact Center, and AnyMeeting.
Zoom recently announced Zoom for Home: an all-in-one hardware and software for home users designed to enable the work-from-home user with a single home appliance for web conferencing, phone calling, and interactive whiteboard collaboration.
Thinking about choosing a new software vendor but don't know where to start? Narrow down your shortlist by focusing on software that has received an Info-Tech Research Group award. New data from SoftwareReviews shows that organizations reported higher satisfaction when they switched to software that had received an Info-Tech award.
University researchers used artificial intelligence in an experiment to determine the extent of privacy risks that come with the use of this web conferencing tool. Publicly available data scraped from social networks was cross-referenced as part of this research.