The corporate workforce has been scattered into all types of work environments, from the comfort of a formal home office to cubicles in a glass building. These new options were inevitably created by the 2019 COVID pandemic. As a result, organizations have struggled to accommodate the digital communications needs of the now-established hybrid workforce to ensure seamless operations and business continuity. Organizations that want a comprehensive approach to digital communications will need to employ software that can meet the needs of workers who choose to work remotely or in-person, to promote inclusivity in the workplace culture.
Cisco, known for its networking technology and software and has also specialized in digital communications software since undergoing a transformative expansion since 2007 with the acquisition of Webex. Webex by Cisco is a Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) software that includes communication and collaboration tools for personal, business and enterprise use. Webex’s cloud phone system can record and transcribe conversations, remove background noise, transfer calls to other workers and switch to video conferencing. Messages can be sent to users in several different use-cases, called Spaces. Besides private spaces for one person or a team, an announcement space can be created for announcements by moderators and bots only, and a public space is where users can join and create spaces with designated topics. Webex Meetings integrates with Slido to engage participants with multiple-choice polls, quizzes and feedback. Keywords from the participants’ answers can be displayed in a word cloud to demonstrate the most popular answers, as well as allow participants to rank options to indicate the highest-voted option. A digital assistant powered by artificial intelligence (AI) is available to translate meetings into multiple languages in real time, create highlights from a meeting and take notes using voice commands. Workers can collaborate during or after a meeting using the Webex Whiteboard, which has limitless space and can be securely accessed from anywhere. Webex also has the ability to host webinars and events. Registration and ticket purchases can be handled directly from Webex’s event-registration software, and attendees can access an event mobile application that can be customized with an organization’s branding. In light of the new changes to the workspace landscape, Webex creates products and features that will facilitate interest in workers to return to onsite office locations, but also provide tools to those who prefer to collaborate remotely. The flexibility of the software can promote inclusivity for workers operating in any region.
Organizations must recognize that the workforce has not only adapted to the flexibility of working from any location but also now requires that this flexibility be improved and permanently placed. Therefore, proper tools need to be provided to ensure stable productivity. Ventana Research asserts that by 2026, only one-third of organizations will have standardized the digital communications technologies to provide the highest level of resilience for an effective workforce.
Cisco’s digital communication offerings is significant, with various features. Digital communications technology should be able to integrate with other software that is being used across departments to avoid disparity in communication. Organizations looking to operate Webex can utilize several of their third-party integrations, such as Salesforce and ServiceNow. The software must also meet essential security standards, such as end-to-end encryption, to protect sensitive data from cyberattacks; Webex provides robust and reliable security features, such as user authentication. A Contact-Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) software is also available with Cisco, which includes virtual agents that can handle simple inquires and analytical tools to track customer interaction data. Their CCaaS was ranked as Innovative in the last Ventana Research Contact Center in the Cloud Value Index, as well as in the Agent Management Value Index. Cisco Webex has established itself in the growing market of digital communications software by offering a solid platform and tools that can advance the engagement of the workforce.
Cisco’s global presence and investment into its digital communications software is significant and should be a critical factor for why it is worth evaluating. Once a dominating technology supplier in web-conference with Webex, Cisco has had to reintroduce its commitment to the market with a renovated and now effective market offering. Ventana Research believes that digital communications software is essential to worker engagement and resilience. Organizations should assess their existing technology to determine if they are using the best possible software or if further investment is needed and whether Cisco can meet their requirements. The prioritization of digital communications is essential for every organization and Cisco’s investment in its Webex offering has now enabled it to be a key technology provider in the market.