Technology can keep businesses up and running: CISCO Live 2021

By VARINDIA - 2021-04-02

Technology can keep businesses up and running: CISCO Live 2021

Technology is empowering the people to work. Chuck Robbins, Cisco CEO took to Cisco Live 2021 to talk about the company’s vision for the digital future and pinpointed new areas of opportunity for Cisco partners. Cisco’s top leaders also unveiled updates to its Webex collaboration platform, new security offerings, and integrations with recently-acquired technology into existing solutions. There were more than 100,000 attendees on the major trend that shaped IT for businesses and channel partners over the past year: hybrid work.

 

Today, Cisco Webex announced advancements to the People Insights feature. Available through the all new Webex, and accessible through a personalized and private view, People Insights aligns with the goals you personally set for your meetings, work-life integration, connections, and focus time. Designed with a people-first mindset, the insights are available from three points of view: Personal, Team and Organizational. All are underpinned with privacy and security to ensure this information is only available to you.

 

The pandemic is having a profound impact on the way we work. From the disruptions we’re navigating (including meeting fatigue) to the opportunities in reimaging how we work. With 58 percent of office employees anticipating they’ll work eight or more days from home each month, and 98% of meetings expected to include remote participants, a new hybrid way of working is emerging. It’s more critical than ever before for people to have the tools to help them thrive, wherever they are physically working. One of the biggest areas of opportunity is to help people better manage their time and working relationships.

 

With a window into the trends and insights of how we work, individuals and leaders can now recalibrate how they use time, who they work with and uncover blind spots. For example, gaining visibility into how many meetings you accept but don’t attend, your tendency to multi-task during meetings, who you most frequently collaborate with, the percentage of meetings taking place outside of your team’s preferred working hours, or silos in your organization that need support.



“At Webex, we believe it all starts with you – from the people you interact with to the networks you build and nurture," said Jeetu Patel, SVP and GM Security and Collaboration at Cisco. “We’re focused on helping people achieve more positive, productive and inclusive work experiences whether they are seated across the table or across the screen from their teammates. Having meaningful insights that let you seamlessly collaborate and build quality connections, while also helping you focus your time in the best way possible will change how we think about productivity and prioritize well-being in a hybrid workplace.”

 

“Our most precious resource is our time. The decisions we make around how we spend our time and connect with others affects our performance, our mental health, and our well-being,” said Fran Katsoudas, EVP and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer at Cisco. “People Insights help us to deliberately design our day – based on our priorities, personal preferences, and goals – to be at our best at work, at home, and with our teams. At Cisco, we believe that when we get teams right, we win. Teams are where the magic happens – they’re the engine of our enterprise where individual expertise meet powerful collaboration to be the spark for our innovation. These insights enable a more inclusive work experience and empowers our people to develop and leverage their collective collaboration network, while helping leaders act at the intersection of performance, empathy, and service to others to build connected and effective teams.”

 

People Insights drives positive employee experiences and can help people prioritize their well-being at work in the following ways:

 

Personal Insights: These insights, available only to you, surface daily trends and interactions (such as key collaborators and activities), so that you set and monitor your personal preferences. This lets you tailor your collaboration with coworkers and focus your time on what matters most. For example, how often are you accepting meetings you never attend, multi-tasking during meetings or not sharing your video? People Insights will help you decide when to decline or reschedule meetings to ensure you meet your personal work preferences and goals. It also helps you fully engage (visualizing your multitasking and video sharing habits during active meetings) so that you can be more mindful about giving others your full attention and presence.

 

Team Insights: These insights give each team member a view of patterns between connections, collaboration habits, and work-life integration for the entire team – while maintaining privacy. The benefit is a stronger and more inclusive work experience for all team members and enables a team to jointly adjust practices and grow relationships as a collective for the benefit of everyone. For example, you can become a good steward of your team’s wellbeing by looking at what percentage of meetings are taking place outside of your team’s preferred working hours – or you can facilitate strong working relationships by making sure you and your team are connecting with the right people and teams.

 

Organizational Insights: Organizational Insights give you a bird's-eye view of your organization’s collaboration trends and patterns to help you spot silos and identify teams that may benefit from additional support or an increased focus on inclusivity. For example, if you move to a new business model or organizational design that requires new ways of collaboration, you can monitor how the model is working and take action where you see gaps.

 

“Employee wellbeing must be prioritized as the line between work and home continues to blur, the number of work hours is on the rise, and there is a growing feeling of “invisibility” for employees who are less apt to engage virtually; with a hybrid work model, businesses need to wrap their arms around this very large and varied issue,” said Jim Lundy, CEO and Lead Analyst at Aragon Research.

 

Cisco is helping businesses transform their workforce and workplace to create an inclusive future of work, by helping to build adaptable, engaging, and trusted work experiences for employees, customers, communities, and their ecosystem. The breadth and unmatched experience Cisco offers, spanning networking, security, cloud, and collaboration, delivers a complete solution that empowers a workforce to work from anywhere, at any time while ensuring a workplace is always a trusted environment where employees feel safe.

 

As part of Cisco – with 600 million monthly participants and connecting 6 billion calls every month – Webex is one of the few platforms with the global scale to drive this transformation. Webex has a rich history of helping employees innovate and remain productive wherever they are. In the last 6 months, Webex has delivered 400 new features. Since the pandemic, Webex has not only continued to help businesses thrive, it has also been an integral platform for governments to continue to lead remotely, doctors to meet with patients safely, and educators to teach students at a distance.

 

Enabling the Hybrid Workplace


As a remote meeting participant, have you ever struggled to read the room to gauge how people are responding? With the hybrid workplace blending remote and in-office interactions, it’s important to create an inclusive experience for all participants. To address this, Cisco Webex has previewed a future capability called "People Focus" which uses machine learning and AI technology to individually re-frame meeting participants who are spread across a meeting room. The feature will make remote participants feel more connected by providing a close-up “cropped” view of each person in the room, and will be available later this year.

 


In related news, Cisco also announced new cloud pricing for Webex desk and room devices, making intelligent collaboration experiences even more affordable for every space with up to 50% lower costs. Cisco Webex also recently announced availability of features, devices and tech integrations to deliver seamless collaboration and smart hybrid work experiences. More information is available in this blog.

 

Availability

 

People Insights is intended to be available globally and will be rolled out in a phased approach over the coming year, with initial availability to select customers in the US beginning this summer.


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