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Cisco Webex Collaboration in More Spaces

Published: January 2019

As agile work practices become more prevalent, we have found that Cisco employees in scrum teams and other work groups increasingly hold impromptu meetings rather than scheduled ones. These meetings happen in small conference rooms, around café tables, and in other office gathering spots--what we call “huddle spaces.”

Although these spaces may have a screen or video display, they don't all have one of our Webex video endpoints for viewing and collaborating on shared content, because most of these spaces are used primarily for local meetings.

Cisco IT is solving this internal challenge by deploying the new Cisco Webex Share, a palm-sized adapter that makes it simple to wirelessly share content in local meetings. Webex Share remains plugged into any HDMI display in a meeting space. When someone enters the space with a Webex Teams or Webex Meetings app, they can wirelessly share their content in that local meeting. Everyone in the meeting enjoys the same Webex experience available on Cisco's video devices, including the ability to see content shared by remote participants.

In partnership with the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group, Cisco IT is supporting more than 1600 Webex Share devices used by our collaboration salespeople to demo products to customers.

As part of our role as customer zero, we are monitoring and assessing the experience of these salespeople, which lets us provide feedback on Webex Share functionality and deployment realities to the development team. This feedback is used to improve the product before it is available to our customers.

We are preparing for broad deployment in our own meeting rooms with an initial set of 100 Webex Share devices, which lets us update some of our older conference rooms with new collaboration technology. The Cisco IT custom development team uses Webex Teams APIs to automate enablement of these Webex Share devices on the Cisco Webex cloud.

We are also laying the groundwork to make this device available for easy ordering by Cisco employees in our internal procurement system.

Initial metrics show value of local sharing

Usage data from our initial Webex Share deployment shows that local sharing with audio from the wireless display is the primary use of the device, and accounts for 86 percent of total usage. Only 14 percent of Webex Share sessions use computer audio and less than 1 percent used a phone with PSTN callback. Additionally, the 97 percent success rate for connection on the first attempt indicates a smooth user experience with wireless sharing.

We are already finding that Webex Share is ideal for use in gathering spaces and meeting rooms that are designed for local meetings and don't justify investment in a full-featured video endpoint. As we roll out more Webex Share devices, we expect to see continued benefits reflected in the product's analytics, as well as a user experience consistent with the quality of other Webex devices.

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