Cisco Brings AI to Webex Meetings with ‘Cognitive Collaboration’

Business Thinkers, brainstorming

… context, such as which Michael interacts with the person making the request most frequently.

“It’s offering what we call a first match,” he said.

If the Webex Assistant doesn’t come up with the right person, it will make another attempt based on the information it has.

Cisco Teams“The machine learning at work is figuring out who most likely you intended to get to,” Griffin said.

Webex Meetings also supports new facial recognition and device-detection capabilities, to give participants a better sense of who is in the room and speaking.

Ben Johnson, founder and CEO of Liberty Technology, a managed services provider and Cisco partner, is among those who has worked with Cisco on some early field trials, and he’s bullish on the capabilities of Webex Assistant.

“With Webex Assistant, we will no longer need to have assistants start meetings for needy executives or assign a scribe to every meeting — we will have important tasks automatically assigned to the responsible individuals,” Johnson said. “It’s a grand vision, but a lot of it is already here. The technology works — and it’s really freaking cool.”

Cisco also is upgrading the video capabilities of Webex Meetings with support for high resolution of up to 30 frames per second. Also, Webex Meetings will support sharing of the Webex Boards whiteboarding offering. And Cisco has added a new Webex Meetings VDI application that allows participants to connect as a SIP call, thereby integrating audio and video.

Chang underscored the opportunity for partners she sees in bringing AI into collaboration, communications and meeting and add more capacity to serve increased use.

“It allows partners to build an entire practice around being very proactive with their large customers,” she said.

In addition, Cisco outlined new capabilities for its Webex Teams tool that provides instant messaging, call and meeting control, a whiteboard and the ability to share files. It will include support for non-Cisco, on-premises calling platforms, notably Skype for Business. Adding to the Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint online integration, Microsoft Teams, it will also soon support Google Drive, Box, Dropbox and G Suite. Cisco also is adding the Webex Teams interface to Jabber, which until now only supported basic chat.

Finally, Cisco announced Webex Calling, which the company describes as an enterprise-grade, cloud-native PBX platform that brings together its BroadCloud and Webex platforms. Combined, this brings 29 million cloud PBX users together. It’s bundled with Webex Teams, with support for optional Cisco multiplatform (MPP) phones and video gear as well as Webex Meetings.

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