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Cisco WebEx Social Brings Social Collaboration to Mobile Devices, Email and Business Productivity Applications
June 20, 2012 | William Zimmerman
Cisco Extends WebEx Beyond Web Conferencing to Now Include Social and Telepresence, Giving Customers Ways to Use Social and Video to Increase Employee Innovation and Engagement
BOSTON - June 19, 2012 - Today at Enterprise 2.0, Cisco unveiled a variety of innovations that will make it possible for people to participate in social collaboration, regardless of where they are working, by bringing social capabilities to the devices and applications that workers use most often. The innovations pertain to what's now called Cisco WebEx(R) Social (formerly known as Cisco Quad(TM)) and build upon existing offerings that help employees share knowledge, find experts and information and form effective virtual work teams. With this release of WebEx Social, Cisco is introducing the following capabilities:
- Microsoft Office Integration: Cisco is announcing integration with WebEx Social and Microsoft Office that will empower workers using Word, PowerPoint or Excel to jointly edit and post updated documents, presentations and spreadsheets back to WebEx Social.
- Email: Email no longer has to be a siloed application. With enhanced e-mail integration, workers can stay in e-mail clients such as Microsoft Outlook while also creating and posting updates to WebEx Social.
- Mobility: Cisco is introducing enhancements to the WebEx Social iPhone and iPad client that will give workers the ability to transition from social networking to real-time IM, Web conferencing and voice calls directly from their mobile application.
- Video: With new browser-based video calling, people can seamlessly escalate to a high-definition (HD) video conferencing session, without going to a separate application. These sessions are compatible with a wide variety of video endpoints, including Cisco TelePresence(R), IP video phones, mobile and soft clients.
- Flexible deployment models: With this release, customers will have a choice of deployment models. WebEx Social is available as an on-premise (WebEx Social Server) offering, partner-hosted (through Logicalis, ACS and Alphawest) and a Cisco-hosted cloud-based solution.
With today's news, Cisco is extending WebEx cloud services to not only encompass what was formerly known as Quad, but also Cisco Callway, Cisco's hosted TelePresence solutions. Cisco is aligning its Quad and Callway brands with WebEx where they join a market leading portfolio of web conferencing and instant messaging solutions. By bringing a comprehensive solution to the cloud, Cisco provides users and IT with easy access to their social collaboration tools of choice from any device. The expanded WebEx family of cloud collaboration services will utilize the global data center footprint and operational excellence of the WebEx cloud to deliver highly available, real-time cloud services that meets the needs of the most demanding organizations. The WebEx cloud is the world's second-largest public cloud for business collaboration applications.
Additional Announcement Details
- Extending social to where people work - WebEx Social helps broaden participation by enabling employees working on mobile devices, email and personal productivity applications to easily engage in social collaboration with their colleagues. In addition, the new WebEx Social software developer kit (SDK) allows developers to extend core WebEx Social capabilities, such as Activity Streams, Watch List and Open Search, to critical business applications.
- Integrated real-time communications and video - WebEx Social also unifies social and real-time collaboration solutions - like video, voice, instant messaging (IM), presence and web conferencing -- into a single, integrated user experience. This not only gives users immediate access to the right tools at the right time, but can drive higher and faster adoption of new collaborative ways of working. WebEx Social offers new compelling real-time video experiences and deeper integration with WebEx conferencing.
- HD Video Calling: While accessing WebEx Social via a Web browser, people can initiate voice and HD video calls without going to a separate application.
- WebEx Integrated Calendar: WebEx Social includes an update for unified calendaring and an integrated WebEx experience. Users can view, join and start meetings directly from the WebEx Social personal calendar.
- Familiar, Personalized User Experience-
- New Web and Mobile Interfaces: Both the Cisco WebEx Social Web interface and the mobile client feature new, highly intuitive user experiences that make it simple for anyone to get started. On the Web interface, employees can easily personalize their experience by adding approved applications and choosing layouts. Organizations can also custom brand the WebEx Social Web and mobile interfaces to align with their corporate branding. This simple and intuitive user experience can also help promote greater end user adoption.
- Simple and Powerful Expert Q&A- In addition to helping employees locate experts and information, WebEx Social now helps problem-solving by finding answers to specific questions. New Expert Q&A crowdsources answers by intelligently routing questions to identified experts within an organization.
- Availability: WebEx Social Server is targeted for availability worldwide in July while the cloud-based solution is targeted for availability in North America in July.
Advanced hosted Telepresence offerings
- Cisco is also announcing new capabilities with Cisco WebEx Telepresence, one of the Cisco WebEx cloud services. Cisco WebEx Telepresence, formerly known as Cisco Callway, is managed by Cisco and sold through Cisco Authorized Partners. Customers can purchase or lease, select multipurpose and personal endpoints and connect those endpoints to a hosted service. This service reduces the complexity and costs with Telepresence benefits that are appealing to small businesses. New features include:
- The ability to host a video call with up to nine users on the WebEx Telepresence network. Supports high-quality audio and video (up to 1080p HD video resolution), so employees can meet in-person with their colleagues, suppliers/partners and customers.
- Company-designated administrators can now centrally manage user subscriptions and contact lists anytime on a new online customer portal.
- Support for Cisco TelePresence MX300 and Cisco TelePresence SX20.
- Streamlined subscription tiers and a new annual pre-pay option making ordering and bill pay easier for Cisco partners and customers.
Visit Cisco at booth 101 on Tuesday, June 19 and Wednesday, June 20 between 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. ET in the exhibit hall for demonstrations of exciting new developments in social, video and mobile collaboration technologies.
About Cisco Collaboration
From award-winning IP communications to mobility, customer care, Web conferencing, messaging, enterprise social software, and interoperable telepresence experiences, Cisco brings together network-based, integrated collaboration solutions based on open standards. These solutions offered across on-premise, cloud-based or virtualized platforms, as well as services from Cisco and our partners, are designed to help promote business growth, innovation and productivity. They are also designed to help accelerate team performance, protect investments, and simplify the process of finding the right people and information.
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.
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