Collaboration Is Less Like Eating, More Like Breathing—With Webex Teams


September 30, 2019 - 2 Comments

Collaboration used to be something like sharing a meal. We met in a designated space, like a conference room or someone’s office. Everyone came together at the same time. And if the meeting was in the middle of the night in our time zone, we had to make do the next morning with leftovers (notes or a recording).

Webex Teams makes collaboration at Cisco more like breathing. We do it everywhere—office, home, on the go—and all the time. We don’t have to wait until everyone is available to collaborate because the Webex Teams space keeps a record of everything that happened when we were away: messages sent, documents shared, alerts from other applications.

And that convenience doesn’t come at a cost to security because Webex Teams takes a 360-degree approach to security. It’s collaboration without compromise.

 

Webex Teams is how I stay in sync with a team spread out across the planet. 

At Cisco, 52% of managers have employees in other cities and 50% of the workforce collaborates with colleagues in other locations. Take me, for instance. My team spans three continents, five countries, nine cities, and five time zones. When my team members in the U.S. and Bangalore wake up in the morning, they can see what we did here in the U.K. while they were asleep. Usually I start my day by checking my people filter to see if someone reached out to me overnight. Then I look at the messages where someone mentioned me with @kieran. Often they have an update or question about a project. If I have the time I’ll do a quick search for words, phrases, or people important to my current work.

When I traveled to the U.S. for Cisco’s Smart Spaces Hackathon earlier this year, I used Webex Teams to keep my team in the loop. On the way to the event I started a Teams meeting on my mobile. When I arrived at the office I just tapped to switch over to a Webex Room endpoint. Later on, during the event, I wirelessly shared my entire screen (using Webex Share) in the Teams space so everyone could see the  ideas we were evaluating at the hackathon. Teams is the next best things to being there.

 

More and more, we get alerts or retrieve information from our other applications through Webex Teams. 

That makes it easier to get work done because we don’t have to keep “context-switching” as we constantly toggle between applications. Here are some ways we’ve integrated Webex Teams with our other tools:

  • Content collaboration (integration with Office 365): Without leaving Webex Teams we can open, edit, and share documents stored in OneDrive or SharePoint. No more time wasted downloading documents to our devices and then uploading them again. We don’t even need to worry about document security because Webex Teams uses the permissions set up in OneDrive. It works the other way, too: we have a Webex Teams sidebar in each Office application.

  • We can also manage calendars right from Webex Teams, making it easier to schedule meetings. Here’s an article on the Webex Teams and Office 365 integration.
  • Incident management (integration with ServiceNow). So there’s a problem with the network. Our incident management desk uses a Webex Teams bot to page the right people and instantly create a Webex Teams space and a Webex Meeting for them. Different teams in different time zones can see the troubleshooting that’s already been done. There’s continuity and faster mean-time-to-repair (MTTR). And all activity and history is automatically saved in the incident record in Webex Teams and ServiceNow for root cause analysis and long term fix.
  • Security patching (integration with Cisco DNA Center). Or say our InfoSec team issues an alert that certain devices have a security vulnerability. When our network engineer enters an upgrade request in DNA Center, DNA Center automatically creates a Webex Teams space for IT, security, and network operations. When the patch is implemented, DNA Center closes out the change request and posts an update in the Teams space. Here again, a task that traditionally hours or days now takes minutes, with minimal fuss.
  • Self-service provisioning at its best. Last summer I got a message in Webex Teams that my laptop was due for a refresh. A bot walked me through the steps to re-order, asking me if I wanted the same specs. The bot even asked if I need accessories. So considerate! I answered, “Yes, please add a docking station.” The bot sent regular updates to the Teams space, and responded to questions like, “What is the order status?” or “Please give me a shipping label to return the old device.” It’s the best experience I’ve ever had with a device upgrade. This is active self help—on my terms, when I want it.
  • Transcription (integration with Voicea). It’s tough to be “present” in meetings when you’re taking notes and keeping track of everyone’s action items. Now Voicea automatically creates a transcript and then shares it in Teams after the meeting. And to record action items during a meeting we just say something like, “Eva, action item: Mwiza will check with Kieran about the release date.” Voicea sends out action items along with the transcript.

There’s more. We can submit and approve requisitions from Webex Teams through an integration with SAP Concur.  Our DevOps teams and Customer Care organizations create Jira kanban cards without  leaving Webex Teams. We’re working on having Vyopta push statistics about video endpoint performance and collaboration patterns in physical rooms to Teams so we can increase utilization of physical space. We enter messages to appear on digital signage in our offices from Webex Teams, via an integration with AppSpace. This helps with in-the-moment training and marketing and helps us get value from our endpoints even when we’re not using them for video meetings.

 

It’s collaboration without compromise

Even better: ultra-convenient collaboration is encrypted end-to-end and secure, giving us the freedom to use any device. Making Webex Teams our collaboration hub helps us all breathe easier.


Share your Webex Teams collaboration stories here. What are your ideas for integrating with other applications?



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2 Comments

  1. The collaboration and communication with Webex Teams has really improved our IT Department. We are looking for the Webex Meetings VDI client so we can share the benefits of Webex Teams with everyone. Is this still in development?

  2. Excellent Blog showing the importance of borderless collaboration which does focus on the User Experience – thanks for sharing Kieran!