Companies spend billions every year on hardware, software, and services to power connections between people. From email and calendaring to video conferencing and contact center solutions – and everything between – collaboration tools make up a massive industry. And the industry is always disrupting itself.
Team collaboration is one such disruptive solution, rising up from yesterday’s siloed collaboration applications into a new way to connect people, content, and processes. It’s an essential part of an always-on global business environment, fueling agile teams.
I became the general manager for Cisco Webex Teams earlier this year. As the market evolves from beachhead to mainstream adoption, my primary goal is to make Webex the go-to team collaboration solution for organizations of all shapes and sizes. I am fortunate to inherit an amazing team and an amazing platform.
I’ve spent a lot of time listening and learning. Here’s insight into what I value about Webex Teams – and more important, feedback that customers and partners have shared with me.
One seamless interface connects teams across organizations: We’ve built the solution in a way that surfaces all your spaces within a single interface. It’s simple to get anyone into your Webex Teams spaces. And unlike other tools, you don’t have to navigate separate organization accounts or switch between tabs.
People are increasingly seeing productivity come from teams that blend internal and external participants. Ensuring that all your team workflows exist in one place might sound trivial, but it has a big productivity impact. For me, this is essential: It’s important to me that I’m one message away from anyone, no configuration necessary.
Video quality matters: I am based in Seattle with team members in the Silicon Valley, Galway, Shanghai, and beyond. I thought it would be challenging to manage such a distributed workforce.
I came from Microsoft. I’m not sure how many of you have used Skype but, for me, the video quality left a lot to be desired. It doesn’t come close to Webex. With Skype meetings, video was more the exception than the rule. Frankly, the mix of Microsoft Teams and Skype users made it even more complex (never mind adding external participants).
After experiencing the quality of Webex video within Teams, I know why every meeting is a video meeting. In fact, when I met some of my staff in person for the first time, I almost forgot that we had only met over video before. It is a powerful way to work that’s highly effective.
With one core meetings platform, Webex Teams users benefit in many ways. For example, native interop with SIP endpoints (even proprietary Skype for Business users) means that no matter what app or device you’re using, it’s one click to join a Webex Teams meeting. And not just you, but up to 100 other video users (soon to be more…).
Having an amazing integrated hardware and software experience: I often start a meeting on my phone, then move to a Webex device with a simple swipe when I enter a room. This seamless, blended experience saves time and keeps things moving when I’m moving. I can save whiteboards, share content, and more without having to adjust settings and cables or open other apps. One fully integrated solution means I get a single experience no matter where I’m working, plus added benefits when I’m near a Webex-registered device.
Multitasking on a new level: Today, multitasking seems to be a means to survival. Webex Teams has been critical to my success. I can now talk to my team, work on documents with others, and join meetings from one app. It’s easy to see urgent items regardless of what I’m doing. Switching context from presenting in a meeting to replying to a customer question has never been easier.
Best yet, I can move between meetings more easily. With our meeting experience specifically built for teams, anyone can start a meeting, even if I’ve scheduled it. If I have to leave early, everyone can continue without any dependence on me. After the meeting, everyone stays connected with persistent messaging, file sharing, and more.
Building new experiences
As a leader I’m even more excited about what’s next. As team collaboration evolves from early adopters, DevOps teams, and test groups to broader knowledge-worker bases, there’s huge opportunity for Webex Teams to have a direct impact on the way people connect. To this end, I believe in a core maxim: The further apart we work, the more we need enterprise communications to feel more human and natural.
Video meetings are the best way to keep connected. But messaging features like GIF sharing, integration with the latest emoji palettes, link previews, seamless app integrations, and more are becoming essential to the Webex Teams experience.
We are working on many new features and will release them with the controls IT teams need. We want to deliver the best experience at scale, while also making it as secure and configurable as you expect.
We are investing in building even better experiences to “meet people where they work.” That means enabling richer integrations with other tools so that you don’t have to disrupt your workflow at all to work in Webex Teams. By connecting with more of the tools you use in your daily work, productivity can truly soar.
Who we are: Cisco Team Collaboration Group
Even though I’m relatively new to Cisco, it’s clear that the team here cares more about customer and partner success than any team I’ve worked with before. We stick together when things are flowing as well as when things get bumpy. We listen. We adapt. We know we can only build a more human and intuitive collaboration solution if we’re fully invested in our craft and each other. So, thank you to my team. And thank you to those of you I’ve met so far for your honesty and support.
We cannot wait to keep adding to our platform and making Webex Teams your favorite way to get work done.
Tell us what you like and what you don’t. We’re always listening.