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In a world that’s socially distanced, collaboration tools are what give us access to each other. They’re what keep the human connection alive and well; how we connect with our families, friends, and loved ones; and they’re a key element in how businesses engage their employees and their customers through this time.

Enabling business continuity

Last week, as part of this blog series on business continuity, I highlighted a few automation solutions in our Share IT Solutions community, and on the DevNet Automation Exchange, that advance connectivity and enable your business continuity. These included ways to build dashboards to monitor your VPN, and use dynamic split tunneling to optimize VPN utilization.

This week, I’ll focus on collaboration tools, and how they can be used to support businesses through this time.

Explore the demos, use cases, and code below. You’ll see how companies and industries can bring human connection to digital interactions using collaboration tools and automation.

Solution #1: Make online learning possible with the Webex XML API

Many schools, colleges, and universities have made the decision to postpone in-person classes and instead continue the school year online through Learning Management Systems (LMS), like Moodle or Canvas. When an LMS is paired with Webex services, class management, recording, and scheduling can be automated at scale. And educators and students have a single source of truth – one tool where they can access classes, post resources, ask questions, and more.

Educators are offering both synchronous and asynchronous classes, and students are finding new methods for engagement through chat and video. For some, this move to online learning highlights the need for access to new devices and high-speed internet. For others, it is a simple transition. IT teams at these schools, colleges, and universities are finding solutions to take learning online and continue the school year for students.

The Webex Extensible Markup Language (XML) Application Programming Interface (API) is just one of the many different systems and tools that can help you take learning online. The Webex XML API allows the automation and integration of Webex meetings, including the ability to:

  • create an online meeting,
  • list a user’s scheduled meetings,
  • invite an attendee via email, and
  • list meeting recordings.

By sending XML over HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) requests, Webex XML Services are accessed, and a Representational State Transfer (REST) client tool can be used when testing and working with the API. To get the code to access Webex XML services, including the XML API, check out the DevNet Learning Lab on Webex meetings. With the Webex XML API, managing, scheduling, and enrolling students into classes is simple and automated. And for those who aren’t able to participate in live classes, recorded meetings can be automated to facilitate asynchronous learning.

Solution #2: Create engaging customer experiences with APIs, widgets, and Webex Teams

The customer experience, especially in industries that typically provide face-to-face services like retail, has shifted in a major way due to the global pandemic. Shopping for next season’s wardrobe will have to be done online. Even though consumers will be shopping remotely, human engagement and interaction is still within reach. No matter what industry you’re in, you can create a digital customer experience with human engagement at the center. With widgets, APIs, and Webex Teams, you can embed video into your mobile and web applications to create a dynamic face-to-face customer service experience.

Widgets, which represent a single product feature of Webex Teams, can be included directly in your web applications and can be styled to fit your brand. To get started, you’ll need to create an integration with Webex Teams, add pre-written code to your HTML, and add in the specific details, including working access tokens or guest issuer tokens and space ID. From there, the Browser SDK will communicate with the Webex Platform to integrate video into your browser.

You can grab the code and demo at developer.webex.com/docs/widgets. And for step-by-step instructions from Cisco DevNet, visit the DevNet Learning Lab, “Embedding Video Calls into Web Applications.” Using this solution, you create an interactive experience with your customers, and most importantly, keep the human connection alive.

Susie Business Continuity Collaboration

Solution #3: Streamline work with Eva from Voicea and Webex Teams

Let’s be honest – working from home with family members, kids, pets, and other loved ones around can be distracting (and that might be putting it mildly). Meetings can start to blur together, and productivity can be impacted. For businesses, this can have significant implications.

One way businesses can increase productivity and streamline work during this time is to automate simple, everyday tasks like taking meeting notes. With the Enterprise Voice Assistant (Eva) from Voicea integration with Webex Teams, you can invite a voice-activated digital attendant to your Webex meetings to take notes for you, send you a meeting recap and even push action items into your Webex Teams room for easy collaboration.

This Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) enabled digital attendant is available for free 150 minutes per month and built with robust security. To get started and make meetings more productive with Voicea, visit https://www.voicea.com/voicea-cisco-cognitive-collaboration/. It’s a simple way to boost productivity and create space for people to take care of their families, friends, and colleagues through this time.

Our challenge to you

Do you have a collaboration or automation solution that you’re working on and want to share with others? Are you looking for help making these collaboration and automation solutions work for your business? Share your challenges, best practices and use cases with us in the Share IT Solutions community and join the upcoming Share IT Solutions huddles to engage. Together, we can create digital experiences for our customers and employees that keep the human connection at the center.

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