New Features in Webex for September and October 2020
   By: Nick Ulmen

We all know that COVID has reshaped the way we live and work. The ability for teams to work and collaborate without being in the same room together has never been more important. A good meetings platform is the foundation of ability to collaborate.

Cisco Webex has been a leader in the meetings collaboration space for many years. Cisco remains committed to delivering an excellent meeting experience. With monthly updates, Cisco continues to augment the Webex Meetings platform with new enhancements to meet the challenges of the new world we live and work in.

The September release of Webex (40.9) included several exciting new features:

New Meeting Controls: Gone are the days of trying to explain to someone which button to press to share their screen. New labels on all the controls make it easy to see what you are doing in a meeting. Settings for each feature are now included in the button, making it easy to find options for changing your video or audio.

Expanded Virtual Backgrounds: Earlier this year Cisco rolled out virtual backgrounds for in meeting video. With the 40.9 update, virtual backgrounds are available on a wider range of devices and new backgrounds are available to choose.

Video Breakout Sessions: The ability to break out into smaller groups to work within a meeting is now available. With full video support, participants can work together in small groups, before rejoining to full meeting to share their collaboration.

Meeting Co-Hosts: Every Webex Meeting has a host, now you can share the workload for your meetings with other users on your Webex account.

The October release of Webex (40.10) includes more new features:

Dark Theme: With a similar click of a button, change your meeting window to the dark theme and reduce your eye strain.

Enhanced Mute Options: As a host, you’ve always had Mute controls for participants in your meeting. Now Cisco is making it easier to access those controls with large buttons to Mute or Unmute all participants. Hosts will also be able to prevent users from Unmuting themselves completely, ensuring you have full control to prevent interruptions during your meetings.

Thumbnail Improvements: You do not need to guess at who may have joined your meeting. When a user joins without video or a Webex avatar, their full name will be displayed instead of just their initials.

One other recent improvement that Cisco has made is the introduction of Webex Assistant for Meetings. Webex Assistant for Rooms has been around for several years, making it easy to launch meetings and place calls without having to touch a control panel in a room.

Webex Assistant for Meetings adds new functionality to your meetings wherever you are. With this addition, Webex adds real time Closed Captioning and Highlights to your meeting. Access the Assistant panel to review what was said earlier in the meeting with the Captions tab. The Highlights tab will be populated with important and relevant information spoken during the meeting. Assistant listens for key phrases such as “make a note” or “action item” to set aside the information you need from your meeting.  When the meeting ends, easily access your Highlights for your meetings from the Webex website.

In uncertain times, Cisco Webex continues to provide the excellent meeting experience its end users have come to expect. To learn more about these new features, or to get started on your Webex journey, reach out to your CompuNet team.

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