Cisco: Updates for WebEx, Jabber to Push Beyond PC-Based Collaboration

Cisco delivers updates for WebEx and Jabber to boost connectivity with other devices and applications.

In an attempt to move beyond the desktop, Cisco is updating two of its enterprise-level collaboration tools.

At the Cisco Collaboration Summit in Miami on Nov.16, 2011, the company announced it’s rolling out updates to both WebEx, a suite of collaboration-focused applications, and Jabber, a communications application. With the changes, Cisco is looking to help workers collaborate from anywhere, anytime and on any device. Thus, the major updates for these two solutions can be summed up in two words: more connectivity.

“We’re trying to redefine the telepresence experience,” said Michael Smith, a Cisco spokesman. “You can extend your investment from telepresence being something you do when you’re sitting in a room to something you can do wherever you are.”

Basically, Cisco is taking collaboration mobile.

There are several changes to WebEx, which will get Cisco’s telepresence service. That means presenters now can see their meeting participants.

The company also said that it has added a one-click feature to WebEx that lets users connect to

Cisco telepresence meetings from their Apple and Android smartphones.

Telepresence is a technology that enables two separate rooms and the people in them, to appear as one room, making it look as though people in separate locations are having a face-to-face meeting. Previously, users had to physically be in a room set up with telepresence equipment.

Now, Cisco is working to let people use telepresence from their home office or even a hotel room with their Apple and Android devices.

As for the upgrades made to Jabber, Cisco added a plug-in that also gives users telepresence capabilities, along with the ability to make an audio call or video call from just one click within the platform. These new Jabber features work from Apple, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia and Windows devices, according to Cisco.

“Say you’re traveling and you’re on your PC sitting in your hotel room,” said Smith. “You cold use an application and suddenly a colleague sees you’re available so they call you. The productivity I get is huge. Now if I’m a couple of time zones away, people can still reach me as if I’m still in the office.”

 

Highlights on the New Capabilities in WebEx & Jabber

Cisco WebexWebEx: The updated version promotes a centralized meeting space for streamlining items before, during and after a meeting, such as meeting agendas, recordings, presentations and notes shared during the meeting for following up later.

It will also support HD video with Cisco TelePresence and supports two-way video on the Cisco Cius, Apple iPad and Apple iPhone. WebEx will also support a set of common APIs that can integrate third-party applications, such as CRM offerings.

Cisco JabberJabber: A new, customizable Jabber web browser plug-in enables companies and developers to embed collaboration capabilities into any web-based application. Basically, using just a web browser, employees can communicate and collaborate with presence, IM and click-to-call or click-to-video capabilities within line of business web applications or general purpose, public-cloud web applications.

 

The new version of WebEx will be available in beta soon. The Jabber plug-in is downloadable immediately.

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