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By Kevin Prater, Kovarus, Sr. Solutions Architect
Now that the marketing dust has settled from the name change, what does all the Spark to WebEx to Telepresence to Teams really mean to you? In a nutshell, it’s a seamless, dare I say delightful Collaboration experience allowing you to pull teams of people together quickly and move from mode to mode of communication effortlessly — minus the confusion.
So whether you need to chat 1:1 or start a communication on a mobile device, move that to a team space, escalate to desktop or room based video, move that to a WebEx meeting then take it with you on the go as you move out for your lunch appointment, or any flavor in between; you can do it all with WebEx … and it just works!
The User Experience
Contrary to what you may have seen in the movies, if you build it, they WON’T necessarily come. I visit customers all the time with silos of collaboration technology all over the place … vendor A for dial tone, vendor X for IM and Presence, vendor Y for Video and vendor Z for Web Collaboration. And I hear things like, “we have video, but no one uses it because <it’s hard to use | the quality is poor | it doesn’t work with other tools | Suzy doesn’t like to keep her hair combed>.” The objections are plenty and in looking at the user experience in these environments they’re absolutely spot on.
In and of themselves each of these technologies may be the best in class as an individual tool, but we find more often than not that integration with tools in the user’s workflow is just an afterthought, if a thought at all. A holistic view of the user experience (the most important piece of the puzzle), is nonexistent. Not to mention the management and administration sprawl/burden.
We don’t work in isolation. We don’t need tools that work in isolation. At the pace of business today, we need a platform that enables users to pull teams of key people together quickly and easily, to collaborate, escalate, and move on. We don’t want to force a change in the way our users do their work. We need a flexible fluid environment that integrates with the tools they already use and allows them to do this much more efficiently.
That’s the WebEx Teams experience!
Let’s face it, the naming was confusing. Not many knew where Spark ended and WebEx began:
- What pieces did I own?
- What pieces did I need?
- Where did I administer/manage what?
- How are they all working together?
As the solution took shape there was a blurring of the lines from a technology perspective, but the end goal was clear. A Collaboration Platform with:
- Common Management
- Open APIs
- Application integrations
- Hybrid Services
- Investment protection
- Added functionality
WebEx is one of the most recognized brand names out there, so it just made marketing sense to pull it all under the WebEx name.
The WebEx Platform
The solution as a whole consists of three components and you can choose from any or all of them:
This is the heart of the platform and it’s all about … well, teams. Use it to quickly pull teams of people together into team spaces for projects and work efforts with functionality that includes:
- 1:1 & Team Persistent Chat
- In-app Whiteboarding
- Mobile, Desktop, Web App
- Secure Always-On Encryption
- Integration with Business Applications
If you need to do it more than once, automate it. With a little bit of programming knowledge, write a bot, integrate it with WebEx Teams and take those tasks off your plate.
This is the WebEx web collaboration tool everyone knows and loves, tightly integrated with WebEx Teams, allowing you to easily escalate across the collaboration stack.
Call control in the cloud … it’s that simple. Got an internet connection? That and your SIP provider is all you need to register your 7800 or 8800 series endpoint to the WebEx Cloud and start making calls. If you’d like to add video just add a video enabled endpoint. It doesn’t matter if it’s a desktop or room-based endpoint, they all register to the WebEx cloud and share the same dial plan, functionality, security etc. All the same great Enterprise class features you’ve come to expect from an on-premises UC solution without the administrative headaches.
Collaboration licensing in the past has been infamously complex and confusing. Collaboration FlexPlan is the new licensing model from Cisco and frankly it’s never been easier to license your users. Count up your knowledge workers and decide what they want to use, Meetings, Teams and/or Calling.
The bottom line is I’ve seen them all and there is no other Collaboration experience better when it comes to a complete solution. I’ll take the Pepsi challenge on that. Like everything else in technology though, the Collaboration space is full of innovation and is constantly changing. We at Kovarus keep close to the industry and can help you stay on top of those changes. We’d love the opportunity to show the power of a true Collaboration solution in your environment.
Have questions? Hit me up on WebEx Teams at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t have an account? That’s OK too, creating a Teams account is free! Download the Desktop App here: https://www.webex.com/downloads