Cisco on Tuesday is unveiling a new Webex Suite designed to support "hybrid work" -- the work-from-anywhere model of productivity that seems here to stay once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
The new suite incorporates hundreds of new features into the videoconferencing platform. It also comes with a new look and logo for Webex, reflecting the brand's values, Cisco says.
"We are unmistakably committed to inclusivity and making sure everyone has an equal voice and an equal seat at the table, no matter where the table is," Jeetu Patel, Cisco's SVP and GM Security and Collaboration, said to ZDNet.
Cisco's Webex is in a collaboration and video conferencing battle with players ranging from Zoom to Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, just to name a few.
In practice, aside from a refreshed logo, that means adding features that help workers stay productive regardless of factors like their location, language, or even personality type.
Webex has added around 800 new features since last September, including as many as 400 just since March. Many of the new features run in the background, enhancing the user experience without complicating it. For instance, Cisco built audio intelligence into the Webex platform to remove background noise during a video call. Now, in "my voice only" mode, the system is smart enough to filter out voices of people in the background.
Other features, such as Verified ID, add to the platform's security and privacy capabilities. With Verified ID, users can send a certificate to contractors to validate their identity.
The new Webex Suite also includes new capabilities incorporated into the platform following a set of acquisitions. Last month, Cisco announced its acquisition of Socio Labs, an event technology platform for live, large-scale events. That followed Cisco's December purchase of Slido, an audience engagement tool with capabilities like polling, trivia, Q&A, and gamification. Tools from both platforms are making Webex better suited for meetings and events of all sizes, including large "hybrid" events that combine in-person and virtual attendance.
Cisco is offering the new Webex Suite at a 40% lower cost than a-la-carte.