The Top 3 Technology Highlights from Cisco Live 2020
Like most live events this year, Cisco Live 2020 was moved to a virtual format and over June 16 and 17, allowed attendees an opportunity to immerse themselves in Cisco technology updates, new product announcements and insights from the company’s executives. Josh Finke, Iron Bow’s Vice President of Advanced & Emerging Technologies, attended the virtual event. “The key areas of focus going into 2021 are on automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. We’re seeing Cisco embed advanced capabilities across their entire product line,” says Finke. These are some of the highlights on what the industry can expect from Cisco in the near future.
Highlight #1: Webex Assistant
We’ve all heard of or used Cisco Webex at some point during our professional lives. Having a tool for virtual meetings used to be merely convenient, but since the COVID-19 pandemic and the exodus to remote work, it has become an essential for organizations to adapt for continuity of operations. Webex conferences, devices and services are now becoming more interactive with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to bring teleconferencing productivity and efficiency to a new level. Webex Assistant is a voice-driven virtual assistant that can help users expand the capabilities of calling, meetings and device controls.
“It’s like an enterprise version of Alexa or Siri, but on steroids,” says Finke. “Cisco’s adoption and implementation of AI and ML are especially relevant to today’s environment because real, actionable value based on virtual assistants has been hard to bring to the enterprise before now and we are seeing a lot of customer interest in its benefits.” Webex Assistant provides features such as live closed captioning, logged keywords, recorded transcripts, and responds to commands and requests to make notes, follow ups, and speaker note tags so users can go back and find a specific item of information for later use. “The assistant has just been launched for approved customers and will go into full release by the fall.”
Highlight #2: Security by Default
“Across the entire Cisco portfolio, you see the concept of ‘security by default’ as a standard methodology. What I mean by that is Cisco’s entire product line is designed and built with security baked into its core. The products will protect content and information from end to end, moving beyond the legacy approach of protection only at the edge. In addition, the ability to offer compliance frameworks, features, and functionalities that meet or exceed regulatory and best practice standards is now pervasive,” explains Finke. But it’s not exclusive to just their new products. “They’re also further enhancing the products already in production in customer networks through agile software updates and the concept of features-as-a-service,” continues Finke. “Cisco is enabling the systems they build to seamlessly integrate and interact with the broader ecosystem of IT while delivering leading security.” It will avoid the intrusion of unwanted or uninvited attendees in teleconference meetings due to lack of security. “With security by default, and Cisco’s approach to enterprise-ready solutions, Webex customers can stand protected.”
Highlight #3: Remote Workforce Solutions and Collaboration Tools
The event keynote “had a focus on how Cisco technology addresses the current market, with Cisco speaking to the response to everything that’s going on in the world right now. Particularly the pandemic and its effect on workforces around the world after the shift to work from home,” explains Finke. “Remote workforce solutions and collaboration tools are continuing to drive productivity. Collaboration continues to be one of the key areas for innovation,” explains Finke. “We find this extremely relevant to today’s market and it’s why we have partnered with Cisco so closely to build solutions around hosted collaboration such as UCM Cloud Solution for commercial, enterprise, healthcare, and government agencies across civilian departments and the Department of Defense.”
Iron Bow’s Unified Communications Manager (UCM) Cloud Solution is powered by Cisco and delivers industry leading collaboration tools. Teams can collaborate securely from any location and provide modern, responsive services to users. It provides cloud-based unified communication and collaboration applications within a highly secure, virtualized platform, under a centralized management system. This approach meets federal cloud security mandates, reduces costs and easily connects end users on any device as a flexible solution while being cost effective, secure and accelerating adoption of cloud services. “Partnered with Cisco, we see strategic opportunity in helping our joint customers as they continue to navigate the new paradigm we all face ahead with adaptive and innovative solutions designed to address a quickly changing environment,” concludes Finke.
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