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Cisco (CSCO) Rolls Out New Features for Webex: Main Takeaways

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Cisco Systems (CSCO - Free Report) unveiled several new features and revamped logo and identity of its video conferencing application — Webex. The company intends to fortify its competitive position in the booming enterprise communications market amid rapid adoption of hybrid work policy.

Available for immediate purchase, Cisco also stated that the new Webex suite will now cost customers up to 40% per less than if procured a-la-carte. Webex Desk is expected to be available later this month and carries a standard price tag of $2,495, while resale price stands at $1,249.

Cisco is integrating the offerings of its latest acquisition namely Slido (December 2020) with its Webex application. Now, Slido is an audience interaction technology platform that enables obtaining of vital responses in real time during as well as before and after meetings for both live and virtual meeting formats.

Cisco is working on adding Slido’s functionalities like quizzes, question & answer (Q&A) sessions and polling across all its “collaboration experiences.” Polling is already available on Meetings and is expected to be available for Events going ahead, noted Cisco.

Upon completion of take over of Socio Labs, Webex will boast a comprehensive event management technology platform.


A Look at Some Other Features

Amid heightened cybersecurity threats, Cisco bolstered its encryption settings by enhancing its encryption capabilities with verified identity.

Cisco added that Real-time data loss prevention for Webex innovation will be available in Messaging. The feature is designed to spontaneously block and delete any classified data by disallowing customers to post any such data in the first place.

With My Voice Only functionality (available from August 2021), Webex users will be able to eradicate all background clatter for an improved online meeting experience.

Leveraging pioneering technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, People Focus feature enables to “re-frame” participants present in the meeting room for those who are remotely present for better viewing of their facial expressions, while suggesting inputs during the meeting, added Cisco. The feature will be available sometime in 2021.

Prospering Video Conferencing Market Spells Opportunity

The ongoing pandemic has caused a huge spurt in demand for cloud-based video conferencing, teleconferencing as well as workspace communication and collaboration solutions as the world dramatically transitioned to remote work and online learning set up.

However, the demand is not expected to subside after the pandemic as the hybrid work culture gains mainstream adoption. Globally, companies have been establishing hybrid work policies as employees increasingly encourage such set up.  

As hybrid work culture becomes a norm, there is an ever-increasing need for effective and secure communication and collaboration tools.

Enterprise communication infrastructure market is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 17.53% between 2021 and 2026, per a Mordor Intelligence report.

Webex’ new features are expected to drive the uptake of the application and boost Cisco’s top line, going ahead. Markedly, Cisco has added over 800 new features and devices to Webex since September 2020. In the third quarter of fiscal 2021, Cisco reported double-digit growth in Webex revenues.

Recently, Cisco collaborated with AT&T (T - Free Report) to shift Webex Calling with AT&T – Enterprise on to its Unified Communications Manager Cloud (UCMC) platform.

However, higher expenses along with intense competition in the domain from the likes of Zoom Video (ZM - Free Report) and Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) Teams App is a concern.

Presently, Cisco carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).  You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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