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Cisco Keynote by Javed Khan at EC24 Highlights the Need for CX and EX

During his Tuesday morning keynote at Enterprise Connect 2024, Javed Khan, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Collaboration, said that any technology, including AI – the most prominent themes at the show – should be in the service of the people using it. Technology, and AI, “should work quietly and transparently in the background, making things easier, better, and faster. Our entire collaboration portfolio is designed with that goal in mind,” Khan said.

At the show, Cisco made several announcements, including the general availability of Webex CX Essentials which is one of several Webex contact center tiers (CX Basic, CX Essentials, CX Standard & Premium). CX Essentials, like Basic, is meant to meet the needs of customers who don’t want or need to power a full contact center but have situation-specific needs for increased customer communications.

Khan also previewed several capabilities coming to the Webex contact center including the use of AI to detect “stressed-out” agents and then dynamically giving those agents a break. Another forthcoming AI capability involves detecting an interrupted calls/interaction (e.g., a dropped cellular call) then recognizing when that customer calls in again and automatically attaching a summary of that previous interaction so the customer doesn’t have to repeat the same information. Other features entering beta include topic analytics, virtual agent conversation summaries, and automatic customer satisfaction scores so that contact center managers can get a more immediate read on CX and EX.

Hybrid work and return to office were also mentioned during the keynote, in the context of a recent Cisco study on hybrid work and the need for companies to modernize their facilities. Cisco “dogfooded” that idea by completely renovating their Atlanta, GA, headquarters. “We flipped our space allocation to focus more on collaboration spaces, and that delivered a richer experience which fostered a sense of connection and community,” Khan said.

In conjunction with this example, Khan demoed the hybrid work capabilities of the Cisco devices which promote the concept of “distance zero,” an idea previously discussed by frequent No Jitter contributor Zeus Kerravala in his recent article. (Some of this news was also highlighted in NJ’s Day One EC24 news roundup.)

Interestingly, by leveraging the Cisco Spaces, these new Cisco devices (and others) can help companies create a digital footprint of their buildings. With Spaces, companies can “create a map of [their] workspaces, and show what spaces are available or occupied and provide data on temperature, air quality and much more,” Khan said.

Khan also briefly discussed, and demoed, Cisco’s real-time media models (RMMs) which the company announced in October 2023 at Webexone. The demo illustrated how, with the RMMs active, Webex can detect when the person steps away from their camera/laptop. When the person returns, the AI will summarize what they missed while they were away.

Some of Cisco’s other announcements at the show include:

  • Webex Workforce Optimization: Core quality management features from Webex Workforce Optimization will be a part of the new Webex Contact Center license.
  • New CRM integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and ServiceNow will be available by July 2024.
  • Cisco and Ford rolled out an embedded in-vehicle experience for Ford and Lincoln customers by bringing the Webex app to vehicles equipped with the Ford and Lincoln Digital Experience.
  • Cisco’s Lorrissa Horton, SVP/GM and Chief Product Officer for Collaboration software, wrote about The Webex Advantage in the age of CCaaS, CX and AI. No Jitter spoke with Horton back in May 2023.