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Gen AI will greatly simplify, and speed up, management of UC apps and devices.

As a wave of generative AI copilots and virtual assistants have entered the market, generative AI is now poised to drastically change the way businesses and service providers manage and operate applications and networks. Much attention has been focused on the copilots that streamline productivity-related tasks. Case in point: Last year at Webex One Cisco introduced the Webex AI Assistant. Like competing virtual assistants (or copilots), Webex AI Assistant offers generative AI (Gen AI) capabilities such as meeting summarization, action item capture, and content creation assistance.


However, Cisco also announced that it was bringing generative AI capabilities to Control Hub, its administration and performance management platform for Webex and collaboration devices. These new capabilities provide IT administrators with powerful new tools to perform configuration tasks, or to troubleshoot network and application problems. These new Gen AI capabilities offer the potential to drastically change the way IT administrators manage moves/adds/changes/deletions as well as respond to application performance issues.

Currently, performing routine tasks such as configuring an endpoint or checking device health require administrators to navigate a series of screens. Troubleshooting may require also clicking through to a number of screens to identify a device or user and determine recent activity that could have caused the issue. With a generative AI assistant, the traditional menus are replaced by a conversational interface. Via this, bot administrators can perform routine tasks or conduct troubleshooting. More importantly, the bot can suggest next steps, highlight information that may be helpful for troubleshooting, and learn from actions taken to resolve the issue.

In Cisco’s case, generative AI capabilities within Control Hub extend to network infrastructure components such as wireless routers. As someone who once aspired to obtain Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification, the idea of a generative AI bot replacing hours of training, poring over user manuals, drilling down through menus, and even typing out command-line interface interactions is exciting. For administrators, such capabilities offer significant potential to reduce training costs and to speed the time it takes to perform administrative management tasks or to respond to application and device outages.


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