MetriNote – Cisco Makes AI and Contact Center Waves at WebexOne

Published on: October 30, 2023

Authors: Robin Gareiss, CEO & Principal Analyst; Irwin Lazar, President & Principal Analyst

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ANAHEIM, Oct. 24, 2023 – At Cisco’s fourth annual WebexOne conference, the company made several announcements designed to advance its generative AI differentiation strategy and to expand its contact center offerings.

AI Takes Center Stage

The primary focus was on AI, with Cisco introducing the Webex AI Assistant. AI Assistant provides a number of features, including meeting summarization and transcription, translation, and composition assistance that relies on AI to alter message tone when instructed. To differentiate from competing AI companions, Cisco’s AI Assistant is available across the entire Webex Suite, with specific capabilities either available or on the way for calling, meetings, messaging, vidcast, contact center, and events. Generative AI capabilities extend into Control Hub, allowing IT administrators to use AI Assistant for troubleshooting and configuration management via a conversational interface. AI Assistant is free for existing Webex Suite customers. Cisco is not building a foundational Large Language Model to support its generative AI initiatives; rather, it’s partnering with those that do in order to give customers choice.

A new Real-time Media Model (RMM) allows for training via capture of visual and audio information such as gestures and motion. In one demonstrated example, the RMM allows Webex Meetings to detect when people step away from their cameras, and then provide a summary of what happened while they were away using generative AI. AI Assistant also responds to queries such as “was my name mentioned while I was out?” or “Were any decisions made while I was out?”

On the A/V front, Cisco announced AI-powered audio and video codecs that offer high-quality voice and video communications in lossy or low-bandwidth environments. (This is a unique take on AI, and a bigger deal than it may appear on its surface, as companies struggle with solid sound or video quality, particularly with remote workers.)

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