Mar 02, 2020 — Sri Srinivasan, SVP and GM, Team Collaboration Group at Cisco
There is an unprecedented increase in remote working happening worldwide, which is growing exponentially daily. Today, due to global circumstances resulting from COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease), many who are working from home are not doing so as a perk, but as an imperative.
Let’s start with some facts
- Traffic on the Webex backbone connecting China-based Webex users to their global workplaces has increased as much as 22 times since the outbreak began.
- During the same time period, we also saw 4 to 5 times as many users in Japan, South Korea and Singapore, with the average time spent on Webex video meetings doubling among users in those countries.
- On average, free sign-ups in impacted countries are up 7 times over pre-outbreak sign-up rates.
Cisco’s proactive plan
With the recent uptick in Italy and additional countries, Cisco continues to actively monitor global traffic trends and usage worldwide, and have a proactive plan to support our customers with their changing needs. It’s our priority to enable people to work from anywhere (including home), anytime, and on any device so they stay connected with their teams and can continue their business operations. As the market leader, we’re enabling this in multiple ways.
Effective immediately, we’ve expanded the capabilities on our free Webex offer in all countries where it is available, not only those impacted by COVID-19. Full details on the offer and eligible countries are available here
The additional features include:
- Unlimited usage (no time restrictions)
- Supports up to 100 participants
- Offers toll dial-in (in addition to existing VoIP capabilities).
Additionally, through our partners and the Cisco sales team, we are providing free 90-day licenses to businesses who are not Webex customers in this time of need. We’re also helping existing customers meet their rapidly changing needs as they enable a much larger number of remote workers by expanding their usage at no additional cost.
Expanding our worldwide meeting capacity
We’re also proactively expanding our worldwide meeting capacity, scaling up further in the United States and Europe, working with non-governmental organizations to enable schools (among other use cases), while partnering closely with our customers who are rapidly scaling up their work from home efforts.
Around the clock assistance for all business needs and continuity
Our team is working around the clock to ensure your business needs are met. Most cloud services plan and size for peak volumes – not only infrastructure but also the network capacity required. Cisco is continually improving our worldwide connectivity by working with carriers to assist with last mile connectivity, to reduce latency between our end-users and the Webex cloud. This work is enabling organizations, like The Nestbitt Center and Expert Systems Limited (both based in Hong Kong), to help their people stay connected and productive.
We are happy to support The Nestbitt Center, an organization that works with young adults with physical and mental disabilities. Like all schools in Hong Kong, the Center had to suspend their day program. Videoconferencing has enabled them to continue delivering sessions, and enabling the rollout of future therapeutic services including music, speech and language therapy.
To ensure business continuity, Expert Systems Limited have chosen to implement a two-team system by which each team alternates daily between working from home and the office. Despite less physical interaction on any given day, the collective team is experiencing a historical high in team engagement.
Our team in China
Our own team in China is also using Webex (you may think of Webex as just conferencing – but Webex includes video meetings, persistent chat, specialized work from home video devices and calling) from their homes in Hefei, Hangzhao, Suzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities. It’s incredible to witness this team’s high spirit and comradery as they work together not just in their business dealings, but also in banding together as one family, deeply connected to their communities and each other.
Cisco has been in this business longer than any other vendor on the planet. We are doing all we can and are prepared to help through this trying time. We will continue to provide our point of view, timely updates, and practical advice on remote working and much more. (See additional online resources below.)
In the meantime, our thoughts are with all those who are impacted.
Additional resources and practical advice on working remotely
- “Working Smarter Anywhere”, a blog offering practical advice on working from home: https://blog.webex.com/video-conferencing/working-smarter-anywhere-working-remotely/
- IT User Advice Page, offering technical guidance and best practices for setting a team up to work remotely: http://cs.co/webexcovid19
- End User Advice Page, offering best practices for users when working remotely: http://cs.co/webexremotework
TEC Communications is a Cleveland-based Cisco Premier Certified Partner – in fact, the first Cisco technology partner in Northern Ohio – and trusted IT solutions provider celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2019. Go to www.tec4it.com or call us at 440.333.5903 to find out how TEC’s Video-Voice-Messaging Collaboration solutions to help empower your staff to work seamlessly together and maximize your organization’s productivity.