Arraya Insights | March 26, 2020
Let’s be honest: Meeting attendance may be a bit spotty over the next few weeks. The attention spans of those actually in meetings? Even spottier. Freshly homebound users may be tempted to keep one eye on news reports and social media updates about the coronavirus during their 9-5s. Or, maybe they’re sharing their new workspace and available internet bandwidth with a spouse. It could also be they have a few young children – recently separated from school and after-school activities – demanding attention. Whatever the case, meetings may not be as immediately productive as they once were. However, help may be on the way to restore value.
Last spring, we put Cisco’s effort to improve and modernize meetings, called cognitive collaboration, to the test by stacking it up against some of the most commonly-cited meeting headaches. Our team was enthusiastic about the early returns, but there was room for more. More is coming soon. Last fall, Cisco acquired Voicea and that company’s enterprise voice assistant client will be debuting on Webex sometime this spring.
We connected with our own collaboration experts to find out how Voicea’s technology could help preserve meeting value even as employees adjust to changing workday rhythms. Here’s what our team had to say:
- Real time transcription. Admittedly, transcription services are rapidly becoming table stakes for platforms like Webex. What sets this version apart however is the level of accuracy. Webex and Voicea combine to make sure employees who were unable to call in to a meeting due to, say, childcare obligations, have access to a full and complete accounting of what was discussed. It will be like they were there, perhaps even better, as they’ll be able to scroll past the talk tracks that don’t apply to them.
- Highlight reels. The last thing most of us want to do after a long day is to go back and experience the meetings we missed line by line. Cisco gets this and so Webex will soon be able to provide an editable highlight reel of a meeting’s most important moments. Highlights are gathered in-meeting in three ways. First, they can be designated manually, by someone selecting the target text in the transcription. Highlights can also be captured automatically. Webex Assistant will listen for keywords or phrases like “agenda” and “that’s a good point” and record the moment as a highlight. The Webex Assistant will also respond to a voice command by an attendee asking for an interaction to be marked as a highlight during a meeting.
- Emphasized action items. Action items and takeaways can sometimes fall by the wayside once a meeting wraps. Webex will soon be able to help prevent this by making meeting objectives more durable – and easier to locate. In addition to highlights, Webex will be able to listen for action items and put them front and center for attendees to review later on. Attendees can also mark action items manually during a meeting. Whether it’s a highlight or an action item, these reminders can be preserved in either text or recorded audio – or both.
- Context clarification. Meetings, for better or worse, rarely exist in a vacuum. Instead, they often build on the action items and highlights that came before. With that in mind, Webex will try to make it easier for attendees to see that complete context for themselves. Webex Assistant will soon allow attendees to search for topics or action items across multiple meetings. This keeps meetings in context and lets attendees better monitor and track progress over time.
Next Steps: Can cognitive collaboration help you modernize your meetings?
Cisco’s Voicea acquisition and the enhancements made to Webex and Webex Assistant can help your team meetings stay productive no matter where attendees are (or what’s going on around them). You can start a dialogue with our team by visiting https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/.
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