April 08, 2021

Get staff back in the office with the latest Cisco Collaboration Hardware

Graham Robinson
Group Practice Manager
It’s no secret the last 12 months has forced a drastic change in the way we work. Office buildings were missing people and its meeting room hardware left idle. Organisations quickly embraced remote working – adopting new tools to communicate and collaborate at a distance, leaving the need for these once-vital meeting room setups in question. Staff loved the flexibility and they remained productive. Few thought to mourn the loss of their commutes and many have been reluctant to return to the office ever since, with 76% of employees wishing to continue working from home at least 2 days a week1.

The future of workplaces, interrupted

The idea that you need an office to support productivity, develop a strong culture and attract new talent has certainly been challenged. To shift mindsets and encourage a return to the office – albeit partly – businesses are again reimagining the office environment. Where once we tried to create an office that felt like home, we now want an office that oozes collaboration, engages teams wherever its members are, and offers something unique. This still demands the latest collaboration tools (apps or hardware), but blended into an environment that staff want to come to, that’s different from home.

In this blog, I’ll show you how the latest Cisco collaboration hardware can transform the office experience whilst enabling seamless integration with remote workers. I’ll also tell you which Cisco collaboration devices are going end-of-life – and the risks if not upgraded.

The latest Cisco Webex Desk Series

To support the hybrid workforce and facilitate secure collaboration, Cisco Webex has reimagined the Desk Series with integrated devices aimed at dissolving virtual meeting fatigue, whilst providing a powerful, professional experience – no matter where you work – and huddle space, to make any desk a meeting space.

Cisco Webex Desk Pro: An AI-Powered Collaboration Device

The Cisco Webex Desk Pro truly brings the Cisco vision of cognitive collaboration to the desk environment, giving users everything they need to communicate and co-create. This all-in-one features the latest 4k touch display, a 71-degree HD camera designed to capture 1 to 2 people during video conferencing, advanced noise-cancelling microphones, digital whiteboarding and vibrant colour – even in varying lighting conditions. Compared to previous models, Cisco Webex Desk Pro’s intelligent new features include:

  • Artificial intelligence and facial recognition to identify meeting participants, even when hot desking
  • virtual backgrounds allowing you to change in-meeting backgrounds by either blurring or replacing it entirely so you can join from anywhere, and
  • the helpful voice-controlled Cisco Webex Assistant lets you start or join a meeting, safely book a room, or make a call without lifting a finger.

Webex Desk Camera: a versatile USB webcam

The latest Cisco webcam is perfect for the anywhere office, offering a quality meeting experience through 4k video with vibrant colour and impressive low light performance. It works seamlessly with your laptop, mounted on monitors or even with the Webex Desk Hub – so it can take you from the office to home. It’s easy to use too with AI-enabled features and remote IT management.

Webex Desk Hub: a new way to simplify hot desking

As organisations rethink and reconfigure workspaces, we expect to see shrinking office footprints, less desk space, and a lot more flexibility. Whilst staff are craving mobility, they still expect high-quality, powerful tools to collaborate seamlessly. The Webex Desk Hub enables just this – allowing users to quickly connect to their personal profile and make any desktop as functional and familiar as their own. It delivers a high-quality meeting experience too all whilst gathering critical information such as environmental data, occupancy, and desk usage which is invaluable for future planning and safety.

Here’s what’s coming end of life

With so many new collaboration features, why continue to invest in legacy hardware? Be mindful that end of sale or end of support typically presents a raft of concerns including security, compliance and integration. Whilst you might find a deal on end-of-sale hardware, end-of-support follows soon after and the risks generally outweigh the savings. Understand what your team needs to work optimally, and compare this against features and interoperability with existing solutions.

Cisco DX80 – reaching end of sale in 2021

By far the most significant announcement for end of sale is for the Cisco DX80. This all-in-one collaboration display designed for the desktop empowers dynamic teams with high-quality video, crystal clear audio and an interactive interface. The DX80 has been a hugely successful device and thankfully it won’t be forgotten as it’s been refreshed as the much-improved Cisco Webex Desk Pro. See the below graphic to directly compare the two devices.

End of support

  • Cisco DX650 – the desktop handset with built-in keypad, and 7-inch screen – end of support 2022
  • Cisco DX70 14-inch touch screen device with HD video and audio – end of support 2023
  • Cisco TelePresence for video conferencing
    • Server – end of support 2021
    • EX90 – end of support 2022
    • EX60 – end of support 2020

Finally, the Cisco Webex meetings server is coming up to end of support in 2023 and will automatically update to the new Cisco Webex Hub unless there are update locks in place.

Collaboration tools that collaborate

With collaboration tools now well ingrained in the way we work, most organisations have already made the call on which collaboration platform to use. Figuring out what hardware will work with both a return to office plan, and an existing software plan, is the natural next step. Fortunately, the Cisco Desk Series plays well with others, meaning even if you’ve already committed to a collaboration solution, Cisco collaboration devices will fit in seamlessly.

Why Data#3 and Cisco?

As a Gold Certified Cisco Partner and Cisco Master Collaboration Partner, Data#3 combines consulting, technical expertise and Cisco market-leading technology to give Data#3 customers an edge when it comes to navigating the complexity of the new digital era.

Is it time to evaluate or upgrade your in-office setup?

Contact Data#3 to experience the power and ease of the Cisco Webex Desk Series for yourself. Or ‘try before you buy’ with a free 90-day trial on all Cisco Webex devices.

Contact a Data#3 Cisco Specialist

  1 Cisco (2018). Annual Cybersecurity Report. [Online] Available at: https://www.cisco.com/c/m/en_au/products/security/offers/annual-cybersecurity-report-2017.html