Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Zoom: The latest meeting features

Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, Zoom: The latest meeting features

Also in March, Microsoft, Cisco and Zoom will present new features for their popular video conferencing solutions. overview. […]

After more than two years of corona-related remote work, the topic of video conferencing should gradually be technically exhausted. In the battle for market and technology leadership, solutions such as Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex and Zoom are constantly coming up with new, more original or more practical functions for virtual or hybrid meetings. Here is an overview of the latest features of the three platforms.

In its latest updates, Microsoft Teams takes up, among other things, the preference of some participants to stare at their smartphone during meetings in parallel. An updated companion mode for iOS in the Teams app allows you to join a hybrid meeting both on your iPhone or iPad and in the Microsoft Teams Rooms room solution.

The sound, microphone and camera are automatically disabled in the process, at the same time a special interface opens in the application, with which it is easier to raise a hand or react, chat, see all participants and access Microsoft whiteboard.

You can also conveniently access meeting and device controls from your Apple device, such as the ability to broadcast a PowerPoint presentation, turn room cameras on and off, and much more.

Feedback via Word Cloud

It is practical, although it has already been found for some time at the competitor Cisco WebEx, to integrate surveys with open text into a meeting. Organizers of a teams conference can use so-called word cloud surveys to collect the open answers of the participants before, during or after a meeting. The results are automatically summarized and displayed as Word Cloud.

Please do not disturb

Another useful feature is the ability to mute notifications during meetings to better focus on the meeting. You can choose whether the mute should be used for all meetings in general or for a special meeting. To turn off notifications during all meetings, go to the Notifications menu item in the general settings and activate the Mute notifications during meetings and calls function. To turn off notifications during a specific meeting, select Mute/Allow notifications in the meeting menu (…).

Cisco WebEx

After Cisco first announced the integration of Webex into mobile devices with Webex for iPad in October last year, the network specialist is now taking it one step further. Thanks to AirPlay support, users will be able to connect wirelessly to iPhones, iPads and Macs in the future to share content or mirror their screens in a meeting with colleagues – even while driving in the car. As Cisco announced, Webex will be integrated into the infotainment systems of new Ford vehicles in a first step to enable video conferencing behind the wheel.

AirPlay support

Cisco’s AirPlay support also allows iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to share the screen of their Webex meeting wirelessly to a Webex Room, Desk, and Board series device. Webex on AirPlay and other supported mobile devices is expected to be available worldwide from June, according to Cisco.

As a further industry-first, Cisco is supporting picture-in-picture functionality for the first time in its Webex Meetings app for the iPad. iPad users are thus able to participate in a meeting and take notes at the same time. Of course, it is also possible to do normal work at the same time, such as answering e-mails or managing calendar entries in parallel, without missing anything.

Competitor Zoom focuses in its March updates on topics such as chat folders, video messages and new functions for Zoom Rooms, Zoom contact center, Zoom Phone and Zoom events, but there is a cool feature for video conferences: Participants can now select a virtual animal as an avatar that reflects their head movements and facial expressions in Zoom meetings and webinars. In addition to the fun factor, these avatars also provide a good middle ground for users who do not want to appear in front of the camera, but still want to express their body language and facial expressions. Here you can find out how to participate in video conferences as a dog, cat or cow.

In addition, Zoom account owners and administrators can now allow hosts to stream their meetings or webinars directly to Twitch instead of manually configuring the stream as a custom livestreaming service.

Share audio with content for all side rooms

Also handy is the new ability for meeting hosts to share their computer audio along with shared content to all side rooms. According to Zoom, the function also supports the “Share video” option for side rooms.

*Manfred Bremmer deals with (almost) everything that falls into the fields of mobile computing and communications. He prefers to take a close look at mobile solutions, operating systems, apps and devices and checks them for their business suitability. Bremmer is interested in gadgets of all kinds and also tests them.

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