Cisco has recently announced some changes for the Webex Teams application. First, the Webex Teams application will now be known simply as “Webex”. The applications on Windows, Mac, and mobile clients all should reflect this change in the most recent updates. Second, and related to the first, Cisco is moving the Webex suite together into a unified application. This means that all of the features we currently enjoy in both Webex (formerly Teams) and Webex Meetings will all be available in the new unified application experience. This change will roll out over time so, for now, users should continue to utilize both Webex and Webex Meetings and the Office of Information Systems will send out announcements when the unified application experience is ready as well as for other features as they are introduced and released.
The Office of Information Systems is also announcing the retirement of the Cisco Jabber software platform for Arkansas Tech University to take place on January 29th, 2021. Jabber is an instant messaging and presence platform and has served in that capacity as part of ATU’s Unified Communications since the start of the Voice over IP (VoIP) initiative at the university. In addition to instant messaging, it could also function as a software version of your desk phone so that users could answer or make calls remotely when away from their office, as well as allowed control of a user’s desk-phone from their PC for hands-free dialing and answering.
With the adoption of Webex at ATU and the new features that have been added in recent months and the ones yet to come, Jabber has become largely obsolete in comparison. Due to this, Webex will replace Jabber as the instant messaging and presence platform for the university.
Webex allows for easy and quick virtual meetings, synchronized chats and chat history so that users can access conversations and content from a number of different devices seamlessly, and more predictable update schedule to ensure new features and bug fixes are added regularly. Another benefit of Webex is that all staff, faculty, and students are already set up and users do not have to wait to be on-boarded on to the VoIP system to be able to utilize it (non-VoIP users will be limited to chat, meetings, and Webex-to-Webex calling).
For users and departments that are already on the VoIP system and utilize Jabber, Webex will still allow for:
- Control of your desk phone from your pc for hands-free answering, dialing, and other in-call options
- Utilizing Teams as a software phone to allow making and receiving phone calls while working remotely
- Logging into and out of and answering Hunt Groups
- Receiving Call Pickup notifications and being able to intercept a call going to a coworker that you know isn’t available
- Viewing and listening to voicemail
- The ability to turn on or off Single Number Reach after it has been initially configured
- The ability to turn on or off Call Forward
While Webex does not currently allow for the vFax application integration, this feature can still be accessed and used via email or the website.
While OIS recognizes that there are a number of users and departments that feel comfortable with Cisco Jabber, Webex presents a superior feature set and will allow the entire university to quickly communicate without the barrier of users being on different software platforms. OIS will be available to help answer any questions or set up Webex meetings to demo Webex as needed for any department that needs instructions on its use before the retirement date for Jabber.