We would like to express our heartfelt sympathy to all those affected by the worldwide spread of the new coronavirus (COVID -19).
The world, including Japan, is now coping with an unprecedented battle. In this situation, telework is an extremely effective means for companies and organizations to ensure the safety of employees, their families, customers, and society while maintaining business continuity. Telework is no longer a tool just for improving convenience and the well-being for some employees, but has become an essential business imperative for all entities.
In Japan, the number of companies and organizations introducing telework was increasing to mitigate traffic congestions ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which were scheduled to be held this summer. The introduction of telework is accelerating rapidly as the spread of the new coronavirus infections has become a major social issue.
To support Business Continuity Planning (BCP) efforts, Cisco started a 90 day free support program of Cisco Webex Meetings in February, which enables cloud-based real-time communications, for unlimited users.
In addition, Cisco recently announced a special support program for high education that provides free 180 day use of Cisco Webex for universities, junior colleges, and technical colleges nationwide, which enter the new academic year, for their platform of distance learning in cooperation with the National Institute of Informatics.
Cisco Webex Meetings is the world’s most widely used cloud conferencing service for businesses that can be used with confidence, securely, in companies of all sizes, including all industries, medical and educational institutions, central and local governments.
Webex Meetings Use Surges as Infections Spread
With the worldwide spread of COVID-19, the usage of Webex Meetings in March 2020 increased to an unprecedented level. A significant increase was also seen in Japan. Since Webex Meetings is the world’s most popular collaboration service, it is highly scalable and can quickly respond to such rapid growth.
Webex Meetings Usage Growth (March 2020)
- Approximately 1 million conferences were held in Japan in March, an increase of approximately 60% over the same month of the previous year
- Usage in Asia Pacific was three times higher than usual, four times higher in EMEAR, and 2.5 times higher in Americas
- More than 73 million conferences have been held worldwide, with 349 million participants attending
- 10 million users with initiator rights increased worldwide, for a total of 26 million users
Becoming More Popular: Distance Learning, Telemedicine, Hiring, Shareholder Meetings
Webex Meetings has been used primarily for internal and external “meetings”. However, the usage scenario is rapidly expanding as telework and video communications are needed more than ever in various industries.
- Distance Learning: Using Cisco Webex online classes are increasing. Also, academic conferences, graduation ceremonies, and entrance ceremonies are being held online widely.
- Telemedicine: In many medical institutions around the world, online medical examinations and treatments are being conducted, and it is expected that it will spread widely in Japan.
- Recruitment: As we begin recruiting season, Cisco Webex is being used in company briefings and interviews. Also, in April, when new graduates enter the company, many companies are using Webex Meetings to hold onboarding ceremonies and entry trainings online.
- Events: Cisco Webex is used for corporate events such as shareholder meetings, earnings conferences, and press conferences. Cisco Webex is also used for meetings for international conferences and municipalities.
Uncompromised security for critical business situations
Security is the uncompromisable aspect of doing business online. Security is embedded in Cisco’s DNA and Cisco has heavily invested in Cisco Webex security. As a result, Cisco Webex earns the trust of 95% of the Fortune 500 companies.
The following three principles ensure high security of Cisco Webex.
1. Cisco Webex respects the privacy of customer data.
2. Users can rely on Cisco Webex on its own.
Cisco Webex security features are configured in a high state by default. Each meeting is assigned a unique ID that cannot be referenced externally, preventing external intruders. It provides end-to-end encryption for audio, video, and data exchanged during a meeting to prevent the content of the meeting from being intercepted over the communication path or in the data center.
We also have various protective functions for meeting management, such as limiting the users who can participate, forcing them to enter the room with a password, and locking the meeting room for a certain period of time.
All AI-powered functions, such as transcribing, are also performed within Cisco Webex environment and do not provide the data to third parties to implement those functions.
3. Cisco Webex has security governance and respects transparency.
Within Cisco, there is an independent security and trust organization. It discloses all security vulnerabilities when they are discovered. Since all Cisco products are developed in accordance with the CSDL described above, all security vulnerabilities are pre-tested and made public on the trust portal site.
To make telework more comfortable
It is also extremely important to create an environment in which employees can telework comfortably over a long period of time.
When a real-time communication tool such as Webex Meetings is used, home network environment may reduce the quality of meetings. By using Cisco Webex Network Test, users can check if the network environment is suitable for Webex Meetings.
In addition, to facilitate telework and Webex Meetings effectively, we are actively sharing knowledge and tips accumulated within Cisco in our company and with customers.
- 6 Tips for productive, healthy telework
- Cisco Webex Tips for better telework
- Work smartly from anywhere with telework
- Starting telework with Cisco Webex
Cisco is currently conducting full telework across our company, but we also hold online yoga classes in-house, have time to chat online every day, and do an occasional Kampai with our teams. Under the current circumstance, being connected to our teams is more important than ever.
Cisco has long worked with a vision to “change the way we work, live, play, and learn”. Even under the current situation concerning the new coronavirus, Cisco is committed to helping Japan overcome this difficulty and advance the society by supporting business continuity and work style innovation for our customers.