This year has been an excellent year for us at Stack8 in that we have been able to participate in a large number of Cisco Connect events as well as Cisco Live where we were asked to be part of the Collaboration Village. Throughout our travels, speaking with clients and the teams from Cisco, the number one subject on the minds of everyone was the Meeting Experience.
In this article, we look at one of the solutions in the meetings experience toolbox, Cisco Webex Edge, and discuss what is new and exciting with this technology.
Since Cisco acquired Webex nearly ten years ago, the company has become the undeniable leader in the video conferencing marketplace. More than 300 million customers connect to the Cisco Collaboration suite every day, with in excess of 6 billion meeting minutes in Webex a month. In fact, according to Gartner, more people use Webex Meetings than all other vendors combined.
What is Cisco Webex Edge
Webex Edge consists of three services, all of them created with the objective to save on PSTN and bandwidth costs while providing better meeting experiences with improved audio, video and content quality.
These services are:
- Webex Edge Audio,
- Webex Edge Connect,
- Webex Edge Video Mesh.
Cisco Webex Edge Audio
Webex Edge Audio enable organizations who invested in on-premise Cisco Unified Communications infrastructure to avoid the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in order to participate in Webex meetings. For Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) registered devices, Webex Edge Audio will automatically route calls via voice over internet (VoIP), which frees up PSTN circuits in addition to saving on toll charges. Calls are routed between the on-premise Cisco UC infrastructure to the Webex Cloud via Cisco Expressway, which many organizations have already deployed today for Mobile Remote Access (MRA) and Business-to-Business audio/video calling.
Best of all, this service is completely transparent for end-users who will dial into their Webex meeting in exactly the same way they always used to, including using Webex’s audio callback service. In the backend, Webex Edge Audio will ensure the most appropriate way to route the call, prioritizing VoIP when available.
Cisco Webex Edge Connect
Webex Edge Connect is a dedicated (QoS) quality of service enabled IP link from your network to Cisco’s Webex Cloud. Webex Edge Connect provides a dedicated peering connection through the Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX) to carry all audio, video and web traffic associated with Webex meetings. Because the ECX is a dedicated connection, it is not subject to many of the pitfalls of the Internet, including congestion, packet loss, jitter, and delay.
For organizations with large Webex usage, Webex Edge Connect ensures a reliable, consistent and secure meeting experience, while freeing Internet bandwidth from Webex traffic.
Cisco Webex Edge Video Mesh
Webex Edge Video Mesh (which has already been released last year as part of Hybrid Media Service) is your own piece of the Webex Cloud deployed within your network to provide local media processing for select on-premises meeting attendees, lowering latency and saving on bandwidth. For example, Webex Edge Video Mesh could automatically direct video connections originating within an organization to the on-premises servers while for the remote team members would be connected via the cloud.
Benefits of Cisco Webex Edge include:
- An optimal meeting experience with superior quality, reliability, and security
- Consistent network performance versus Internet-based connections
- No change in user behavior or training required
- Enhanced audio quality with a wideband codec
- Increased availability and access to meetings, regardless of location or mobility
- Cost savings for routing audio calls using VoIP and bypassing PSTN
- Ease in scaling and management with minimal provisioning required
- Flexible on-net and off-net deployment
- Less network blockage as meeting traffic does not interfere with mission-critical applications
- Simple setup
Webex Edge is included in the Cisco Collaboration Flex Plan subscriptions. Peering agreements through ECX for Webex Edge Connect will incur an additional monthly charge.
The Stack8 team are experts in Webex. Let us help you make the most of your Meeting Experience.