700-651 techniques - Cisco Collaboration Architecture Sales Essentials Updated: 2023
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Exam Code: 700-651 Cisco Collaboration Architecture Sales Essentials techniques November 2023 by Killexams.com team|
700-651 Cisco Collaboration Architecture Sales Essentials
Cisco Sales Essentials provides Partner account managers (AMs) and Sales Engineers (SEs) with the introductory information they need to sell Cisco solutions. The Partner AM and SE will earn the Cisco Sales Expert designation by passing the Cisco Sales Expert exam that is associated with this course. This course covers Cisco Partnering and Profitability, Business Transformation, Cisco Architectures (Borderless Networks, Collaboration, Video, Data Center/Virtualization/Cloud), Small Business, Services, Cisco Capital, Partner Resources and Networking Basics.
Upon completing this course, the learner will be able to meet these overall objectives:
Describe Ciscos strengths and Partner benefits
Describe the Borderless Network Architecture
Describe the Small Business Architecture
Describe the Collaboration Architecture
Describe the Virtualization Architecture
Describe how Cisco enhances partner profitability
Partnering With Cisco
Borderless Network Architecture
Enhancing Partner Profitability
|Cisco Collaboration Architecture Sales Essentials|
Cisco Collaboration techniques
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Cisco Collaboration Architecture Sales Essentials
Which option does collaboration in context refer to?
A. design documents used to sell the solution
B. how customers purchase collaboration solutions
C. how the customer uses collaboration to address their needs
D. physical collaboration components
Which Cisco Spark Flex Plan is an enterprise-wide subscription for meetings, messaging,
A. Employee Count
B. Cloud Flex
C. Active User
D. Shared Meetings
Which Cisco collaboration product is promoted as an agile teaming application?
A. Cisco Meeting Server
B. Cisco WebEx Event Center
C. Cisco Spark
D. Cisco Immersive Endpoints
Which option does a Cisco Experience-Centric solution enable?
A. building incremental value from current offerings
B. adding value to investments already made
C. integrating with infrastructures, devices, and services
D. consistent experience across devices and applications
Which BOM tool must be referenced when design requirements are outside the scope of
Cisco preferred architectures?
A. Cisco Preferred Architecture Design Overview
B. Cisco Solution Reference Network Designs Guide
C. Preferred Architecture Cisco Validated Design
D. Preferred Architecture Application Cisco Validated Design
Which action must be taken first when deciding what to sell to a customer?
A. Consider the size of the organization
B. Determine their licensing needs
C. Discuss the benefits of modernizing equipment
D. Assess what the customer currently has in place.
Why does the millennial generation have a different perspective and expectation on how
work is approached?
A. They can relate better to people that other generations
B. They grew up with the Internet and technology
C. They have always worked in team environments
D. They know more about the global economy
Which description of the purpose of activity-based working spaces is true?
A. bringing access to information and collaboration tools closer to the point of work
B. for more formal or important discussions and decision making
C. faster frequent interaction and collaboration among individuals and teams
D. adoption of personal video and telepresence units
Which option does team collaboration refer to?
A. all tools that allow members of a team single outlets for collaborating together on
B. specific and limited tools that allow members of a team multiple outlets for
collaborating together on projects
C. all tools that allow members of a team multiple outlets for collaborating together on
D. specific tools that allow members of a team multiple outlets for storing isolated
content on projects
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There's no question that GenAI applications are starting to make a big impact on enterprise applications. Until recently, most of the attention given to GenAI in the business context was focused on text-based Large Language Models (LLMs) and chatbot-style applications that leverage them. However, at their recent Webex One conference, Cisco highlighted how foundational models and other GenAI tools can also profoundly enhance communications and collaboration.
Cisco announced several enhancements related to AI integration across its Webex suite. Many of these involve adding an extra layer of intelligence to Webex, while others focus on audio and video quality improvements. Moreover, Cisco continued its history of collaborating with Apple by introducing enhanced support for Apple devices, including the Apple TV and Apple Watch.
Like its competitors, Cisco initially introduced AI-powered features in Webex, such as automatic transcription and meeting summarization, but the new capabilities they announced demonstrate a new level of sophistication. These updates offer insights into how GenAI-based tools are expected to evolve.
Undoubtedly, the most intriguing development is the introduction of a new type of model that Cisco is calling the Real-Time Media Models (RMMs). These are based on audio and video data. Cisco claims that RMMs can furnish supplemental data about a meeting derived from visual cues, gestures, body language, message tone, and more.
While text-based meeting transcriptions and summaries are valuable, they often miss the subtle yet crucial nuances in how things are said and how participants respond. These nuances can significantly influence how certain ideas or messages are interpreted and conveyed. Cisco believes it can enrich its existing AI-powered meeting notes by integrating RMM data with its current LLM-based text content.
In theory, these sound impressive, but it will take some real-world usage to see how effective they are in capturing and integrating this information into meeting summaries. Regardless, it's an interesting example of how Webex continues to innovate while trying to stay a step ahead of its competition – not an easy task in a market that moves as quickly as video collaboration.
One of the other benefits of leveraging RMMs, according to Cisco, is the ability to create meeting summarization in video form. This allows people to get a movie preview style summary of a meeting, allowing people to easily watch what happened instead of simply practicing about it. Again, the proof will be in the pudding, but it's unquestionably a great concept.
RMMs also enhance the Webex AI Assistant. Similar to other digital assistant features, the Webex version is geared to furnish intelligent responses to user queries inputted into a chat-style interface. For instance, users can prompt the Webex AI Assistant to summarize meetings they missed or underscore remarks from specific attendees, like whatever your boss said. The integration of RMM data differentiates this feature by providing deeper context. By analyzing the video feed, future Webex AI Assistant iterations could potentially auto-generate summaries of segments a participant missed, ensuring continuity.
The Webex AI Assistant can also suggest responses for customer service agents, helping them Boost their responses, and can even make suggestions in the tone of how things are (or should be) said. Additionally, Cisco mentioned their intent to support multiple LLMs alongside their RMMs within the Webex AI Assistant. Essentially, they could interchange the GenAI engine, optimizing it per customer or employee type.
The final piece of the new Webex AI strategy is an enhanced set of AI audio and video codecs. These tools can dramatically minimize data requirements and, through GenAI, can even recover lost packets, ensuring uninterrupted audio. On the video front, employing super-resolution techniques, akin to those used in AI-image enhancement, allows Webex to upgrade video quality and resolution over subpar connections. The end product should be a smoother, glitch-free meeting experience.
The evolution of meeting and collaboration tools like Webex and its competitors continues at a breakneck pace. It won't be long before rivals like Microsoft, Zoom and Google start to catch up. Still, it's great to see how Cisco is pushing forward the integration of GenAI into Webex and providing an intriguing view into how these technologies continue to evolve.
Bob O'Donnell is the founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a technology consulting firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community. You can follow him on Twitter @bobodtech
Dubai, UAE:At WebexOne, Cisco announced a new AI strategy for Webex that will Boost communication and collaboration. Unlike AI offerings that solely focus on text or documents, Webex will use real-time communications for audio and video to solve everyday challenges, such as ensuring crystal-clear audio and video calls and meetings despite low bandwidth. Cisco also announced the launch of its new Webex AI Assistant with new capabilities that will bolster productivity and accuracy for customers. The Webex AI strategy and Webex AI Assistant will be applied across the full Webex portfolio.
“In the ever-evolving landscape of hybrid work, AI serves as a key driver in enhancing collaboration and communication. Our Webex platform, known for its consistent commitment to innovation, is taking yet another step forward by integrating AI,” said Ahmad Zureiki, Director of Collaboration Business, Cisco Middle East and Africa.“With AI at its core, it is set to empower our customers throughout the Middle East and Africa, opening new horizons for productivity and connection.”
Introducing Real-Time Media Models:
Visual and audible cues like gestures and walking out of the room during a meeting provide invaluable context about human interactions. Cisco's new Real-Time Media Models (RMMs) in Webex will enhance audio and video quality. The models have the ability to take multiple media streams and produce multiple outputs, such as people and object recognition and action analytics like movement and gestures. RMMs in Webex will also enable audio and video channels to be used as signals of context in traditional text-based capabilities like meeting summaries and highlights. By uniquely fusing together AI for text, audio and video, Webex users will benefit from rich real-time insights. For example, in the future, Webex may be able to recognize that a meeting participant stepped away from a meeting, and capture meeting notes to bring that person up to speed when they return.
New Webex AI Codec Helps Customers Achieve New Levels of Audio & Video Quality:
People are regularly impacted by network impairments, which may have a direct impact on calls and meetings. For example, a user may experience disruption when connecting from their car, a hotel room, or a rural area with poor connectivity. Choppy audio or video often derails conversations and frustrates people - from meeting participants to customers calling into a business' contact center.
Cisco is unveiling a new AI Codec in Webex, a new generative AI solution that will redefine real-time communication and solve the challenge of audio quality. The audio Codec aims to deliver crystal-clear audio regardless of network conditions, even in areas with spotty connections. Webex's efficiency with its AI Codec allows for massive transmission redundancy to recover from network packet loss. Webex AI Codec also has built-in speech enhancement functions like noise removal, de-reverberation and bandwidth extension, to deliver unprecedented audio clarity.
Webex will similarly apply machine learning techniques to Boost video quality using Super Resolution. It will deliver high-definition meetings with amazing video quality regardless of bandwidth conditions.
Webex AI Assistant Helps Workers and Customers:
The newly launched Webex AI Assistant will power a robust set of capabilities that empower people to do their best work. It will also minimize work and costs for IT, ultimately driving business value. Webex AI Assistant will prompt users with questions, like“ask me about the meeting,” that users can respond to with typing sentences, such as“catch me up on the 15 minutes I missed in the meeting” or“catch me up on all the meetings I missed on Friday while I was on PTO,” to generate answers in real-time. Webex AI Assistant is already natively integrated into Cisco Collaboration devices and will span the Webex portfolio. New Webex AI Assistant capabilities will include:
These new capabilities are in various stages of availability, with shipping planned to begin before the end of 2023.
Harnessing the Best Large Language Model Based on Use Case:
Understanding that certain Large Language Models (LLMs) will be better suited than others based on the use case and training, Webex will use a combination of best-of-breed models. Webex's federated approach combines commercial, open source, Cisco-proprietary and select customer models to deliver the best possible experience.
Cisco's Approach to Responsible AI:
Cisco has leveraged AI with natural language, audio intelligence, video intelligence and analytics for years-all designed with attention to security, privacy and human rights built in from the start. Realizing AI's significant promise while adhering to standards for transparency, fairness, accountability, privacy, security and reliability is an ongoing mission at Cisco. This is the promise of Cisco's Responsible AI Framework,which applies to our AI offerings. The Webex AI strategy and Webex AI Assistant capabilities are secure and align with Cisco's Responsible AI Framework.
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that securely connects everything to make anything possible. Our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all by helping our customers reimagine their applications, power hybrid work, secure their enterprise, transform their infrastructure, and meet their sustainability goals. Discover more on The Newsroom and follow us on X at @Cisco.
Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at . Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.
About Webex by Cisco:
Webex is a leading provider of cloud-based collaboration solutions which includes video meetings, calling, messaging, events, customer experience solutions like contact center and purpose-built collaboration devices. At Webex, we start with people and their experiences first. This focus on delivering inclusive collaboration experiences fuels our innovation, which leverages AI and Machine Learning, to remove the barriers of geography, language, personality, and familiarity with technology. Our solutions are underpinned with security and privacy by design. We work with the world's leading business and productivity apps – delivered through a single application and interface.
(MENAFN- IANS) San Francisco, Oct 26 (IANS) Global networking giant Cisco has unveiled a new AI strategy for its collaboration platform Webex that will Boost real-time communications for audio and video to solve everyday challenges, such as ensuring crystal-clear audio and video calls and meetings despite low bandwidth.
Along with this, the company launched a new Webex AI Assistant with new capabilities that will support productivity and accuracy for customers.
The Webex AI strategy and Webex AI Assistant will be applied across the full Webex portfolio -- The Webex Suite, Cisco Collaboration devices, Webex Contact Center, Webex Connect and Webex Control Hub.
"We're at the tipping point of a new era of hybrid work, with AI holding the key to helping us bridge the gap and enable us all to work and communicate to our full potential," Jeetu Patel, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Security and Collaboration, said in a statement.
Cisco's new Real-Time Media Models (RMMs) in Webex, enhancing audio and video quality, have the ability to take multiple media streams and produce multiple outputs, such as people and object recognition and action analytics like movement and gestures.
RMMs in Webex will also enable audio and video channels to be used as signals of context in traditional text-based capabilities like meeting summaries and highlights.
Moreover, Cisco is unveiling a new AI Codec in Webex, a new generative AI solution that will redefine real-time communication and solve the challenge of audio quality. The audio Codec aims to deliver crystal-clear audio regardless of network conditions, even in areas with spotty connections.
Webex will similarly apply machine learning techniques to Boost video quality using Super Resolution.
According to the company, the newly launched Webex AI Assistant will power a robust set of capabilities that empower people to do their best work.
Webex AI Assistant will prompt users with questions, like "ask me about the meeting", that users can respond to with typing sentences, such as "catch me up on the 15 minutes I missed in the meeting" or "catch me up on all the meetings I missed on Friday while I was on PTO", to generate answers in real-time, the company explained.
Despite facing the largest cumulative increase in official interest rates in 40 years, the United States economy has demonstrated surprising resilience. Throughout the past year, gross domestic product grew by 2.9%, and employment remains strong. Unemployment is standing at 3.9%. This has spelled great things for tech stocks to buy.
The Fed funds rate has been raised by 525 basis points since March 2022, with a significant uptick of 100 points this year. This robust economic performance is positive for the stock market, and these are three perfect tech stocks to buy that you should invest in like renowned investor Cathie Wood.
Cisco Systems (CSCO)
Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) provides end-to-end networking equipment, security, collaboration, data center and IoT.
The company had very strong Q4 earnings, with revenue of $15.2 billion growing 16% YoY. The EPS of $1.14 beat expectations by $0.08. Net income of $3.98 billion grew 40.6% YoY. The company has found success with its business model transformation. Total software revenue rose 17% YoY and software subscription revenue is up 20% YoY.
The stock is up 8.95% YTD. Yahoo! Finance reports 16 analysts with a mean one-year price target of $58.47, ranging from $45.00 to $76.00.
The network-as-a-service market has recently seen an increase in its projection with sources showing a 32%–35% CAGR. This increase in growth estimates is very attractive since it shows a higher industry potential.
Cisco’s largest growth catalyst this year is its recently announced acquisition of Splunk. At $28 billion, this is the company’s largest acquisition to date. This is key as Splunk will help move organizations from threat detection and response to prediction and prevention. The acquision illustrates a step forward in the cybersecurity space with AI technology. In addition, this acquisition will accelerate Cisco’s business transformation to more recurring revenue.
Cisco’s strong earnings and Splunk acquisition make it a stock that you do not want missing from your portfolio.
Broadcom Incorporated (AVGO)
Source: Sasima / Shutterstock.com
Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) has two main products: semiconductors and infrastructure software applications. The company has shown an excellent performance this year–the stock is up 71.09% YTD. Despite already growing so much this year, most notable firms are still saying Broadcom is undervalued.
In May, Apple announced a multibillion-dollar deal with Broadcom for the development of 5G radio frequency and wireless connectivity components. This huge agreement possesses countless benefits for Broadcom. 5G tech is a keystone of next-gen electronics, so receiving the funding to build FBAR filters in key American technology hubs will be a large catalyst for Broadcom. This partnership will also allow for investment further in critical automation projects and upskilling technicians and engineers.
Recently, Google reaffirmed its partnership with Broadcom. This lucrative chip partnership consists of Broadcom developing Google’s TPU chip series, which are specialized processors optimized to run AI models. This was critical, as Broadcom’s involvement in this AI chip-making partnership is essential to its growth in an AI economy. This partnership is only ramping up, with Google continuously accelerating chip orders. With the debut of the TPU v5e at the end of August and hints at a successor to the chip, Broadcom is in position to profit.
Yahoo! Finance reports 23 analysts with a mean 1-year price target of $977.61, ranging from $879.00 to $1,050.00.
With several long-term growth catalysts, including the in-progress acquisition of VMWare, Broadcom has never been in a better position to grow.
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)
Source: The Art of Pics / Shutterstock.com
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is a technology conglomerate, focused on developing market-ready software and hardware, with a recent shift of focus onto Artificial Intelligence with the acquisition of OpenAI. Currently, MSFT is valued at $366.68, with a year-to-date growth of 53.05%.
The global information technology sector continues its strong standing, thriving recently in 2022. 2027 is projected to grow to $12 trillion, marking a five-year CAGR of 7.9%. As known, Microsoft holds a strong standing in the industry, with a global market share of 21%.
Financially, MSFT had a great quarter in Q3 ’23, with every metric reporting year-over-year increases. Revenue was reported at $56.52 billion, or a YoY increase of 12.76%. Furthermore, both net income and diluted EPS grew nearly 27% a piece, with figures of $22.29 billion and 2.99 respectively. Finally, MSFT also outperformed consensus earnings estimates, with revenue beating projections by 3.6% and EPS by 12.82%.
Overall, the largest catalyst behind Microsoft’s future success has been the large announcements of OpenAI’s recent breakthroughs and product launches. Among these are GPT stores, allowing for users to upload and get versions of artificial intelligence chatbots to interact with. Further, OpenAI announced GPT-4 Turbo or further advances in the latest stage of their breakthrough product ChatGPT. Ultimately, the continuous development of AI will further push MSFT’s valuation and revenue through the roof. If you are looking for tech stocks to buy, start here.
On the date of publication, Michael Que did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
The researchers contributing to this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Michael Que is a financial writer with extensive experience in the technology industry, with his work featured on Seeking Alpha, Benzinga and MSN Money. He is the owner of Que Capital, a research firm that combines fundamental analysis with ESG factors to pick the best sustainable long-term investments.
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‘Networking, security, collaboration and observability—all of these things start to come together. Those are the four businesses we’re in and each business makes the other business better. That’s the beauty about the flywheel effect that you get with Cisco,’ says Cisco Executive Vice President and General Manager of Security and Collaboration Jeetu Patel.
Cisco Systems’ popular Webex collaboration platform is getting more powerful thanks to AI and because it’s leveraging the strength the tech giant has in its other businesses like networking —something its collaboration competitors don’t have, according to Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s executive vice president and general manager of security and collaboration.
“Networking, security, collaboration and observability—all of these things start to come together. Those are the four businesses we’re in and each business makes the other business better. That’s the beauty about the flywheel effect that you get with Cisco,” Patel told CRN during WebexOne 2023.
The tech giant at the event in Anaheim, Calif., this week unveiled a series of new AI-powered features and functionality being baked into the Webex platform.
“I can actually look into anyone’s eyes and say this is categorically the best product in the market that’s about to get 10X better,” Patel said of the updates.
AI-Powered Collaboration Features
Cisco Wednesday introduced new Real-Time Media Models (RMMs) in Webex designed to pick up on visual and audible cues, such as gestures or an individual walking out of the room during a meeting. These AI-based RMMs will enhance audio and video quality by using these actions and object recognition as context, Patel said. The models will also be able to provide Webex users real-time insight about their meetings and collaboration sessions.
Patel said Webex will be able recognize that a meeting participant stepped away and capture meeting notes to bring that person up to speed when they return.
“This [technology] allows us to deliver insight like no one else can,” said Javed Khan, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Security and Collaboration.
Also rolled out Wednesday was the new Webex AI Codec, which will ensure clear audio and video regardless of bandwidth, Cisco said.
Network impairments or connectivity issues often occur for many users, especially those working in hybrid settings. These issues can take a toll on calls and meeting quality. To that end, Cisco’s new Webex AI Codec is a generative AI offering that will redefine real-time communication and solve the challenge of audio quality, regardless of network conditions. The audio Codec works by allowing for transmission redundancy to recover from network packet loss. Even just 5 percent to 7 percent packet loss will start to impact audio, Patel said. The new technology gives users “crystal-clear” audio, even with up to 80 percent to 90 percent packet loss in certain instances, he added.
“We made the compression and the transmission so efficient that we can have 1/16th of the bandwidth that’s needed,” Patel said.
The new codec also has built-in speech enhancement features, such as noise removal, de-reverberation and bandwidth extension, Cisco said.
“You can’t have a delay on the audio and video side of things. That’s where we feel we have a fundamental [edge]. … Doing that in real time is a different art,” Khan said.
Similarly on the video quality side, Webex will apply machine learning techniques to Boost video quality using Super Resolution, the company said. Videos will be able to be scaled down to 270p and then dialed back up to 1,080p.
“That’s happening because of generative AI. When we talked about generative AI, it’s not just for text, we’re doing it in audio and video,” Patel said. “This is what Cisco does. We know how to go out and make sure that we can manage packets effectively. We are a networking company at heart, so we’ve been able to go out and use that core heritage to build something that’s fundamentally different.”
Cisco’s recently introduced Webex AI Assistant, which is already embedded in Cisco collaboration devices, now includes a new set of features that pull in RMMs and Large Language Models (LLMs) to Boost communication and collaboration for hybrid workers and contact center agents.
The new Webex AI Assistant features include Change Message Tone, which offers recommended changes to tone or phrasing within Webex Messaging and Slido. An example that Cisco gave was that Webex AI Assistant may suggest changing a stern response such as, “This isn’t good” and rework the summary to “This is a fantastic document, but the up-front summary could use some improvement.” Another new feature is Suggested Responses to messages, a capability for contact center agents responding to customers across digital channels that pulls in context history from the conversation and any previously added customer data.
Meeting Summaries, another new feature, lets users catch up on missed portions of meetings or entire meetings in real time with a summary of what was missed that will be organized into chapters and highlights. Message Summaries, on the other hand, will recap unread messages. These summaries can be customized so that a user can ask Webex AI Assistant to summarize messages from their boss only, for example. Meanwhile, Slido course Summaries generate common syllabus shared in an interactive Q&A and polling during virtual and hybrid events so that participants can easily see what’s trending, Cisco said.
The new AI-based capabilities are in various stages of availability. Shipping is slated to begin before the end of 2023, Cisco said.
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Bang & Olufsen (CPH: BO) today unveiled new true wireless earbuds built with enterprise-grade features customized for professionals on-the-go. Furthering their partnership to provide customers with top-quality audio experiences whether they’re at home, at work or in transit, the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950 delivers a high-end aesthetic and premium sound combined with advanced security and manageability features.
This product release is an extension of the Cisco and Bang & Olufsen partnership, which addresses increased customer expectation for multifunctional devices that fit their lifestyles in and out of work. As hybrid work continues to enable flexibility in how and where people work, the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950 enables crystal-clear audio for seamless collaboration from any setting. The earbuds are fully manageable in Cisco’s Control Hub platform, giving IT greater visibility and control over their entire fleet of collaboration devices and peripherals.
“As businesses continue to embrace the flexibility of hybrid work, employees need professional-grade tech solutions that enable work from any setting,” said Snorre Kjesbu, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Webex Devices at Cisco. “We’re excited to expand our partnership with B&O to deliver exceptional audio experiences with extensive functionality and timeless design and craftsmanship.”
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with Cisco to deliver the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950,” said Duncan McCue, Vice President Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, Bang & Olufsen. “Equipped with Cisco’s advanced features for secure collaboration and Bang & Olufsen’s unparalleled capabilities in sound innovation and design, these earbuds are perfect for hybrid workers who want immersive audio experiences.”
Key features of the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950 include:
Enhanced connectivity and functionality: With a long battery life, high-fidelity audio, Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, in-ear voice notifications, on-ear controls and Bluetooth 5.2 for quick pairing, the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950 provides an elevated user experience.
An unlikely pairing of Danish audio company Bang & Olufsen and network/digital communications company Cisco just happened with the birth of new wireless earbuds we will discuss in this article.
Earbuds have come a long way since Onkyo released the world’s first true wireless earbuds back in 2015. Apple’s Airpods came out a year later and STILL dominate the market with 35% sales of all wireless earbuds. Other audio companies want a piece of the popular wireless headphone market but have to find a way to set themselves apart. Some of these, like Dyson’s bizarre Zone 3 Air purifying headphones, are indeed unique, but definitely comprise a niche market. Others, like Denon’s PerL Pro, figures out the optimal sound for each individual, to cater to your unique ears.
I got a chance to demo the PerL Pro at the 2023 Audio Advice Live Show and the experience was transformative. After running the hearing test, the Denon’s customized the sound to my hearing profile and provided the BEST IEM experience I’ve ever had regardless of price!
- Gene DellaSala, Audioholics
Now, Bang & Olufsen and Cisco have partnered up to create the B&O/Cisco 950 wireless earbuds. B&O and Cisco have joined forces in the past. In 2021, with the growing need for virtual conferencing, they released their 980 over the ear headphones designed for corporate customers to be worn all day. The 980 over ear headphones featured easy deployment by IT administrators and tools for managing and viewing real-time analytics from a single platform and provided enterprise-grade hardware and software protection so business calls and conversations could be kept secure.
The new 950 earbuds take the enhanced security of the 980 over the ear headphones and put them in a smaller package. According to B&O, the earbuds can “seamlessly inter-operate and are optimized for Webex Meetings and Calling.” addressing an ever-growing need for multifunctional devices that fit their lifestyles in and out of work. As hybrid work continues, electronic manufacturers need to enable flexibility in how and where people work. B&O have designed the 950 for “crystal-clear audio for seamless collaboration” from many settings. The earbuds are fully manageable in Cisco’s Control Hub platform, giving IT greater visibility and control over their entire fleet of collaboration devices and peripherals.
As businesses continue to embrace the flexibility of hybrid work, employees need professional-grade tech solutions that enable work from any setting. We’re excited to expand our partnership with B&O to deliver exceptional audio experiences with extensive functionality and timeless design and craftsmanship.
--Snorre Kjesbu, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Webex Devices at Cisco
B&O. estimate at 5 hours talk time for the 950. By comparison, the Apple Airpods Pro (3rd gen) provide a 4 hour talk time. Pretty much all Bluetooth earbuds in this price range come with some sort of noise cancellation. We’ve found with most earbuds, the noise cancellation does get better as the price increases. The software and hardware does a better job at practicing the environment and almost instantaneously relates that information to the earbuds to compensate for what is going on around you. We won’t know the extent of the noise cancellation until we get a set in for trial though, but from what we’ve seen of their 980 headphones, we expect the adaptive active noise cancellation from the earbuds to be exceptional. The earbuds come with Bluetooth 5.2 which is expected, but the ability to pair with two active connections simultaneously and the addition of an app for the earbuds is an unexpected bonus.
We’re excited to expand our partnership with Cisco to deliver the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950. Equipped with Cisco’s advanced features for secure collaboration and Bang & Olufsen’s unparalleled capabilities in sound innovation and design, these earbuds are perfect for hybrid workers who want immersive audio experiences.
--Duncan McCue, Vice President Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, Bang & Olufsen
The 950 comes with “Enterprise-grade security and management features.” Which allows IT admins to easily maintain and securely update the device in Webex’s Control Hub, the central dashboard for Cisco Collaboration Devices and Webex services. They can also get insights on device inventory and utilization, to help maximize their return on investment. The new earbuds are optimized for Webex and pairs with other Cisco collaboration devices, with call controls and prioritization for calling and meetings.
I talked at length with a friend about the new cyber security features of the 950 earbuds. She was excited at the new technology and the prospect of using a device such as this for meetings either at the office or at home. If anything else, it’s the security features of the B&O 950s that sets them apart from other earbuds in the $300-$400 range.
While my office is utilizing Microsoft Teams and a work-from-home structure for a majority of operational meetings, anything with Bluetooth capabilities cannot be used with a government device. The government laptops we use for these meetings, both in the office and working from home, do not allow for Bluetooth connectivity due to security issues. Although the enhanced security of the Bang & Olufsen / Cisco 950 is a step in the right direction. Independent contractors have more leeway with Bluetooth devices and could have a greater use for a technologically innovative product such as this.
--Allison Archer, Systems Engineering Specialist
I like that the earbuds come with four sets of silicon tips and one pair of foam tips to help find your unique fit and that they are IP54 rated, which means that they are not only waterproof but also dust and sand resistant.
I also personally like stemmed earbuds over round ones, so I like the look of the new B&O 950s. The addition of tempered glass, aluminum and silicon in the black finish adds to the overall appearance as well. Right now they look to only come in black, but we’ll see if they add a white finish in the future.
The Bang & Olufsen Cisco 950 will be available for order starting this November with an estimated retail price of $395.
Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.
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