WebEx Upgrade (29.8.2) – September 4th, 2014

On Thu Sept. 4th, 2014 between 10pm and 2:59am EST, Cisco will be upgrading your WebEx services to the new release; WBS 29.8.2.

Please refer to the following documentation and video for an overview of the changes:

The following services will be affected:

  • Cisco WebEx Meeting Center
  • Cisco WebEx Training Center
  • Cisco WebEx Event Center
  • Cisco WebEx Support Center

The following sites will be affected:

  • dukemed.webex.com
  • dukeuniversity.webex.com

The following highlights the changes being made:

  • Simplified User Experience
  • Faster experience to Join Meetings
  • Meeting Center Page Redesign
  • Event Center Refresh
  • New method to join meetings using Chrome
  • Productivity Tools for Mac
  • Wideband Audio Support

See below for an overview of the changes:

This contains information to help ensure a smooth transition. All Cisco WebEx meeting Hosts and Attendees will receive the new version of the Meeting client upon entering a session for the first time.

Please note:

  • After we upgrade your site, a new Meeting client will automatically be offered the first time users enter a meeting. The installation of the new client is automatic and browser restart is not required.

Meet Your NEW WebEx! Cisco is very excited to introduce you to the NEW look of WebEx with the release of WebEx Business Suite WBS 29.8.2.

In this release you will find several new and improved enhancements designed to help make every meeting more productive and effective on any device. A few highlights of this release include a new and simplified user experience to provide ease of use through every step of a meeting, including improvements such as the ability to join meetings up to 30% faster*. We’ve also made scheduling from Outlook easier with Productivity Tools for the Mac. You’ll also be able to hear everyone more clearly when using VoIP with support for the next generation of voice quality with wideband/HD audio.

As the proven, industry leader in web conferencing we hope that you enjoy the NEW look of WebEx as well as the improved functionalities.

* Dependent on computer speed and bandwidth




Simplified User Experience

Cisco has improved the WebEx user interface with a new modern look and feel designed to improve the ease of use throughout meetings. Some key functions have been simplified to provide quicker access to the most relevant functionality.

Improvements to WebEx Meeting Center (MC) and Event Center (EC):

  • New modern, simplified user interface including:
    • A new “WebEx Ball” icon
    • New icons for panels and the Floating Icon Tray
    • An updated vertical annotation bar
    • Consolidated and updated controls in the Quick Start tab
  • New Audio Dialog as well as updated ‘Sharing’ & ‘Invite & Remind’ dialogs
  • Desktop and Application sharing is displayed within the tab for attendees
  • New liquid layout, allowing you to change the proportion of video and. content up to a 50:50 ratio
  • Fields on the meeting info tab can be copied
  • Chat & Notes panels are minimized by default and show as icons on top
  • Updates specific to the Event Center user interface:
    • Q & A Colors
    • Updated practice sessions with a highlighted yellow box
    • Updated audio broadcast dialog

Usability Enhancements to Meeting Center

  • An option to turn on/off the entry/exit audio tone within a meeting
  • The ability to allow a Host to leave a meeting without ending it, with automatic transfer of the Host role
  • The presenter role automatically passes to the Host if the first attendee has become presenter, and is not sharing content
  • For all WebEx Centers: When sharing content during a meeting, screen savers will be disabled

A Cleaner, Faster Experience to Join Meetings

We have been working to improve the time it takes for users to join a meeting and are happy to announce that based on our testing, users should now be able to join WebEx meetings up to 30% faster *. In addition, the join experience has been streamlined and we have removed the connecting pop up windows. We will now clearly present the join status within the meeting window **.

* Dependent on computer speed and bandwidth

** Must be joining the WebEx meeting by URL using ActiveX, a Plugin, or an Extension



WebEx Meeting Center Page Redesign

Meeting Center pages have been redesigned with a new simple and modern user interface with improved Section 508 accessibility compliance. All functionality and design interaction remains the same.

Improvements include:
New modern, simplified user interface including:

  • A new “WebEx Ball” icon
  • New icons, fonts and colors
  • The “Welcome” tab has been simplified and renamed to “Home”
  • Improved experience to join meetings for return users
  • A global header and left navigation for all WebEx Centers



New Method to Join Meetings on Chrome

As you may remember from our November 2013 communication http://support.webex.com/LocalizedUpgrades/Chrome_FireFox_NPAPI/Firefox_Chrome_NPAPI_11_22.pdf

Google has announced that Netscape Plug-in Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) support will be completely removed from Chrome by the end of 2014. As part of Cisco’s commitment to providing a simple and easy way for users to join WebEx meetings; we are providing a new, alternative method to join meetings that does not require the use of NPAPI support.

Our new join method will use a Chrome extension starting with Chrome 38. All previous versions of Chrome will still use the plug-in. To support you with this transition we prepared two documents:

  1. WebEx Chrome Extension – Chrome 38 FAQ
  2. WebEx Chrome Extension Installation Guide

If your company relies on Chrome to join WebEx meetings, we highly suggest you review the details covered in the WebEx Chrome Extension Installation Guide.

If your company does not use Chrome, this change does not impact you.

WebEx Productivity Tools for Mac

Productivity Tools provides an easy and convenient way to schedule and start WebEx meetings from Microsoft Outlook on Macs. Simply select the WebEx “ball” to add a WebEx meeting to your Microsoft Outlook Calendar invitation. Productivity Tools is also available on Windows.

The first Mac version of WebEx Productivity Tools supports:

  1. Scheduling and updating one-time and recurring meetings for Meeting Center and Training Center
  2. Scheduling and updating events for Event Center
  3. Starting an instant Meeting Center meeting

Please note, the following use cases are not supported in the first version of WebEx Productivity Tools for Mac

  1. Telephony Service Provider Audio
  2. Audio Only Meetings (Personal Conference Number & Cisco Meeting Place)
  3. Schedule on Behalf of a Host
  4. Assigning an Alternate Host(s)

Productivity Tools Send Problem Report (Windows and Mac)

Accessing log files in the system folders is no longer required. The new “send problem report” feature makes it easy for users to get log files for Support purposes. The log files can be sent through email to Support personnel when requested.

Audio Improvements: Wideband Audio Support

Hear everyone in the meeting more clearly when using VoIP with support for the next generation of voice quality with wideband audio, also known as “HD Voice” .

VoIP Wideband Audio in WebEx

  • Captures a wider frequency range to provide clearer audio connections
  • Is supported via the OPUS wideband audio codec
  • The OPUS codec has superior Packet Loss Concealment (PLC) and Forward Error Correction (FEC) and is more resilient to packet loss. As a result, it provides better audio quality in less ideal conditions
  • Supports a better noise suppression algorithm to provide a much better experience when using audio through a computer even without headset
  • Has enhanced jitter buffer for UDP based VOIP traffic
  • Provides a reduced delay and data loss with smaller packet sampling size of 20ms

Supported when using WebEx VOIP

  • Wideband Audio Codec (OPUS) is now the default codec for WebEx VOIP attendees
  • Windows, MAC and Linux desktop clients, IOS and Android mobile devices are supported as well as NBR for VOIP only session
    • Both VOIP Only as well as Hybrid Meetings will now support the wideband codec

Not Supported

  • Windows mobile, and Blackberry devices will continue to support narrowband audio
  • If any user joins the WebEx meeting from a Windows mobile or Blackberry device, then the entire meeting will be shifted to narrowband audio
  • NBR recording and playback for hybrid audio sessions are not supported

Known Issues

When a returning user joins a meeting after a presenter has started sharing, the user is taken to the sharing tab but the Audio dialog may not automatically show. In this case, users will need to join audio by clicking on the Audio button in the Participant List panel or from the Audio menu at the top or from the Quickstart tab. This issue will be fixed soon in an upcoming patch.

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 30th, 2014 at 1:44 pm and is filed under Previous Service Updates. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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