ITS has rolled out several upgrades to Webex services for all users at UNCG.
We are excited to announce some upcoming enhancements to the UNCG Webex experience! As of September 12 , many new features will be available to faculty, staff, and students, including toll call-in for all sessions, unlimited recording storage in Webex, support for the Webex Web App (including meeting access for Chrome OS users), and more.
Naming and Branding
In a previous update, Cisco rolled out changes to naming. “WebEx” is now “Webex” – no more capital E. And, each Webex platform no longer contains the “Center” term – Webex Meeting Center became Webex Meetings, and so forth. These changes took effect in late July 2018.
Previously, students accessed Webex via an entirely separate URL and platform from faculty and staff (uncg-students.webex.com vs. uncg.webex.com). Now, all users (faculty, staff, and students) will access Webex at the same URL – webex.uncg.edu (or uncg.webex.com). The old Webex environment for students has been retired.
As such, there is no longer the need for any users to opt-in to the Webex service. All faculty, staff, and students will be given accounts in Webex automatically, in a manner similar to other UNCG services (like Google and Canvas).
All Webex sessions will now include the option for users to call in to the audio conference via telephone, instead of via computer (VoIP). While VoIP will still provide the best quality connection, this additional option will provide more flexibility for users who do not have reliable Internet connections, but still need to join their Webex sessions.
All new Webex sessions created on or after today will utilize toll call-in. Any existing Webex sessions (scheduled prior to today) will perform with the same feature set with which they were set up (meaning no call-in). To utilize toll call-in on previously-scheduled sessions, users should delete and re-schedule the sessions (if using Webex in Canvas), or edit the session and use Webex Audio instead of VoIP Only (if using Webex directly via the web portal).
Webex Web App
Sessions conducted with Webex Meetings or Webex Events may now leverage the new Webex Web App, which is an alternate method for joining the session directly from a supported web browser. The “traditional” client-based Webex platform will continue to be available, and will provide the most feature-rich Webex experience, but the Web App offers a slimmer, more modern option for users who do not need the “advanced” features of Webex. The Web App does not require users to download a plugin at all, and can perform most basic Webex functions – including audio and video conferencing, content sharing, chat, and more – directly in the web browser.
Since the Webex Web App allows users to join directly from a web browser, this additionally allows users who are on Chrome OS devices (Chromebooks, for example) to join Webex sessions.
For full documentation on the Webex Web App, visit the following links:
- Webex Web App – Overview
- Webex Web App – System Requirements
- Webex Web App – Getting Started
- Webex Web App – Features
- Webex Web App – Known Issues and Limitations
Enhanced Webex Experience for Student Hosts
The old Webex experience for student hosts provided access to a simplified version of the Webex Meetings platform – meetings were limited to 8 users, and recording was only possible on a Windows computer, to the local hard drive (WRF format).
The new Webex experience for student hosts will match the experience for faculty and staff hosts, providing them access to the full, robust feature set of every Webex platform. Students will gain access to new platforms (Webex Training, Webex Events, and Webex Support), and enjoy new features such as increased attendee capacity (1000 participants), network-based recording (ARF format), and telephone dial-in.
SIP URI Device Dialing
Webex sessions can now include devices that support the SIP URI standard. This includes Cisco conferencing devices like the Room Kit, or Webex Board, but supports any device that is SIP-capable (many Android devices and soft phones can do this as well).
This feature will allow UNCG users to potentially expand the Webex experience beyond computers and mobile devices.
Modern View Web Interface Availability
When scheduling/managing Webex sessions directly at uncg.webex.com, users now have the option to enable the “Modern View” interface. Modern View is a different layout for the Webex web portal, which aims to reorganize the web page for better efficiency and clarity.
This is the first step of UNCG’s gradual roll-out of this feature – Modern View is now available for all users as an opt-in feature, which can be reverted at any time. At a later date, Modern View will become the default, with a fallback to Classic View still available. Finally, Modern View will eventually replace the Classic View entirely.