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Hi, my name is David Hasfurter, Senior Systems Engineer with TERACAI, focusing on the collaboration side.



Today, I'm going to be talking to you a bit about Insights, and this new feature that has been integrated into Webex.


What is Insights?


Insights was a brain child of a company called Accompany, that was head my Amy Chang. Well, Cisco when through and purchased them, and brought Amy Chang on. With the departure of Rowan Trollope, Amy Chang has stepped in as the Senior Vice President of Collaboration Technology Group at Cisco. What she has done is, she's brought her technology that was developed at Accompany, and brought it and is starting to integrate it, and put her fingerprint on Webex.


So, what does this all mean?


With Insights, they go through and they gather as much information as possible, out in the public space, remind you, of everything that is known about every person. So, they start gathering this data, they're scouring the Internet every nano second, and just pulling this data, pulling this data, and just collecting data and data on every single person. A lot of people are like, "Oh, I don't want them collecting data on me."


This is all public information. Your LinkedIn profiles if it's public, your Facebook profiles if it's public. It pulls from News Wire, any news articles, anything that's pulled about you and the company that you work for.


How is this different? This is different in that it's being integrated directly into Webex. Now, when you join a Webex and you put in your first and last name, and it matches, on the right hand side now, if you click on that person, it'll start to show you some information about that person. The way Cisco is touting this is a good thing, right? They want you to be able to have all the information at your fingertips.


Now, if Amy Chang were to join my Webex meeting, I could click on Amy Chang. I could see what company she's worked for, I can see what's her job title, what has her job title been. The companies she worked for, how is their stock doing, what are latest news articles on that company, and start to pull public information about her, right at my fingertips instead of going out and actually finding it on my own.


Is this good, or is this bad? My opinion, since it's pulling public information, this isn't a bad thing. It's just giving you more information about the people you're talking to, especially in my role as a consultant. Sometimes I don't really know much about the people, or the company even that I'm talking to. I'm talking to them very specifically about a product or something within their company that'll help them, but maybe I don't know that they're a tire manufacturer, or another consulting firm themselves but in a different field.


I don't think this is a bad thing, but this is something that people have got to start realizing, is that data analytics and the amount of data that's being collected. In a not so good way, it's showing you how much data is out there, in the public field, that is accessible. If you start thinking about the amount of data that they're collecting, the warehouses that they're just building, collecting data and giving it to other people at their fingertips, right?


I listened to Amy Chang do a keynote speak at Enterprise Connect where she was talking about this technology, and how it can be used as well. One of the things that a company was doing is going back to colleges, big colleges. For example, Syracuse University is very close to us, here in Syracuse, obviously. With Syracuse University, they would be able to present all the data on maybe the last three years of graduates and say, okay, here's a bell graph of the people. Here are top ranked people that have graduated from your college. What degrees did they have? What job titles did they hold, and how fast did they move up?


Now, the colleges can get a bit of an idea of, okay, here's all the college graduates in the last three years. What programs did the best? Maybe there was a set of teachers that showed through on the students, and helped them progress. maybe they can go back into their own data and say, okay, well these students went and got help on getting internships. Boom, here we can see they're on a faster growth path than a majority of the other students that just graduated and went on their own.


It's a way of being able to analyze, and look at people compared to other people. Then, also, being able to give out that data, or even sell that data. Who knows if Cisco is going to try and sell the data? Accompany, obviously, was trying to sell that data, and grow their business that way, but then once Cisco acquired them, now Cisco has taken all of that data in house and is starting to integrate it.


So, Amy's integrating it into the Collaboration Suite. First thing was Webex, that was the easiest way to present some of the data that they already have and integrate it in quickly. This is where my predictions are starting to come in.


I could see that, in the other parts of the Collaboration Suite, you get a Contact Center. Now, you call into that Contact Center, they have your information on file. They match a phone number that you called in on, and boom, all of a sudden now that agent has information about you, that's publicly known or publicly posted. Give them a bit of insight into who you are that's calling in. Maybe it helps out, maybe it doesn't. Maybe they have other data that they're not willing to share at this moment. They would be able to present to potential customers through a contact center agents to give them more information.


I've said this before, but I really feel like contact center is probably the biggest growth area for Cisco. They're doing a lot with cloud calling, and the Broadsoft acquisition, and really integrating that into the portfolio. Contact center can use a lot more AI, and a lot more machine learning than it already has.


What I mean by that is, you call into these contact centers, and have it automatically pull information on who you are, or who'd you last call. Who was the last agent you talked to? Do we want to route the call to that agent? There's a lot more flexibility and growth potential in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and even grabbing this information and posting it automatically to agents, to give them more information, or to more intelligently route the call, even to begin with.


Some other stuff that I heard that is coming down the line is the facial recognition. All the new telepresence devices, anything with Webex, Webex room kits, they all have the facial recognition built in. What is this going to do for collaboration?


Well, it's going to start matching the people to the faces, and then you can build profiles within your own hub, or your own portfolio. That way, when the face is recognized, it puts a digital tag underneath of them, of who they are. Okay, sounds kind of cool. What if that person moves within the conference room, and now that tag can follow them? It's not just a generic tag thrown on the screen, it's actually labeled to the person based on that facial recognition. That's some of the other stuff that they're starting to show, too.


If you're worried about Big Brother, you've got to understand that all these vendors, and all this technology, the way they're going to grow is this artificial intelligence and machine learning. It's the next big curve for integrating into different product sets. A lot of people have those Google Homes and Alexas, those are all machine learning and artificial intelligence, and listening to you. Adapting very quickly, and learning a lot, right?


We thought Google was collecting a lot of data. Well, there's a lot more companies now that are collecting data. You know, it wasn't that long ago that we saw Facebook give out too much data to their third party vendors, or third party vendors taking advantage of the amount of data that Facebook has. There's a lot of data being collected on us, no matter where we are. If we touch the Internet, on our cell phone or anything, data is being collected on us. We walk around? Data is being collected. It's just something to be aware of, and understand that the times are changing. Some people absolutely hate it. Understood. Some people love it because its' going to be help make us, potentially, safer. I like that part. It can be used in the wrong hands as well.


The big thing with the Accompany, and the ability to collect data on people is it's got to be able to sort out people, as well. Amy Chang even mentioned this in her keynote speech as well. She's got a very generic, Eastern Asia type name, Amy Chang. There's probably 100,000 Amy Changs. They have to collect the data on all those Amy Changs, and then sort out what that data actually means to each person, and making sure they're matching it up to the right person. Whether it's based on facial recognition, on pictures that are posted on the public. Maybe it's even public information about their age, maybe they look at their job history and try and cross match it against another public profile. Even though they're collecting all this data, they've got to make sure the data is accurate in presenting it as well. They've got to make sure that they post that information and match it up to the right person.


In summary, this new Insights that's being integrated into Webex is out now. You can turn it on within your portal. It's something definitely worth checking out, and if you get a chance check out my blog as well, with some of the screenshots from it. You'll start to see why this is so cool, and what it's able to do. Maybe you'll think that it's kind of scary, and you'll find out it's got way more information on you than you even knew was posted out in the public.


Take a look at it. Check out our website, TERACAI.com. Check out our Twitter handle, check out the blog from the website under Resources. Thanks again for listening.


David Hasfurter, Senior Systems Engineer, Collaboration.