- Mercedes-Benz E-class vehicles are getting an extension to the office with the integration of Cisco Webex capabilities, Cisco announced this week.
- Cars equipped with Webex will have background noise cancellation, the ability to join meetings hands-free and low bandwidth detection. While vehicles are in motion, meetings will be audio-only. Cars will also have access to Zoom video conferencing and web browser Vivaldi, according to Mercedes-Benz.
- The Mercedes-Benz partnership is another notch in Webex’s mobile office belt. Last year, Ford announced it would add Webex capabilities to its newest EVs. Webex is also available through Apple’s CarPlay and Toyota Smart Device Link.
Whether there is enterprise interest or not, vendors are using partnerships to make their tools more sticky, said Mike Fasciani, senior director analyst at Gartner.
“The more you can make the accessibility to Webex and all of its capabilities as easy as possible, it just makes it harder to be displaced,” Fasciani said.
Webex is not the only vendor making vehicle inroads. Video collaboration tool competitor Zoom partnered with Tesla in November. It also has some limited capabilities on Apple CarPlay.
Zoom also partnered with AMC to extend the office to movie theaters for companywide meetings and events in November.
For some workers, like those regularly traveling to sites and field technicians, extending the office can make everyday work duties a little more collaborative, according to Fasciani.
“People that come out to repair an air conditioner or other things within the home will be better suited to better communicate while driving or at a site, so that would be a benefit,” Fasciani said.
Extending the office could either be a dream for someone with a long morning commute and more travel-based occupations or a nightmare for someone wanting to have some level of separation from work and life, Fasciani said.