By Jorlinis Centeno, CA DCSS & Joanna Hawley-Jones, CA DCSS Systems Software Specialist III
It’s a new year and the California Department of Child Support Services (CA DCSS) is implementing new software to better conduct meetings and conference calls statewide. The program, which will replace the current AT&T software, is called Cisco WebEx and can be used for hosting webinars, private meetings and video conferencing, and offers more stability and ease of use.
With Cisco WebEx, CA DCSS staff will be able to use one platform for a wide range of meeting requirements, improving business agility and creating more effective connections with our colleagues and partners anytime and anywhere.
CA DCSS staff who host meeings will have a variety of formats to choose from that will allow documents to be shared for review and editing, desktops to be shared for multi-location presentations, and control of the meeting to be passed from one participant to another, including local child support agency teams in their own locations. WebEx is supported on PCs, iPads, tablets and cell phones, and there will be How-To documents available through a Service Now request to the Service Desk.
For personal meetings, CA DCSS staff can use the WebEx personal meeting room, known as My WebEx. Personal meetings can have one host and up to 24 participants. There is also a virtual “open meeting room,” for unscheduled meetings on the fly – for example, staff can reach out to a busy vendor to ask for a meeting, and when that vendor has a moment, the requester gets a message and the meeting can begin right then and there.
The WebEx Meeting Center is designed specifically for larger online meetings with up to 1,000 attendees. It facilitates more extensive communication between all parties by allowing the host and participants alike to share videos, applications, presentations and work collaboratively to update documents. For example, participants in a meeting can now navigate through PowerPoint slides and share documents that all meeting attendees can edit so long as the host has authorized them to do so.
The WebEx Event Center is meant for even larger, “lecture” type meetings with up to 3,000 attendees. All participants can join the audio broadcast of the meeting, however, due to the high number of participants interactive communication is offered non-verbally, through a written Q&A panel and chat.
Right now, the software is being integrated with special attention to CA DCSS’ unique information security requirements, and the team expects the program to roll out in February and go fully live in early March.