The Cisco Collaboration Strategy: Spark is the Answer

Collaboration; teaming; huddling; ideation. These are all buzzwords being used when people talk about the change that is happening in business.

Flexible working; millennials; work life balance; work from anywhere. It all sounds exciting as we move to a connected anywhere anytime scenario which is being driven by both a change in mindset and the availability of new and improved technology.

But how does a giant global technology corporation like Cisco respond and more to the point, lead the way when it comes to unified collaboration and communicating?

Earlier this year Cisco launched Spark, their latest collaboration service, alongside the Cisco Spark Board and Spark Room Kit. You can read about them in our previous blogs that introduce each of them.

There have been numerous new services and applications launched over the last couple of years aimed at changing the way we work and interact as colleagues. Microsoft gave us Skype for Business and Office365 with the ability to move collaboration to the cloud. Slack and other team messaging applications launched with a new cloud collaboration model which appeared to take off exponentially with their adoption.

Whilst Microsoft reacted to Slack by launching Teams, Cisco took their own approach with Spark. What they developed was an Experience Centric, Cloud Connected and Value Extended service that delivers an all in one solution to collaboration. Something that no-one else has yet achieved.

Spark enables users to collaborate with chat, video, audio, meeting spaces, whiteboard and screen and file sharing all from the one single place. It is, as Cisco say, Simple, Secure, Complete and Open.

Simple. Spark integrates with Microsoft Outlook. Send an invite and add @Spark to have everyone collaborate in your space. It is intuitive and simple to use, taking familiar workflow patterns from other well used applications.

Secure. All chatting in Spark is encrypted both on the way to the cloud and when in the cloud.

Complete. As already previously mentioned, Spark is the first complete collaboration package, all located in one easy to use application. You can even connect to users on Skype for Business. 

Open. We will look at in more detail in a later blog, refers to the API being available for developers. Companies like Salesforce and Trello have created their own ’bot’s’ to work within Spark and to link the programs together.

When you add to the equation that Spark works on a number of Cisco products, does not need any extra licences to add video or PSTN calling, and comes as a touch screen collaboration board, you will see that Cisco have spent time thinking about how Spark will fit into any sized space in any sized business. It is a real alternative for companies that might have already purchased Cisco hardware or services, or for companies that do not want to use Microsoft Skype for Business.

Cisco are offering Spark for free with an up to three people offering. Or there are two different levels of package to consider.

If you are interested in seeing what Spark is all about, then why not let us take you to see a live demonstration. As a Cisco Master ATP and Spark reseller, we can take you on an exclusive tour of the Spark facilities at Bedfont Lakes to see Spark working. Simply provide us with your name and an email address by clicking on this link, and we will get in touch to find a date that suits you.

Alternatively, email or call +44 (0)1276 706 706 and we can start Your Spark collaboration journey.