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Spark a Revolution

- March 17, 2015 - 13 Comments

Today’s companies must evolve or face extinction. If they stand still, they’ll die. Pretty dramatic, I know, but that’s the reality. Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies will no longer be around in 10 years[1].

Companies in every industry know they need to move faster and innovate quickly to survive. But transforming traditional businesses into flexible, responsive, flat organizations built for speed is not easy. In fact, it’s massively challenging. But it’s this movement that will take us into the future.

Not everyone in the business world has adopted the concept of an “agile business,” but I am a believer. The move to agile has already begun. Even if some don’t get it, the people on the frontlines have already switched gears – the concept of agile was started by software developers, the people building the products and doing the work. Fourteen years later, agile may be the key to survival for businesses desperate to modernize their organizations in a digital era.

Look at the collaboration tools most people are using at work. They were built for businesses operating in a predictable world – a world of the past. Email, phones literally tied to your desk, and audio-only conferences worked well for yesterday’s business. But now, email is overloaded, the mobile is just as important as the desk phone, and audio-only conferences deliver a frustrating experience for everybody. Clearly we need something new. There isa whole host of tools that have entered the market to meet this growing demand for better collaboration experiences.

Today I am announcing how Cisco Spark, our team collaboration service launched as Project Squared in November, is changing the way companies get their work done.

Cisco Spark makes teamwork simpler and we know this because our customers who began using Project Squared just five months ago are seeing increased productivity and even changes in behavior. Teams are feeling more connected and have a greater sense of community.

I know Cisco Spark makes teamwork simpler – I use it every day to run my $4B business. I get more work done, faster, and more effectively than ever before. I’m in constant contact with my leadership team, and I can make decisions quickly that impact the business.

Two years ago, when we set out on a mission to make collaboration technology simple and ubiquitous, we were helping galvanize the movement to agile by breaking down hierarchies. We wanted to bring the same amazing technology down to every worker, every desk, every room, and every pocket. Keeping the best technology – like Cisco TelePresence – only for the top of an organization makes no sense especially if you want to transform your business from the work structure of the industrial age to that of the digital age.

I believe we are in the midst of a revolution in the way we work. Only collaboration technology can truly transform businesses in terms of how people communicate, how workers get jobs done, and how teams come together to share information, create, and innovate.

Are you using Cisco Spark? Start a room with me and tell me what you think. Just download Cisco Spark from the app store or by pointing a web browser to http://web.ciscospark.com (use my email address trollope@cisco.com).  Or send me a tweet: @rowantrollope

Welcome to the revolution!

[1] John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University

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13 Comments

    Good day. I am passionate about Cisco values. It is in your company that I place a lot of confidence in the possibility of coming to create synergies through a business proposal that I wish to present to Cisco. This is an innovative mail server with anti-spam capabilities and guarantees 100% efficacy demonstrated in a Conceptual plan I intend to spend the real. What better way to introduce myself here in my country (Portugal) and with whom? Thank you.

  1. Wonder if it can be used outside of the professional world.

    How does it compare with and/or integrate with cucm and the dx / mx series devices? will they be demontrated at Cisco live in june?

    Rowan, as you mentioned in the call today, ideally we'd want tools like this to be adopted virally, however from a marketing perspective I did a little test vs. the other competitor you mentioned "Slack". When I searched google for Spark, every search result on the first page was related to slack.com and its app. When I searched for "Spark", not a single entry was for Cisco's Spark. I know this by itself is insignificant, but let's allow the general public to discover Spark in an easy manner.

    Is there a public API to allow external systems to participate in a room? For example: a DevOps room for a release activity where your code commits, auto builds, auto tests, etc all are part of the stream/capture along with the conversations resolving problems, etc. Point your event stream at your room, voila - richer more dynamic context than sharing files.

  2. My initial thoughts on the Spark announcement are here http://bit.ly/1BF7qrE More to come soon. :)

  3. Will it be integrated with CUCM and telepresence products?

  4. How do we get people to share so we can make Spark valuable? Its all about collaboration and we need people to speak so we can learn.

    A solution that will truly impact business outcomes!

  5. I am trying to find out more information on licensing / associate cost for Cisco Spark. Can you please provide more information? Thanks in advance! ~MA

    Love the ability to share/talk/chat/see each other on any device. It's great to start a conversation on my laptop and continue on my mobile, not having to think about which device to use. Spark shows a nice combination of synchronous and asynchronous communications in a secure and manageable way. --Focus on what you want to do instead of how--

    Correct David. Project Squared has been renamed/replaced by Spark. Spark, via mobile, integrates seamlessly to your WebEx environment allowing for one click meeting access. Hope you are enjoying the app!

  6. You said "Are you using Cisco Spark?" I had previously downloaded the Cisco Squared app on my smartphone and tablet. Spark seems to have replaced Squared, and both seem to be somehow integrated with the legacy WebEx platform -- am I correct?

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