Yes, Cisco Spark has arrived! That cool mobile business messaging app we launched a year ago has grown up. It’s now a full-blown business communications service from the Cisco cloud. We are really excited about bringing this to market and are encouraged by some of the early reactions, including an analyst who said “I have seen the future.”
For some months now, we have been working with a select group of partners and customers to test the service. They’ve been giving us great feedback. But the trial is now over. We’ve cut the ribbon and we’re now open for business.
If you can’t wait to check it out, head straight over to the Spark web site and sign up. If you want some more information before you do, please read on…
What Is Cisco Spark?
Cisco Spark is a business collaboration service that enables you to message, meet, or call anyone, anywhere, anytime.
It’s a simple, secure, and complete service from the Cisco cloud.
We designed Spark to change the communications experience from calling or instant messaging first to start with persistent business messaging. It provides a starting point where all your work lives. Using a room-based concept, you are never more than one click from initiating or receiving voice and video calls — or joining or scheduling meetings.
What’s more, Spark gives you all the historical context of team and 1:1 interactions. This includes shared files and persistent messages wherever you are – in a meeting or simply away from the office.
What Can You Do with Cisco Spark?
Your teams move faster. They gain agility and can produce better results because it is easy for people to stay connected to everything that’s important — anywhere, anytime. Cisco Spark breaks down communication barriers and makes it incredibly simple to work with anyone.With Spark you can:
- Message: The Spark app is central to our mobile first service. It includes softphone capabilities and simple escalations to voice and video calls and meetings. Unlimited business messaging lets you prepare, share, and iterate on content with anyone in virtual rooms.
- Meet: Easily connect teams and meet customers with the added benefits of before, during, and after-meeting messaging and content sharing. Meet from any device or even a Spark Room System. You shouldn’t have to think about what type of conferencing you need before scheduling a meeting; after all, it’s just a meeting.
- Call: Cisco Spark includes voice and video communications. As you would expect from Cisco, you can call from your mobile, desktop, or a conference room. Basically Spark provides a cloud based phone system.1
What If You Already Have a Cisco Voice Solution?
Being the market leader for unified communications and IP telephony, you may already have a solution from Cisco. That doesn’t mean you can’t join the Spark party, so to speak.
Spark Hybrid Services enable you to add Spark messaging and meeting capabilities to existing Cisco UC deployments, simply. You can experience the Cisco difference and our approach to making collaboration amazing once connected to our cloud. Our Hybrid Services also provide integrations with Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory to simplify scheduling meetings and finding contacts.
What About the Other Applications I’m Already Using?
Don’t worry, we have an API for that! Optimize the benefits of collaboration right into the heart of your business. Cisco is doing more than offer a service from the cloud: The Spark for Developers platform, with open APIs and developer tools, helps you integrate Spark into your business processes. Many off-the-shelf integrations are available today. Take a look at the site.
So, if it sounds like the Cisco Spark service suits your needs, head over to the Spark website to sign up. And then please come back and let me know what you think. We think you are going to like it, a lot!
1 The Cisco Spark service does not include PSTN services. Customers need to purchase PSTN services from a third-party provider. For the complete Spark service, Cisco preferred media provider ecosystem partners can provide PSTN local, long-distance, and direct-inward-dial services. Existing Cisco UC customers will use Spark Hybrid Services to connect on-premises call capabilities to Cisco Spark capabilities in the cloud.