If you like the idea of Cisco Spark, you will love it with Cisco Spark Hybrid Services. On its own, Cisco Spark is a compelling tool: I can message, meet, and call and get my work done with all my teammates. Pretty cool. But, not everyone or everything is in Cisco Spark. So to be really compelling, we realized that it needed to work with other key tools. And that is where the Cisco Spark Hybrid Services come in.
Cisco Spark Hybrid Services give you control on how and when you want to embrace the cloud. If you have existing Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Business Edition 6000 and 7000, or Cisco HCS deployments, you can simply add Cisco Spark message and meeting capabilities for the full Cisco Spark experience. Or you can choose to deploy all the capabilities (message, meeting and call) of Cisco Spark.
You can also integrate your existing Microsoft Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange with Cisco Spark in the cloud so tightly that they virtually look, feel, and act as one system to users. Best of all, they provide a better user and IT experience.
What does this really mean? Here are my top ultra-compelling use cases – all of which I use almost daily:
Amazingly simple meeting scheduling on mobile devices: This is my favorite benefit by far, and it’s arguably the easiest way to schedule a meeting on a mobile device in the industry. I just add @webex to the location field of the Microsoft invite and Hybrid Services automatically adds the meeting join information. If I also add @spark, it creates a Spark room with the invitees to begin the conversation, before the meeting even starts. No plug ins. No manual copying and pasting join information. No need for a laptop to finish scheduling a meeting. And this isn’t limited to mobile devices, it also works on PCs and Macs.
Effortless desktop sharing: When I call another Cisco Spark user on my DX80 or my Cisco 8845 desktop endpoints, Cisco Spark “knows” that and automatically sets up an instant meeting in the Cisco Spark app. All I have to do is click to share my desktop. (Being a remote worker, this is very useful!)
Mobile calling in the Cisco Spark app: I can make and receive calls with anyone, anywhere, on any device using the Cisco Spark app. I love the fact that I don’t have to toggle between applications to make calls. If I’m in Spark, I just click to call or dial the PSTN.
Seamless bridging of mobile and office worlds: The call history from my desk phone is “unlocked” and made available in Cisco Spark for easy click-to-call. When I receive a call, my Cisco IP phone and Cisco Spark app ring simultaneously. If I am leaving on my way out, I can answer on my mobile phone via the Cisco Spark app. And when I am away from my desk, I can make and receive calls in the Cisco Spark app, and looks like I am calling from my desk phone.
Less worry about devices and how to reach people: Everyone around me has their preferred applications and devices. For some, it is a desk phone, for others it’s Jabber, and for me it’s Spark. But it doesn’t matter. I can just call and people can answer on their device of choice.
Accurate and up-to-date directory content: As a user, I expect this when I click to call or message from the corporate directory. But this should be a favorite for any admin. Cisco Spark Hybrid Services automatically synchronizes Cisco user information in the cloud with Microsoft Active Directory on-premises to make this all possible. No worries, no hassle, no work for the admin.
And these examples are just the beginning.
Find out more about how Cisco Spark Hybrid Services can “spark up” your unified communications. Go see sparks fly.
Thank you patty for sharing your experience. I find it very interesting and your ethuisiams shines through 🙂 I can’t wait to start using all the great benefits of Spark as well.
It’s fun to use. Thanks for your comment!
Very very interesting of Spark.
Can’t wait to try on my lab.
Thank you patty for useful sharing.
any documentation available on how cisco licenses this product ? there is a free download and it works if registered using an email but not enough information on what it would cost to use it as a business application
Great blog post!
Just thought I’d share this pointer link to the Help Central knowledge base: http://www.cisco.com/go/hybrid-services. It contains helpful articles for admins to set up Hybrid Services so their users can benefit from all the great features listed in your writeup.
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