Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about a Wainhouse review that evaluated the ease of use and deployment, and cost efficiency of the Cisco SX10 Quick Set for small group video meetings. I wouldn’t have thought when we introduced the SX10 a few years back that we would be able to do even more to reduce cost and simplify deployment, but we have. And we’ve done it with a connection in the cloud.

At our annual Collaboration Summit this week, we announced the new Cisco Spark Service, which will deliver messaging, meetings and call capabilities hosted in the Cisco Collaboration Cloud. As part of this development, the SX10 will be the first endpoint to be cloud-registered. It will also debut new intelligent software – the Spark Room OS software platform – to make the SX10 and other video endpoints even easier to install, use and maintain. Spark Room OS will be the operating system software for all video endpoints that connect to the Cisco Spark service in the cloud.

The SX10, together with Spark Service, will allow us to make another leap in bringing business class video to growing businesses by significantly lowering the threshold and cost of video adoption as well as improving the user experience. If you didn’t get a chance to see Rowan’s keynote at Collaboration Summit, I invite you to view it for an impressive demo of the SX10 registered to Spark.

Lowering threshold and cost of video adoption. Today, less than 7% of conference rooms are video enabled. This is because many organizations, especially smaller businesses, haven’t been able to overcome the complexity or cost involved with deploying video communications. We addressed the endpoint ease of use and cost issues when launched the SX10. Now, Spark Service will ease the complexity on the back end. Based on a service pricing model, the SX10 on Spark will put all the infrastructure requirements in the cloud, so even small businesses without an IT department can benefit from video communications rather effortlessly. Users will be able to connect their SX10 in minutes with a simple activation code for always up-to-date and secure video. Our goal is to remove some of the friction users have experienced in deploying video more broadly with their organization.

Personalizing the conferencing room. While improving access, we are also enhancing the experience by enabling users to bring their Spark environment (contacts, content, conversations) into any Spark Room OS endpoint. On a Spark video system, you will able to call and meet anyone with one simple click, search your organization’s Spark directory for people or rooms, set favorites, select recent calls, or dial any SIP address. And meetings can be much more fluid to align to the way you work. Start from where you are – from your desk, on the road, or in the physical room – and seamlessly move active calls between your Spark client and the Spark Room OS video endpoint.

This is just the beginning of the next phase in our software strategy as we intend to Spark-enable our entire portfolio of video endpoints over time. Until they become cloud-enabled and running Spark Room OS, our existing video endpoints will continue to support Collaboration Endpoint Software 8.0. Spark Room OS support for additional video endpoints will be introduced later in 2016.

I know the Spark Service, a compelling user experience, and a beautiful, cost effective video endpoint – all connected in the cloud – is the right answer for many of you looking to introduce or extend video in your organizations. I’m looking forward to rolling this out in the next several months and getting your feedback. In the meantime, let me know what you think of this cloud-based approach. How can we make it even easier to for you to adopt video communications?

Learn more about our Collaboration Summit announcements by registering to watch the keynote replay.


Snorre Kjesbu

Senior Vice President/General Manager of Webex Devices

Meeting Room Systems