The Evolution of Cisco Spark: Complete Collaboration from the Cisco Cloud
Over the past few years we’ve shared our vision to deliver a single collaboration experience that spans all modes of communication. We’ve talked about how we’ll achieve that vision by providing business collaboration solutions that are experience-centric, cloud connected, and that extend the value of our customers’ existing investments.
We took a foundational step toward achieving that vision when we launched Cisco Spark as a team collaboration app in March of 2015. It was built on a new, modern cloud platform and we promised that it was just the beginning of a journey. We’ve continued to leverage that modern cloud platform to rethink collaboration. Today we’re taking a big leap forward on the Cisco Collaboration journey with you.
Moments ago, on mainstage at Collaboration Summit 2015, we announced the evolution of Cisco Spark. It is now a complete business collaboration service from the Cisco cloud that enables customers to message, meet, or call anyone, anywhere and anytime. Cisco Spark is hosted by Cisco and sold by partners.
The evolved Cisco Spark is designed for customers of any size, and delivers a mobile-first, single collaboration experience that spans all modes of communication.
Core Components of Cisco Spark
Today’s historic announcement reflects the evolution of Cisco Spark from a mobile app to a platform to an entire ecosystem, with the inclusion of Spark APIs, SDKs and a new Developer site. The emergence of a full collaboration service platform wouldn’t be complete if others couldn’t build on it! In addition to the existing messaging service, we‘ve added full calling and meeting capabilities to the cloud. And to extend the value of our customers’ existing investments, we’ve announced a set of services that connect Cisco Powered Hosted Collaboration Solutions (HCS) and our on-premises call control solutions with Cisco Spark capabilities in the cloud.
It’s a major leap forward; our Collaboration Cloud has become the center of every experience we are delivering. It is the fabric that connects everything we have – phones, rooms, video, Spark, WebEx, and APIs.
So it’s clear the way people work is fundamentally changing and today’s announcement puts partners at the center of this transformation.
I see three distinct categories for partners to take full advantage of this new Cisco Spark cloud based collaboration service:
Growth: The new cloud service opens up paths to reach new small and mid-market customers in ways not possible before. With help from Cisco, you can sell Spark in a simple, volume-sales model. You can position a solution to a specific business department and leverage that relationship to move across the organization and expand your opportunity by delivering additional solutions.
With the new hybrid services capabilities, you can also grow by selling Cisco Spark to your existing Cisco customers. You can extend the value of their on-premise or managed solutions, including Unified Communications Manager (UCM), the Business Edition series or Hosted Collaboration Solutions (HCS).
By seamlessly connecting on-premises call control with the cloud based message and meeting capabilities of Spark, you can maximize the unique attributes and capabilities of each. You can create new opportunities with these existing customers, enabling them to work smarter and innovate faster, and helping them manage their transition to the cloud. This transformation will enable customers to change the way they work, and take a big leap forward on their own digital journey.
Profit: You can profit from selling the service and related endpoints, and by adding your own margin rich services. And you’ll continue to profit from new annuity-based recurring revenue streams.
Differentiate: This starts by offering a cloud collaboration service that is simple, secure and complete, compared to the many disparate cloud offers in the market that customers piece together today. But the biggest opportunity to differentiate is by offering customization. The Cisco Spark Developer Platform provides a way for you to differentiate by customizing the integration of Spark with various native customer applications for different industries, or by working with developer partners who can do this to help you deliver for your customer
The innovative cloud platform, app centric design, hybrid services and architecture of the Cisco Spark Service create, we believe, a very powerful and differentiated offering in this space.
When the new Spark service is available in early calendar year 2016, partners will benefit from a simple go to market, and full marketing, sales and practice enablement from Cisco.
Call to Action
This is your time to be a part of this historic Cisco Collaboration journey we’ve been envisioning for years. The time is now!
- Start thinking about how you can integrate Cisco Spark into your business model and provide your customers with a comprehensive collaboration experience.
- Visit the Cisco Spark Service launch page to learn more about your opportunity with the new Cisco Spark and all the details about availability.
- Get on the Cisco Annuity Platform for next steps.
We always appreciate and value feedback from our partners. Please share your thoughts or questions in the comment section below.