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Tropo Opens New Revenue Opportunities

June 15, 2015 - 1 Comment

As the need for constant connectedness and mobility explodes, it’s becoming increasingly clear the collaboration market is taking off. We’re in a race to transform the way we work and communicate. We’re talking about a $53 billion opportunity, and it’s just beginning.

Building on our March 17 announcement of Cisco Spark, on June 1, we made a huge leap forward with the official acquisition of Tropo, a team that has built one of the world’s leading open communication platforms.

Since then, I’ve been happy to see the analysts and other industry experts embracing this move.

As Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst with ZK Research, put it, “The company’s calling card has been its ability to leverage smaller purchases. It drops the talent and technology into the Cisco machine, and gains a market-leading or sometimes market-defining position from it.” (May 7, 2015, No Jitter)

Zeus is right. Tropo will allow us to define the external platform for Cisco Spark which will transform Spark from a standalone app into something much bigger – like a set of capabilities that a developer could add to other apps.  But as partners, you’re probably wondering how Tropo fits into our overall strategy and what it means for you. 

What Tropo Does

Tropo makes it easy to add voice and text messages to applications. Mobile phone verification is an example of how developers use the Tropo application program interface (API). When you set up a new account online, for example, sometimes you are asked to verify your identify using a code that is texted to your mobile phone to complete the online registration process.

Voice bridging is another common Tropo capability. This allows you make a phone call by clicking a link you receive via a text to your mobile phone.

How Tropo Fits into Our Collaboration Strategy

Cisco envisions the future state of collaboration powered by a cloud platform – where you will play a major role.

We have spent the last two years building that cloud platform. From day one we’ve made this platform OPEN and accessible through a set of simple APIs to enable third parties to build communications into their apps. We built Cisco Spark, the first native app on the platform, to dramatically change the way people communicate at work.

With Tropo, our platform will kick into high gear. Now developers from our customers and partners can build an endless number of applications. The idea is to make Spark rooms an add-on to other applications to give users collaboration capabilities. Imagine being able to add rooms to Dropbox,, or other industry-specific applications. Tropo gives us the developer tools and a 200,000-person developer community to do this.

The power of our Collaboration Cloud platform is being able to unleash developers to innovate and create new customer value.

Cisco will provide the technology, tools, and enablement programs to support developers. But we need your help to make it successful.

What You Can Do

What’s important for you to do now is sell Cisco Spark. Why? Because once you have an installed base of customers, you can sell them new subscription applications on top of Spark. Your existing customers all have relevant applications and needs you can target, creating new value for them and ripe sales opportunities for you. Encourage your developers to sign up at today and start using it. Development is free. They’ll immediately see how easy it is to use.

Collaboration-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) is our new sales model for the emerging era of cloud-based communications. We’re entering the new collaboration era with explosive opportunities. And we’re counting on you to help us expand and capitalize on this exciting new direction.

As Jonathan Rosenberg, chief technology officer of the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group said during his iTalk at Cisco Live this week, “We can’t make collaboration exponentially better alone.”

We are ready. Are you?

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  1. Great read. Collaboration of Spark + Tropo will make for a superb product. Some really exciting times at Cisco.