We’ve all been on WebEx calls, video calls, and IM chats. Maybe we have been sophisticated enough to have more than one of these communications methods turned on at once using WebEx or Jabber. However, what happens when the call ends?  What happens to the files that were shared, the chats that were exchanged?  They seem to disappear in the ether.  And how can you get that information back when you need it?  Say, when there is a tornado impacting power in your areas?  Or, water mains have been broken??

With Spark, Collaboration has taken a huge step forward, allowing all of that information to be captured and stored into a single Spark room. I think of it as a “tiger team room” for my critical projects. Everyone can come together to share information, update each other on the latest status, collect details from the sensors, and chat live.  We can also easily add new team members and allow them to quickly catch up on past chats, files, and the latest details.  Then, when we step offline to continue working on the project, the information is still there, waiting for the next update.  The next team discussion can then be easily started by video or chat at the touch of a button.

Operators are embracing collaboration services to deepen their relationships with their enterprise customers, as Kit Beall outlined in his March 2016 blog. For our Service Provider customers, it’s about more than just simple connectivity.  It’s about using the tools to improve productivity and effectiveness for their enterprise customers.  Not only are our SP customers looking at new revenues by offering Cloud Collaboration services like Spark, they are also embracing the new Digital opportunities to marry collaboration services with analytics and device information. They now want to incorporate all of that data intelligence and analytics from IoT devices to help enterprises make decisions faster.

At CiscoLive Las Vegas last week, we presented how companies like Verizon are marrying collaboration technology with IoT technology to help utility companies easily access IoT sensor information and set up virtual command posts. Utility companies can use all of the IoT information to address general maintenance or emergency situations like a broken water main, as shown in Verizon’s diagram below. For Service Providers, their new revenue opportunities are three-fold – more SIM cards sold for the IoT sensors, private mobile broadband with guaranteed bandwidth for the utility company or emergency services, and ongoing revenues for collaboration services sold to utilities. The more value they can provide to their enterprise customer, the deeper their relationship can be.


Extending the scenario beyond the utility industry, can you imagine the possibilities with SP Collaboration and IoT in verticals such as healthcare, public safety, customer care, and others?  Ponder that the next time you are on a conference call or video chat and how much more our Service Providers can offer. To start, hear what other operators are doing with Cisco Cloud Collaboration services and Service Provider Cloud Services.


Maywun Wong

Manager, Market Management