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Sparking a Revolution in Collaboration

- March 28, 2016 - 0 Comments

You can think of collaboration tools—messaging, meetings, calling—as the central nervous system of the modern organization. But traditional collaboration platforms, with their disparate applications, interfaces, and delivery models, have often been complex and frustrating—both for end-users and the businesses implementing them. Part of the problem has been balancing everything that global enterprise and government customers need. On the one hand, they want collaboration capabilities that are totally flexible, available everywhere, and easy to update with new experiences. On the other, they want enterprise-class security and data sovereignty.

At Cisco, we think they shouldn’t have to choose. We’re unleashing the next revolution in collaboration with Cisco Spark. It combines our industry-leading collaboration capabilities into a single, cloud-consumable “as-a-service” (SaaS) offering for the first time.

This is a huge win for enterprise customers, who no longer have to license software, and maintain onsite infrastructure and staff to run it. But it’s an even bigger deal for service providers, who can now provide next-generation collaboration capabilities more easily, while leveraging their networks to deliver them with rock-solid security and control.

Service providers like Verizon, Dimension Data, and others can provide differentiated, seamless collaboration experiences—from mobile devices to the boardroom—with a lot less capital and operational investment. They can use a single cloud-based platform to extend these services to businesses of any size. And, because Cisco Spark has open APIs, they can add their own capabilities and services to bring amazing new experiences to their customers. It’s a winning combination—and a $24 billion global opportunity.

Inside Spark

Cisco Spark brings together everything that enterprise and government customers need to work smarter and more productively. That includes conferencing, file sharing, audio and video calling, and more—all with a single experience that works wherever they are, on any device.

verizon

For our service provider partners, it’s a huge business opportunity. Since Cisco Spark is delivered from the cloud with consumption-based pricing, they can bring it to more new customers—including smaller organizations—much faster. They can grow margins and recurring revenues. They can repackage compelling services and capabilities to up-sell premium offers. And they can differentiate in the marketplace with comprehensive, simple, and secure solutions.

That last part is critical—and where service providers can really stand out from the crowd. Security is in our DNA, and Cisco Spark uses industry-leading encryption, along with new technologies that allow for super-fast searching of highly encrypted information. Now, service providers can combine these capabilities with their own secure networks and data protection services, as well as offer solutions with strict data sovereignty controls to comply with local business requirements and regulations.

Cisco Spark in Action

So what does all this mean for end-users? A world of new cloud-enabled collaboration experiences. Imagine starting a call on your phone on the way to an important meeting. You move into a conference room with Cisco Telepresence, and its proximity sensors recognize you’ve arrived and transfer your call to the full Telepresence experience—without you having to set up any equipment or even log on.

Imagine IT departments being able to set up a remote user’s workspace—with all of their personalized applications, contact lists, and more—in seconds, just by sending a QR code to the user’s smartphone. Imagine people being able to ask questions in natural language (How do I get to conference room G? Is Jane Smith still at her desk? Where can I find a meeting room for 10 people tomorrow with videoconferencing?), and having an intelligent bot automatically fetch the answer for them.

All of this is possible with Cisco Spark—and it’s just the beginning.

An Open and Expandable Platform

Every business is different, and collaboration shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why we’ve opened up Cisco Spark so that developers and our service provider partners can unleash their creativity to build innovative new collaboration services and experiences.

For example, a service provider could integrate Spark with customer relationship management (CRM) and other enterprise applications, and share data seamlessly and securely among all of them. Or, they could develop vertical-specific collaboration solutions, like this one from Tagnos, which shortens hospital wait times.

And we’re not just talking about the potential—we’ve invested $150 million in the Cisco Spark for Developers ecosystem to bring these kinds of innovative solutions to market.

It’s a revolution in collaboration: New cloud-based experiences for end-users. New opportunities for service providers to deliver more customized, high-value offerings. All with the same Cisco focus on secure communications and data governance that customers can count on.

Want to learn more? Visit https://www.ciscospark.com/. Also, learn about more of our cloud solutions for service providers here.

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