News Release

Doubling Down on Cloud Collaboration, Cisco Invests $150M for Developers and Delivers Cisco Spark Service

ORLANDO, FL, March 8, 2016 – The tools we use to get work
Mar 08, 2016
ORLANDO, FL, March 8, 2016 – The tools we use to get work done should be simple, affordable, mobile, and, frankly, fun. That’s why we created the Cisco Spark service, the industry’s first integrated and cloud-based collaboration service. It lets companies of all sizes buy messaging, meeting and calling from the cloud in a simple “per user per month” subscription model. To date, Cisco Spark has cut email by as much as 50% for some customers.

Today we’re sharing four pieces of news on Cisco Spark:

1 - Have a good idea? Our new $150 million investment in the Cisco Spark ecosystem could help you bring it to life.
We created Cisco Spark for Developers because we believe some of the best ideas will come from the outside. Tagnos, for instance, had the great idea to use our open APIs to create an application that can shorten hospital patient wait times. 

We want to make sure all great ideas come to life. We don’t want a lack of funding or support to get in the way. So in partnership with Cisco® Investments we have created a fund to invest $150 million in the Cisco Spark ecosystem. This fund will cover direct investments, joint development, additional enhancements and developer support. The fund will incubate great ideas so they become great applications and integrations.  Find out more about the Cisco Spark Innovation Fund here.


2 - The complete Cisco Spark service is now available in the United States.
As of today, companies in the United States can get all three services that make up Cisco Spark: message, meeting and call. Message and meeting components are available in 30 countries. Click here for details. Also, providers and partners around the world are working to create services based on Cisco Spark. They include Verizon, Dimension Data, West Unified Communications Services and IntelePeer.

3 - New “bots” make work life easier.
Have you ever wanted to, say, update your photo in the company directory but you didn’t know who to ask? Now, when you don’t know who to ask, you can ask a “bot.”

Bots are software that can “fetch” information. Add a bot to a room, ask it a question and it will fetch the answer. This is just the first use of bots in Cisco Spark; we plan more.

4 - Super-fast search for highly encrypted data in the cloud.
We are announcing our acquisition of Synata Inc., a company that has been working hard to solve the tricky problem of how you search something you can’t see:  highly encrypted data in the cloud. To learn more about what Synata’s team can do on top of Cisco Spark’s end-to-end encryption—without negatively impacting speed or usability, read our blogs:
- Rob Salvagno: Cisco Announces Acquisition of Synata
- Rowan Trollope:  How Do You Search What You Can’t See?

“Imagine that a plant manager is in an airport on the way to a conference when his production line goes down.  In manufacturing, time is money—the onsite team needs to be able to quickly and securely reach out to him, get him reports and photos and escalate to a video call to show the problem and agree upon the fix,” said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Collaboration, Data Analytics and IoT groups. “This is the kind of collaboration Cisco Spark makes possible. Simple to use and custom-built for developers with enterprise security and manageability, we truly believe it will change everything.”


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