Cisco Spark Changes the Game in Collaboration

Expect amazing new experiences as we blend team messaging, meetings and phone calls in the cloud. Exposed APIs mean the sky is the limit for what comes next.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 8, 2015 – Today, Cisco reinvents the collaboration experience. We are announcing a brand-new offer to deliver the three types of communication tools people use at work the most— messaging, meeting, and calling—from the cloud. In addition, we’re making it possible for our phones and video conferencing systems to plug into the cloud and access these new services. By making collaboration available from our cloud platform, we’re changing everything.

This changes everything because:

  • It is designed from the ground up for highly secure collaboration that is delightful to use. Today, most of us use unconnected tools for team messaging, virtual meetings and phone calls.  Called Cisco Spark, our new offer mixes messaging, meeting and calling in such a simple way that it is hard to tell where one ends and the next begins. With Cisco Spark, all three are parts of a complete user experience. For instance, with a single click you can turn a phone call into a video meeting.  With a swipe you can move a video call from a room system to your mobile phone and then to another room—so you don’t have to miss anything when you need to move.
  • It makes setting up video rooms and phones a snap. Have you ever shown a QR code on your smartphone to board a plane? That’s how easy it is to set up a desk phone now.
  • It connects phone systems to the cloud. Enterprises have a lot invested in phone systems and other on-premises equipment. Cisco Spark Hybrid Services enables entirely new and amazing experiences by connecting this equipment to the cloud.

    For example, let's look at what Cisco Spark Hybrid Services does when you place a call from a Cisco IP phone. The act of placing the call automatically creates a meeting in the Spark room that the two of you share. There, you can show content with a single click. We call this a “zero-touch meeting” because no one actually has to set it up—it is just there when you need it.

    Cisco Spark Hybrid Services can connect more too. For example, it can link on-premises calendar servers to the cloud. This makes preparing for, arranging and joining meetings easier than ever—even from your mobile device. Simply type “@spark” or “@webex” into the location line when you create an invitation. Cisco Spark will start a room so the group can share content and ideas. It will also automatically put meeting details into the invitation.
  • It gives developers free rein. We think some of the best ideas will come from the outside. Cisco Spark for Developers provides powerful, open APIs so developers can create innovative and useful apps that extend the value of Spark.

“My team is passionate about making tools for work that are as simple and delightful as the tools we use at home,” said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Collaboration, Data Analytics and IoT groups. “Spark lets us give amazing experiences to companies of all sizes—from tiny start-ups to the Fortune 100. And we’re just getting started.”

Availability and Pricing
Cisco Spark for Developers and select services of Cisco Spark are available today.

Here are the dates we expect to deliver the rest:
Complete Cisco Spark service: in the United States in the first quarter of 2016 (other countries throughout 2016). Spark Hybrid Services: in 21 countries beginning in the first quarter.

Cisco Spark lets companies of all sizes buy messaging ,meeting and calling from the cloud in a simple subscription model, paying for services per user per month. It will be sold through our partners, who will determine pricing.

Supporting Resources
Read Rowan Trollope's Blog: Hollywood Got Collaboration Right

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Availability Disclaimer: Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if-available basis. These products and features are subject to change at the sole discretion of Cisco, and Cisco will have no liability for delay in the delivery or failure to deliver any of the products or features set forth in this document.

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