Cisco Collaboration Summit Review

 

Cisco Spark has grown up.   Far more than just an application, Spark now delivers comprehensive collaboration-as-a- service capabilities from the cloud.  Delivered through our partners, designed to be extended by developers – Spark is a complete platform that ushers in a new collaboration era.

New Features on the Spark App: An app that can be accessed on a mobile device, browser, or desktop on Mac or Windows. 

  • Access, consume, and control the Message, Meeting, and Call capabilities of the Cisco Spark service, depending on your license entitlement.

New Features include:

  • Search messages to revisit key information anytime
  • Use the Important filter to access all your need-to-know information in one place
  • Send @mentions in a room to get a team member’s attention
  • Configure integrations with other services easily

 

New Spark the Service:  A complete business collaboration service from the Cisco Cloud enabling customers to message, meet and call anyone, anywhere, anytime.

  • Single unified experience with common management for endpoint registration, provisioning, analytics, and user control.
  • Single offer with simple per-user subscription packaging
  • Open platform for value added services and developer extensibility
  • Cisco hosted, Partner delivered. (Note: Cisco hosted only in countries where allowed)
  • Message – 1-to-1 and group messages in virtual rooms, Persistent Chat, Content Sharing, Iteration
  • Meet — Audio, video, and web meetings,  Enables before/during/after-meeting messaging and content
  • Call — Voice and video calling via a cloud based PBX.  Make calls within or outside organization via the PSTN

To connect endpoints to the Cisco Collaboration Cloud we are announcing:

  • NewSpark Phone OS   The operating system software running on phone endpoints, allowing supported phones to connect to the Cisco Spark service in the cloud or to Cisco call control such as Unified Communications Manager, Business Edition series, or HCS. 
    • Investment protection for endpoints connecting to both CUCM (including HCS) and Spark service in the cloud.
    • Simple experience and quick learning curve with excellent audio and video quality.
    • Seamlessly connect from 8800 (except 8831) and 7800 series endpoints to the cloud enabling simple calling, meeting, conferencing with Spark client, backed by security, management and analytics.
    • Differentiated cloud mode features including voicemail, single number reach, mobility, and multi-level auto-attendant with more to be added.

 

  • NewSpark Room OS   The operating system software running on video endpoints, allowing supported video endpoints to connect to the Cisco Spark service in the cloud or to Cisco call control such as Unified Communications Manager, Business Edition series, or HCS.
    • Investment protection for endpoints connecting to CUCM (including HCS) and Spark service in the cloud.
    • Differentiated cloud mode features including “make the room yours” by connecting with your virtual rooms and contacts, use all the screens in the room (display, laptop, mobile) to access or share virtual room content, or collaborate face-to-face with your team.
    • Seamlessly connect video endpoints to the Cisco cloud enabling simple calling, meeting, conferencing with Spark client, backed by security, management and analytics.
    • Easy call and meeting control with Spark allows you to transition to your mobile device to continue any active call or meeting so your work can go with you.
    • The SX10 will begin running Spark Room OS with cloud mode features in March 2016 followed by the MX, DX, and other SX series endpoints.

 

For those customers who have already invested in On-Premises collaboration solutions, we are announcing: 

 

  • NewSpark Hybrid Services A set of services that connect on premises capabilities to Cisco Spark capabilities in the cloud bringing you the best of both worlds. Services available with Cisco Spark are:
    • Call Service Aware– Zero Touch Meetings (ZTM) – adds desktop sharing to calls.  Now you can make a call, and Cisco Spark will automatically create a 1:1 room with the ability to desktop share.
    • Call Service Aware– Desk Phone Control – utilize the Cisco Spark client to instruct a desk phone to make a phone call.
    • Call Service Connect– place a call to any enterprise contact from the Cisco Spark client.  You can also free form dial any PSTN destination, receive calls made to your enterprise voice phone number, and see a unified call history within the Cisco Spark app.
    • Calendar Service– Connects Exchange/Outlook to Cisco Spark to provide two important features:
    • Add “@Spark” to an Outlook meeting invite to automatically create a Cisco Spark room with all meeting invitees for pre and post-meeting information and document sharing.
    • Add “@Webex” to an Outlook meeting invite to automatically schedule a WebEx meeting and include meeting join information in the invitation.
    • Directory Service–Connects Active Directory to Cisco Spark and see all company contacts from the People tab in the Cisco Spark client.

In order to have a true platform there needs to be a community of developers using the platform.  We are announcing:

  • NewSpark for Developers (Platform and Community Portal)   An open and extensible API-centric platform to help build custom solutions, deliver new customer experiences and drive innovation.
  • For Cisco partners and 3rdparty developers, Cisco has created a platform with easy to use developer tools and APIs.
  • Users and developers can engage in the following ways:
    • Use native integrations in the Cisco Spark app – Integrate your conversations in Cisco Spark with the stuff happening in your other applications to unify workstreams in just a few steps. No set up, no code – just open Spark, go to a room, select a business app, and turn on the connection.
    • Create your own integrations – Create your own integrations by utilizing our inbound and outbound webhooks to exchange content in real-time between Cisco Spark and third-party applications.We’ve also added Cisco Spark to app integration service catalogs like Zapier, IFTTT, and Built.IO to help “power users” easily configure automated connections between Cisco Spark and hundreds of other apps on their own.
    • Use our open APIs, available through our site or as a JavaScript SDK – Use our cloud APIs alone or in tandem to customize the way administrators and teams use Cisco Spark capabilities.
    • NewDeveloper Portal:  To support this new platform Cisco has created a developer web portal. (live Dec 8)  People can go in build an app, test it live and turn it on.  Included will be 24/7 support by developers for developers, code samples, interactive docs.

 

 

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