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Cisco Spark: Sparking a Whole New Concept in Collaboration

What can we say about Cisco Spark that hasn’t already been said? A lot. Cisco’s revolutionary cloud collaboration platform has transformed the way we, at iConvergence, as well as a growing list of our customers work and we are positive it will be transformative for your business too.

The backstory…
Cisco Spark began in 2014 as a project spearheaded by Cisco’s guru of collaboration, Rowan Trollope. Initially dubbed ‘Project Squared’, the platform was designed to shore up Cisco’s collaboration solutions like WebEx and to take on similarly positioned consumer offerings like Skype and now, Slack. Not long after the initial release, Cisco renamed the project Spark and the collaboration platform has been taking aim at bad meetings ever since.

So…What Can Cisco Spark Do?
The real question is what can’t Cisco Spark do? Cisco’s flagship collaboration platform can quite literally do-it-all. Spark is so versatile it’s pushed email to the back of many organization’s toolkits and made on-the-fly collaboration part of our daily practice at iConvergence. With Cisco Spark, your team can work together in real-time, share documents and initiate video or voice calls on virtually every device no matter where they are, from the office, to the boardroom, and everywhere in between.Cisco Spark Mindshare Pic

In the words of Cisco, Spark is “an app-centric, cloud-based service that provides a complete collaboration suite for teams to create, meet, message, call, care, whiteboard, and share, regardless of whether they’re together or apart – in one continuous work stream, before, during and after meetings.”

Cisco Spark Blog Quote

Can Cisco Spark take the place of email for business?
More than a few studies have shown email to be a black hole of lost productivity for businesses. The Washington Post, in an article last year, described email as a “burdensome time-suck that everyone hates but that remains essential to functioning.” In a startling report published by Adobe in 2016, it was discovered that white-collar employees spend 4.1 hours checking work email each day, equating to 20.5 hours each week, 1,000 hours each year and more than 47,000 hours over the course of a career. Given these numbers it comes as no surprise that so many of us are feeling the symptoms of email fatigue.

Cisco Spark is the perfect tool to help liberate you and your employees from the shackles of an overloaded inbox. Who needs email when you’ve got an all-in-one solution that gives your team the ability to work within a seamless environment in real-time, and allows them to share documents, whiteboard, initiate video meetings and create project specific groups to work from.

In the future, we envision more and more businesses using Cisco Spark for all their internal communication and meetings, leaving email as a last resort method of reaching people outside the organization and for marketing materials or subscriptions.

cisco-sparkboard4Enter Spark Board
With Spark Board, Cisco has thrown their hat into the collaborative whiteboard space once dominated by Microsoft and Google. Cisco Spark Board is built around the Spark platform and the system works for collaborative whiteboard style note taking and video collaboration. With an on-board 4k camera and a 12-microphone array featuring VoiceTrack technology that allows the camera to zoom-in on specific speakers, Spark Board is a collaboration powerhouse.

The beauty of Spark Board is its’ compatibility with the devices you already own. Once you’ve got Cisco Spark downloaded to your phone and verified, Spark Board detects your device within the room and you’ll be ready to use the solution without the hassle of passwords or scan codes. Where most video collaboration products are messy and difficult to use, connectivity with Spark Board is shockingly easy and the clean design is impeccable.


What about Security?
Security is the greatest concern of the digital era and for good reason. Understandably, users are worried about the security of their collaboration platforms.

In Cisco Spark, your data is safely encrypted end-to-end, from within the application to when it’s in transit to Cisco’s cloud servers. When your data is processed and stored, it is always encrypted to ensure your information stays safe. For real-time media like voice, video and screen sharing, Cisco encrypts what is shared by using the Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP). In addition to end-to-end encryption to keep content safe, the Cisco Spark application offers user and IT level features that provide added security controls. To put it simply, Cisco Spark is the Fort Knox of collaboration platforms.

We could continue to list more features and reasons why Cisco Spark would be a great fit for your organization, but the best way to prove that is to allow you an opportunity to see it for yourself. There are several different Demo Trials and Try and Buy options that we can offer to provide you with the ability to put Spark to the test. Contact us for more information and learn how you too can “Spark” up a new way to collaborate and communicate within your business.

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