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ISE 2016: Cisco’s Spark unifies comms

Unified communications across the enterprise is being taken to new heights with Cisco’s

Spark app, designed to bring meetings, messaging and calling into the cloud.

Spark, which was launched in December 2015, now has traction in the market and is being used by enterprises and vertical markets.

Cisco’s director of collaboration solutions marketing, Angie Mistretta, commented: “Cisco wants to provide a seamless experience over all modes of communication so users can always be connected to work. Spark is moving us into the cloud; cloud means you can do things more quickly, there are lots of service delivery options, and you can take it down to a user level. The on-premise world we come from is very different; cloud is really the direction the industry is moving in.”

Spark mixes messaging, meeting and calling in a simple way, so with a single click users can turn a phone call into a video meeting, or with a swipe move a video call from a room system to a mobile phone and then to another room.

Spark also makes it possible for legacy phones and video conferencing systems to plug into the cloud and access these new services. This means, noted Mistretta, that users are, “able to get the best of breed of all the cloud benefits, while still protecting the investment of existing equipment”. She added: “Lots of our customers are coming from these big legacy environments, and we can give them the best of both worlds.”

Additionally, Spark has an open API for developers to integrate third party apps into the system so that organisation can use existing services in a new way. Mistretta said: “We have taken down the barriers to development so anyone with basic coding experience can work on Spark. How Spark is integrated into the tools an enterprise is using today is the big value, not using it just as an instant messaging service.”

Cisco is also talking about its recent acquisition of Acano. Cisco is looking to bring together the best of each company’s on-premise solutions, and then it intends to bring Arcano capabilities into Spark over the cloud, said Mistretta.

Stand: 9-C120