Cisco Spark is broken down into three component areas
- Cisco Spark Platform
- Hybrid Services
1. Cisco Spark Platform
The Cisco Spark platform is comprised of the following core services
Message allows a participant the to have 1on1 and Team messages in Virtual rooms, it allows Persistent messages with File Sharing, share photos to the rooms which are then accessible on all devices including mobiles, you can search content, people anytime within a inbuilt search function, @mention allows you to create a kind of notification to the intended participant so that when i @yournamehere you get notified someone mentioned you thus allowing you to quickly respond all with Secure E2E encryption
this is a free service that allows you to invite and collaborate with anyone with just an email address, Spark will send a email to the user who if they do not have a Spark account they will then be able to register with the link provided… pretty straight forward and takes <1min to complete..
Meeting allows you to easily meet with anyone at any time, meetings are initiated from a single click or can be scheduled for a later time. users can connect to these meetings face to face on a HD Voice and Video call. this offering supports upto 25 participants on a call to include Voice, Video & screen sharing, it supports any Spark client sharing and Spark room systems. if additional quantity is required WebEx meetings will need to be scheduled which supports upto 200 participants but only supports a separate Web client, PSTN integration, Video Systems. while there is no clear transition or escalation path from Spark Meeting to WebEx, i suspect this is something the WebEx/Spark teams are looking into and can imagine it to be available soon.
whats pretty cool here is that when WebEx / Spark is integrated into the on-prem environment (through the Calendar Connector), you can automatically create a room by just adding @spark and @webex to the calendar invite.
Spark Room systems…..This allows you use Spark rooms on codecs such as the SX10, such that when you are on a spark call for example you can move the meeting and content to the SX10 and when you wish to leave, you can take the call with you back on the mobile device by dropping the call back on your device
Call allows you to deploy phones to users while utilising the cloud infrastructure, it supports the latest generation of Phones, the cisco 7800 and 8800, it offers three types of features:
- PSTN calling+
- Video Calling
- Single Number Reach
- Call Forward
- Auto Attendant
- Hunt Groups
- Shared Lines
- Video on Hold
- deskphone control with Spark
- Ad hoc Conferencing
- zero touch meeting
- User Self care portal;
- customer bulk provisioning
- customer & partner admin portal
- external health portal
- support tab
+PSTN service are provided from a 3rd Party provider approved by Cisco, which provide local, national, international, DDI/DID capabilities
The actual deployment of devices is straight forward, its a case of entering code into the phone or hold the QR code infront of Camera, it will then register to the cloud service.
2. Hybrid Services
This allows customers to integrate premises application to Cisco Cloud such as Cisco Call Control, Calendar and Directory.
Directory service– extends the enterprise directory contacts into the cloud for use with both Cisco UC and Spark customers, with this AD integration when a user is deactivated in AD deactivates the cloud service and removes user from all rooms and services,
Calendar Service – Simple Scheduling – as mentioned earlier you can schedule meetings and add @webex, and/or @spark to the location field in an invite, this does away with the need for plugins. it will add WebEx details and/or create a Spark room for all attendees to get the converation started before the meeting, this way if content is shared and intros completed, come the time for the actual meeting, and you just get the job done and waste less time. If Video rooms are included in the meeting, they are provisioned for One button to push OBTP
Call Service Connect – connects your phone system to Cisco Spark, this allows Spark to behave like a softphone, it also provides interop between Jabber and Spark. users can use either Jabber, Spark or deskphone to make calls, users can also be reached on any device. this way you are maximising on existing investment on enterprise telephony
Call Service Aware – Jabber and Desk phone call history is pushed to Spark, so when using in conjunction with Spark, they can be called back easily. this also creates a “Zero touch meeting” which allow you to answer incoming call on any device, once it identifies both parties have spark enabled it allows you to start a room and share content directly on the spark client, this feature also allows quick redial of missed calls from anywhere
Office 365 is currently in EFT and should be available in March 2016
Spark integrations https://developer.ciscospark.com/integrations.html
Spark Availability https://support.ciscospark.com/customer/portal/articles/1940194-where-is-cisco-spark-available