By now I’m sure you have heard the big news out of the Cisco collaboration camp, Cisco Spark is no more. Don’t panic, the worst part of this change is that your Cisco Spark t-shirts and socks are now a vintage collector's item and will no doubt bring in big dollars on eBay someday soon. Okay—maybe not, but that’s honestly the worst of it.
Yes, even the Cisco Spark Board is now the Cisco Webex Board.
Cisco WebEx, now reformatted to Cisco Webex, was prime for change after a period of small feature additions and increased competition from BlueJeans, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom and many other market players.
Since the inception of Cisco Spark, my customers have been confused as to where Cisco Spark ends and where Cisco Webex begins. It wasn’t an easy story to tell as an engineer, especially when trying to sell this stuff. I think sticking with the known and trusted brand name of Cisco Webex was the right move for Cisco, Cisco Partners, and Cisco collaboration clients.
What do you do if you’re an existing Cisco Webex or Cisco Spark Meetings customer? Nothing. You will receive all of the new features automatically. That’s the power of the Cisco Cloud working for you. What you’ll get by the end of calendar year 2018 are more integrations: (Microsoft Teams native integration, O365 Scheduling, Google Calendar native scheduling, Facebook Live streaming, IOS Augmented Reality integration, and Ford Applink automobile integration). In addition, expanded capacity to 1000 Webex VOIP users and 75 (pushing to 200) video codecs for each hosted meeting and major enhancements in proximity and pairing.
The Cisco Webex roadmap is long, thorough, and Cisco is driving at 110 MPH.
Charles Lucot is a Boston-based collaboration architect currently focusing on client strategy and sales for ShoreGroup. Charles has been working with Cisco Collaboration in both the pre and post-sales capacities for over fifteen years. Charles will be celebrating his 10-year CCIE Voice/Collaboration anniversary in January 2017.