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Cisco Spark Launches

Cisco Jumps on the Workplace Collaboration Train

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The chances are that in your workplace you are using a service like Slack, SalesForce Chatter or Yammer for collaboration. At Cisco’s conference on Tuesday, they announced ambitious goals for their platform; Spark. This news all comes amidst Microsoft announcing their collaboration platform and Facebook releasing Facebook for Work to all companies now.

Spark is now the centrepiece of Cisco’s collaboration platform, which covers document sharing, video conferencing, voice calling and other capabilities. Like Microsoft Teams or Slack, Spark aims to be the messaging platform for employees that will then connect with other collaboration tools and productivity applications.

Cisco has already made 60 third-party apps available to integrate with Spark. Cisco is looking to expand upon this and integrate with SaaS products just as it has done by integrating with SalesForce they announced last month.

“Every as-a-service application that has any level of interaction should have Spark and our collaboration portfolio integrated deeply into it,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said in a keynote address at the partner conference.

To help promote the available integrations, Cisco has announced their online store Depot where businesses can find apps that work with Spark. Adding to Salesforce, big names like Office 365, Box, DropBox, Zendesk, Twitter and Google Drive will be available through Depot. Depot is a place where customers can also go to integrate their applications.

Cisco announced a new software license for Spark and all it’s other collaboration products. The new license will cover all of collaboration software and services both on the customer’s premises and in the cloud. This new license will be called the Spark Flex Plan, starting at $21/user per month.

Migrating to this new platform is made easy as Cisco allows businesses to migrate at their pace to the cloud-based counterparts of any Cisco on-premises collaboration tool without buying any new licenses.

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