Ira M. Weinstein is a Senior Analyst and Partner at Wainhouse Research (...
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In late 2015, at its annual Collaboration Summit, Cisco unveiled a re-imagination of its UC&C-related offerings. With the goal of “changing the game” in collaboration, the company redefined Cisco Spark from what was a group messaging / persistent collaboration space (PCS) service to a much larger cloud-centric platform that includes “messaging, meetings, and calling.” Expanding on the previous Cisco Collaboration Cloud while retaining its tenet of end-to-end communication and content security, Cisco Spark also adds the capability for phones and video conferencing endpoints to plug directly into the cloud. The melding of these tools into a single platform is driven in part by the desire to deliver a user experience “so seamless that it is hard to tell where one ends and the next begins.” To accommodate a variety of deployments and leverage existing investments, Spark Hybrid Services can connect on-premises infrastructure with the cloud. The final piece is Spark for Developers, which provides APIs and toolkits to enable application development that can build upon Spark’s capabilities.
This profile examines Cisco from a personal & web collaboration (PWC) perspective by reviewing the company's history and strategy, examining its PWC-related offerings, and giving our analysis going forward. Specific offerings discussed include: