If there’s one word that sums up how the next-generation workforce is using the latest conferencing, file sharing, audio and video calling and other unified communications (UC) to work more productively, regardless of geographic boundaries, it’s “collaboration.” For many companies, however, disparate applications, interfaces and delivery models turn many collaborative attempts into something resembling this Conference Call in Real Life parody.
Cisco Spark, an all-in-one cloud-based communications solution, resolves the challenges that have traditionally plagued corporate communications by bringing enterprise-class telephony, messaging, and web- and video-conferencing together in a simple, secure and complete service. Recently, Cisco made four updates to Spark, which are driving collaboration to new heights:
Out-of-office visibility. If your Microsoft Outlook contacts are integrated with Cisco Spark, your contacts can see your out-of-office status:
- When they @mention you
- In your personal space title when they message you directly
- When they see your name in a space’s people list
- In the results list when they search for your name
New activity-based design. Cisco updated the Spark user interface, allowing users to:
- Access core Cisco Spark activities, such as message, teams, call, meetings, people, files and whiteboard from the activity menu
- Sort through your content with filters for all, unread, people, favorites, @mentions and flags
- Give yourself some quiet time with the Do Not Disturb status
- Search for people, messages and files
Improved video and content sharing. Users can now view meeting participants and mute from Cisco Spark on their Windows or Mac computers. Plus, the Cisco Spark app allows users to mute and control volume of any Cisco Spark room device.
A physical extension of the Cisco Spark app. Cisco Spark Board is an all-in-one digital whiteboard, presentation screen and videoconferencing tool that’s tightly integrated with the Cisco Spark app. When users are near a Spark Board, their Spark app automatically pairs with it, enabling them to open a space on the Spark Board to make calls, present content from their device or work with whiteboards and files directly in the space. All new files or whiteboards are automatically saved in the space they’re working in, so they can take it with them when they leave the room.