Cisco has continued to roll out new innovations for Cisco Spark, including new video conferencing solutions that are built to register to both Cisco Spark™ and on-premises deployments, advanced security options, the ability for any standards-based SIP endpoint (hardware or soft client) to join a Cisco® Spark Meeting and new customer care capabilities.
“Cisco Spark is already a powerful platform, but we are constantly innovating to add more advanced capabilities,” said Jens Meggers, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Cisco’s Cloud Collaboration Technology Group. “Our goal is to create powerful, well-designed end-to-end experiences — for the user, IT and the Enterprise. Cisco Spark delivers on this vision and is quickly becoming the center of the meeting experience.”
New Video Collaboration Hardware
Designed to work with Cisco Spark, the new Cisco Spark Room Kit Series gives integrators what they need to extend powerful, intelligent meeting experiences to small, medium and large conference rooms. The two new products – Cisco Spark Room Kit and Room Kit Plus – attach to standard HD screens and convert them into powerful video collaboration systems. The Room Kits enable smarter meetings, smarter presentation capabilities and smarter room/device integrations to enhance the meeting experience and bring innovations once exclusive to higher-end, more expensive systems to every room and every team:
- Smarter meetings: Integrated 5K Ultra HD camera delivers intelligent view capabilities, such as automatic framing and speaker tracking.
- Smarter presentations: Dual screens, dual content sources, wireless sharing, and 4K content make for great presentations.
- Smarter integrations: Cisco Spark enabled Room Kits can count and track the number of people in the conference room during and between calls, allowing facilities managers to get a better understanding of how well the spaces are utilized.
- Registration flexibility: Built for both Cisco Spark and on-premises deployments, protecting your investment.
The Room Kit is designed for small/medium rooms of up to seven people, while the Room Kit Plus can accommodate medium/large rooms of up to 14 people. The Room Kit is an all-in-one device with camera, speakers and microphones built in. The Room Kit Plus has a separate quad camera bar with four individual cameras to accommodate larger and deeper rooms. Because Room Kit and Room Kit Plus are fully cloud managed, they can be set up in minutes. Both systems are designed to connect natively with Cisco Spark but can also register on-premises.
Available the MSRP for the Cisco Spark Room Kit is U.S. $3,990 plus U.S. $99/month subscription. The Room Kit Plus will be available in May for U.S. $7,990 plus U.S. $99/month subscription. Companion Mode, which will be used to combine a Cisco Spark Board and Spark Room Kit for larger rooms, will be available later this year.
Enhanced Cisco Spark Content Security Options
Cisco Spark is designed with security and information protection as a priority, so we have built it as an enterprise grade platform with end-to-end encryption for data in transit, at rest, and in use. We encrypt and decrypt all content using dynamic keys from a Cisco Spark Key Management Server (KMS). This server creates, stores, authorizes, and provides access to the encryption keys that Cisco Spark applications use to encrypt and decrypt content locally.
For customers who require additional information protection options and controls, such as those in regulated industries with specific security requirements, we are announcing the ability to own and manage their encryption keys by installing Cisco Spark Key Management Server on-premises. Customers managing their own keys will enjoy the full functionality of Spark, including the ability to search encrypted data. This option will be available in early June.
Cisco Spark Meetings – now easy to join from any device
Now anyone can join a Cisco Spark meeting. All Cisco Spark spaces will have a persistent SIP URI, allowing people to join meetings in those spaces from any standards-based SIP hardware or software client such as third-party softphones to installed base Cisco video conferencing products and even to competitive video conferencing endpoints.
We have also extended this capability to Cisco Spark Hybrid Media Services. The service lets Cisco Spark customers place a Hybrid Media Node onto their network, to provide local media processing for on-premises attendees in Cisco Spark meetings, enabling them to get the quality video that they would expect from an on-premises video meeting solution and save on bandwidth costs. Customers get the quality, reliability, and economic benefits of premise video, yet also get the infinite capacity, global reach, ease of use, and simple provisioning of a cloud service.
This allows customers to transition to or try Cisco Spark meetings with virtually no risk, retaining all of their existing investment in infrastructure, endpoints, and conferencing solutions.
No additional licensing required for Cisco Spark Hybrid Media Service. The capability is included with M3/C3 Cisco Spark meeting and WebEx licenses.
Cisco Spark Adds Customer Care Capabilities
Cisco Spark now enables help desks and small teams to provide customer care to both external and internal customers, using web chat and callback designed by a world leader in contact center solutions. Cisco Spark care, designed for companies using or considering Cisco Spark, can help businesses give their customers faster, more focused service because they have the necessary history and context from previous interactions. This service includes a customer care user workspace and integrated reporting with customer feedback. With Cisco Spark care, small teams now have a simple, powerful, and cost-effective way to care for their customers.
Cisco Spark care is an optional license on the Cisco Spark collaboration platform, with integrated administration and enterprise class security. Available in April, Cisco Spark care is priced at $17 per named user per month, with an annual subscription.
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