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Cisco Merges Webex and Spark

To make it easier for teams to meet and get great work done, Cisco has announced they are converging the Cisco Spark and Webex platforms. The result is a new Webex Meetings application for your meetings and team collaboration application called Webex Teams (formerly Cisco Spark).

In a statement which went out to the market, Cisco said “We are putting all our video devices onto this newly converged platform. And we’re adding a new hardware device that turns any work space with a TV into a Webex room. We didn’t stop there. We’re making everything easier to buy. And we’re continuing to apply machine learning and artificial intelligence that will dramatically improve meetings as we know them today.

The first thing you will notice about the new Webex Meetings is that it is “video first,” meaning you’ll be strongly encouraged to turn on your camera. That’s because seeing and being seen are fundamental to good teamwork. Gone are the days when you’d stare at the screen only to see the presentation. You’ll now see all your teammates, in crisp, clean layouts whether you are using your laptop, your Cisco video room device or your mobile device.

Because we deliver Webex through the cloud, the one hundred million people worldwide who use Webex do not need to take any action. They will simply get the update in the coming months.

We launch a brand new version of Cisco Spark and at the same time give it a new name
Today’s business challenges are getting more and more complex, creating an urgency to help teams connect and get their best work done. We want to make it simple for our Webex users to take the next step to team collaboration.

In November, we announced our plans to use AI to make meetings better. Today we build upon that in two ways:

Webex Assistant (formerly Cisco Spark Assistant) will be available on more devices and with more functionality. We continue the journey to inject AI into every meeting, every call, every conversation and every interaction that you have. Based on technology from our MindMeld acquisition, Webex Assistant will start showing up over the next couple of months in all our cloud-connected Webex Room Kit and Room Series devices.”

“Everything we do is designed with people in mind—to help them work, collaborate, and create together. That’s why we have invested so much in Webex,” said Rowan Trollope, SVP and GM, Applications Group, Cisco. “Our vision is to bring this amazing experience to a billion users and conference rooms all around the world.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine