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Hybrid services a key focus to Cisco Spark updates

In UC news, Cisco has announced new hybrid services to its collaboration platform, while BroadSoft has introduced a UCaaS platform for small and large businesses.

Cisco has unveiled updates to its Spark collaboration platform with a focus on supporting hybrid services.

The vendor has introduced a "flex plan" for Spark that lets organizations choose cloud, on-premises or hybrid services in a single contract. Organizations can change their Spark setup without a change in price, according to a Cisco blog post. The plan is currently available to organizations.

Cisco has also added a hybrid media service that gives organizations the option to deploy Spark meetings on premises, in the cloud or a mix of the two. The service automatically delivers meetings on premises to local users and uses the cloud for users who are not local. If local resources are tapped, additional users are sent to the cloud. The service is available now at no extra cost to Spark meetings customers.

Lastly, the Cisco Spark Depot, announced last week, lets organizations search for third-party apps that integrate with Spark, including Box, Salesforce and Trello, according to the blog post.

BroadSoft unveils UCaaS suite

Unified-communications-as-a-service provider BroadSoft has introduced BroadSoft Business, a UC portfolio to support mobile workforces in small and large organizations. The portfolio includes three core apps: UC-One, Team-One and CC-One.

UC-One is a mobile-first app that extends across users' devices for high-definition audio and video, messaging, screen sharing, file sharing and conferencing. The app also includes a virtual meeting room for ad hoc and scheduled meetings.

Team-One is a team chat app that includes persistent chat and contextual intelligence to bring tasks, messages and files into one workspace. The service includes tools such as video conferencing, screen sharing and click to call, and it integrates with more than 50 business apps.

CC-One is a cloud contact-center service that offers predictive analytics and an omnichannel customer experience by allowing agents to connect with customers on any channel they choose.

BroadSoft's Hub service integrates these apps with third-party services, such as Office 365, Twitter and Salesforce. It also provides contextual intelligence, with real-time access to the relevant information for each interaction.

Citrix revamps GoTo collaboration suite

Citrix has updated its GoTo collaboration suite with new capabilities and integrations to support an increasingly mobile workforce.

GoToMeeting now has a "call me" feature that can call users to join a meeting, rather than users dialing in. GoToMeeting now integrates with HipChat to launch a video call from the HipChat service.

GoToWebinar has expanded its broadcast mode to allow up to 2,000 users to join a webinar without needing to download the app. GoToWebinar also includes a companion app that allows presenters to see what the attendees are seeing and allows attendees to provide real-time feedback about the webinar.

GoToAssist, the multichannel customer service and remote support tool, was revamped to improve the user experience across web and mobile interfaces. IT administration has been streamlined with an unattended management dashboard for troubleshooting unattended machines, a recordings dashboard and administrator center.

Next Steps

Taking a closer look at GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar

Debating the staying power of team chat apps

Contextual intelligence, analytics boost mobile apps

Dig Deeper on Collaborative Applications