This content is part of the Conference Coverage: Enterprise Connect 2016: Special conference coverage
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Collaboration app Cisco Spark evolves into UC platform

Source:  Cisco Spark
Visual Editor: Sarah Evans

Cisco Spark has grown from a team collaboration app into a full-fledged cloud-based UC platform, reflecting how easily messaging can be used as a foundation for other services.

Cisco launched Spark a year ago at Enterprise Connect and introduced a revamped version in December. Key features in the UC platform include IP voice and video calling via a cloud-based PBX. In addition, users can make phone calls through the PSTN. Other features include messaging and meeting capabilities.

Users can also connect Spark to on-premises collaboration systems. For developers, Cisco has opened up a platform that includes APIs for building custom software that uses Spark.

Spark features several team collaboration tools with a heavy emphasis on mobility. As Spark expanded beyond the team collaboration app, it now offers capabilities like auto attendant services for customer support teams, said Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research and a Best of Enterprise Connect judge.

"Being able to do any of these functions from any location is pretty important," she said. These new capabilities, combined with collaboration, are a vital addition to the app, especially for the contact center. Persistent chat is especially vital for agents who can get greater context for internal team and customer interactions by being able to go back and look at previous chat sessions.

Enterprise Connect, a major UC conference, runs from March 7 to 10 in Orlando, Fla.

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