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Ashlee Kittel

Meet Spark Board-More Than Just a Pretty (Sur)Face

I’ve got a confession to make. I am a Cisco Spark-aholic. I use Spark with the frequency most people use Facebook or Twitter, meaning all day everyday. Fortunately my team and many of our partners are in the same boat. Since the arrival of Cisco’s flagship collaboration service the internal workflow of our organization has transformed. It’s amazing what can be achieved with well-designed tools for innovation and productivity. Our team relies on Spark for nearly all communication, sending email to the back of our toolkits.

This week I was fortunate to be in San Francisco with our team for Cisco’s announcement of Spark Board. We spent a few days in the Bay eating great food and exploring the city before enjoying Cisco’s Keynote event and product release. The unveiling of Spark Board represents a new era in collaboration. An era exemplified by the ease and simplicity of Cisco Spark and Spark Board.

Scandinavian minimalism meets Californian approachability.

Spark Board is visually striking. A clean exterior and bezel conceal a 4K 60 frames per second camera and a 12 element microphone with adaptive beamforming allowing the mic to point in the direction of a presenters voice. The board’s clean exterior is amplified by its lack of cables. Cisco envisioned an experience free from the visual clutter of wires and cables and as a result one cable is used and only out of necessity as the board must be plugged into an outlet (for now). Spark Board is available in both a 70-inch and 55-inch model meaning you can find a size that works well for your space. Both versions use identical technologies and functionality and would look appropriate in your organizations boardroom or a downtown loft and with a black anodized stylus designed and crafted in Sweden the physical experience of using Spark Board is revolutionary.

Three amazing products wrapped up in one simple package.

Three years ago Cisco’s Rowan Trollope set out to create a product missing in the marketplace. His goal was to design a simple, easy to use and deploy tool to complete and enhance every task a user may need. Until this week never before had a collaboration product been brought to market that achieved this goal so completely. Cisco Spark Board is a breakthrough wireless presentation display, gorgeous digital whiteboard and next generation video conferencing system. Spark Board’s simplicity and security sets it apart from both legacy systems and current competitors offerings and presents a new standard by which all collaboration end-points will be judged.

Eliminating every pain-point in the meeting experience.

Cisco Spark and Spark Board have been conceptualized and designed with the goal of improving the meeting experience for users everywhere. Most tools used for meetings lack continuity and a different tool is required for each interaction. Pain-points exist in the transition between each set of tools. With Spark and Spark board the meeting process has been made easy, clean and efficient. As Cisco’s Jonathan Rosenberg pointed out while on stage in San Francisco “The whole thing is one giant meeting. Every workday is a continuous meeting with different levels of engagement”. With Spark Board Cisco has “freed the whiteboard from its cage” making it a living document that can continually evolve. Cisco Spark and Spark board seamlessly integrate into everything you do and go wherever you go.

So…how does it all work?

With Cisco Spark your team can work in virtual meeting rooms where sharing documents and ideas is simple and easy. Voice and video calls can be placed from within the application giving users the ability to collaborate in real-time and with a degree of flexibility once unthinkable. Proximity technology within Spark Board allows anyone to walk into a conference room and find their Spark app automatically paired to the in-room board. Starting a meeting is as simple as hitting the ‘call’ button within the application and participants can draw on the board itself’ either with the aluminum stylus or a finger. Remote users are able participate and view content drawn on the board through the app as it occurs. All work done on Spark Board during the course of a meeting is automatically saved to the cloud and can be accessed and worked on by any member of your team at any time and from any device.

With less to go wrong, fewer components and very little complexity Cisco Spark Board provides an uncompromised user experience. Meet, message, call, share documents and immerse yourself in a world of seamless collaboration. No longer is innovation confined to a set of rules and physical location or is it encumbered by time and space. The nature of meetings has changed and Spark was created to fundamentally improve the way work gets done.

Lets get started…

To begin your collaboration journey head to Cisco Partner Spark Community and discover resources that include:

-Cisco Spark Partner Playbook

-Informative Sessions.

-Drive Demand

-Build your practice

If you’d like to know more about Cisco Spark and Spark Board or would like a demonstration reach out to our Spark team or leave a comment below.

 Let’s start the discussion on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn

- Ashlee Dufek