Discussing Spark with Zeus

by Dave Michels

Cisco made several announcements today at its annual Collaboration Summit in San Francisco.

Zeus Kerravala and I discuss them in this video.

These announcements are in alignment with Cisco’s stated vision to “Deliver a single collaboration experience that spans all modes of communication.”

These announcements indicate:

  • That Spark is central to Cisco’s collaboration strategy. It was only launched a year ago (Project Square), and today it’s front and central.
  • Cisco is shifting to directly hosting its cloud service. HCS was an indirect cloud model – equipment sales to providers. The indirect model results with inconsistencies in delivered services and experiences. Microsoft has done the same, but Cisco may have the upperhand with providers.
  • Cisco intends to leverage its huge installed base to accelerate adoption of messaging and specifically Spark (in Ciscospeak it’s called value extension). This could put some slack in Slack’s demand.
  • If we dissect the above vision we get three parts: Experience, multi-modal, and communications. For the past two years Cisco has been stressing experience. These announcements put more emphasis the second two.
  • Cisco, MicroSoft, and Mitel are all beating different drums -and none of them are the UC drum.
  • The differences between Microsoft and Cisco are widening. Simply stated Microsoft is expertly skating to where the puck is (Office, Exchange, Cloud) and Cisco is skating to where Cisco thinks the puck is headed (messaging centric/WCC, cloud, mobile).

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