1 Next Generation Tech-Talk Cloud Based Business Collaboration with Cisco Spark
2 2 [music] 00:06 Phil Calzadilla: Hello, hello! Welcome. This is Phil Calzadilla founder and CEO of NextNet Partners, and I'd like to welcome you to another edition of Next Generation Tech Talk. [music] 00:20 PC: I like that. Aladdin. I always learn something from folks picking their own music in the beginning of these podcasts, so I love it. But, we have our own Aladdin. He's a magician with Unified Collaboration, Unified Communications. He's our Director of Collaboration, Mr. Ken Reeves. 00:42 Ken Reeves: Hello. Thanks. 00:43 PC: Welcome, Ken. 00:43 KR: Thank you. 00:44 PC: Glad to have you here today bud. So Ken, there's some exciting things happening in Collaboration right now, and one of them I know that you wanna talk about today is Cisco Spark. 00:57 KR: Yeah, absolutely. So Cisco Spark has been around for a little while. It's been known as some other things as Squared, Project Squared, and some other things, but they have really made some leaps and bounds in it lately, and now it's a complete cloudbased business collaboration service where, enables message meet and call from anyone, anywhere, at any time, so a lot of big advances in it. 01:20 PC: That's great. And so why is this important to clients? I mean what should we be talking about with them, and what do they care about on this? 01:27 KR: The big thing is, business as we know it has changed; the days of sitting at your desk, tied to your desk phone and tied to are gone. Actually, the new generation of workers, the kids today, have changed the way that we operate already, so no longer are we making phone calls, we're starting with text messages and IM messages and we're escalating directly to video calls and content sharing. And Spark is actually built all around that, so Spark is built from the ground up to help you escalate from instant messaging, to meeting, to voice calls or video calls. So it's the speed of business and the speed of business has changed forever and Cisco Spark is there to help with it. 02:07 PC: Nice. Absolutely. It's so funny, if anyone out there, if you've got kids you know exactly what we're talking about here, right? They are text messaging each other. They use FaceTime like... I mean I don't even understand it. [chuckle]
3 3 02:19 KR: They don't make phone calls, you have to call them, but yeah, it's text message, to FaceTime, to... 02:23 PC: To FaceTime. Yeah, I have an eleven year old daughter, and her and her girlfriends all have iphones now, which is shocking to me too, and they're Facetiming each other constantly, and they may not even be talking, they're just looking at things together, or spending time, but that's how they're spending time. It's amazing to me, and you're right, that has changed the way we work. I know for me, sometimes it's easier and faster to get a response from me if you text me with the issue, right? 02:52 KR: Absolutely. And that's one of the big things that Sparks helps out with is messaging, so everyone's got , everyone still looks at their . But it takes a long time for people to respond to , and nowadays people just don't wanna wait, they wanna escalate quickly. So, if you're sitting on your cell phone the same as texting, that's one of the applications that Spark has as the built in application for your phone, so you can immediately message them or meet them in a room and escalate from there. 03:19 PC: Yeah, go right to video, go do a WebEx, go share whatever, right? 03:23 KR: Absolutely, share content, pictures, video, anything. 03:26 PC: Yeah. So, some folks may have the same question, and we have Jabber and we have Spark at NextNet Partners, but tell me... And I know the differences, but just kinda lay it out for folks, so what are the big differences between someone using Jabber today and Spark? 03:44 KR: So the big difference is, Jabber like Spark is an application, so it has instant messaging, and you can escalate to a shared meeting and voice and video. The difference is, Jabber relies on other platforms, relies on Call Manager for the voice call; relies on the IMP server for messaging; relies on WebEx. Spark is kind of built from the ground up to support all those, so it's already built in, so there's actually an application that is running a phone service in the background. Now you can do Spark in the cloud, you can do the call aspect of Spark in the cloud, but you could also do it on your on premise as well, but there's a built in application where you can do the Spark voice, and it's already out there so you don't have to build anything else. 04:29 PC: Got it. 04:32 KR: It works the same way with the escalation, the big difference between Spark and Jabber, is unlike Jabber if you don't have the application running, Spark will still alert you that someone's trying to message you or call you, so it runs in the background just like a lot of the Apple applications, but unlike Jabber if you're not logged on you're not getting that message, Spark will get the message. 04:51 PC: That's a big difference, especially in today's mobile world. 04:55 KR: Exactly what we were talking about, where you need to talk to someone immediately,
4 4 you wanna find somebody, you're going to find them with Spark. It's going to alert them and give you that message, where Jabber you have have to have the application running. 05:06 PC: Makes total sense. And that happens to me now, 'cause I don't login to Jabber every time, and I don't even login to Spark, on my mobile phone at the beginning of the day or anything like that, but all of a sudden I see my Spark calls are coming in and my Spark messages are coming in. Another big thing is the concept of those rooms, right? 05:26 KR: Yeah. The rooms are... Again as we were talking about, you can escalate the one to one meeting so you can create a room for just you and someone else and chat independently. You can have a group meeting, which creates rooms, so after you get done with a WebEx or if you just wanna escalate from a chat to a meeting, the ideas that you can store, you have a single pane where all the existing communications already happen, so instead of reading through an to see who's replied, who s seen it, you actually have... In these rooms, you can actually see when someone's added to the room, when they responded to it, who saw the message, who didn't, and you can have it tracked that way in a single pane instead of having a drive through, dive through messages. 06:12 PC: Yeah, which is so much more, just efficient. And we use Spark ourselves, and obviously so did Cisco, and I know that... Like for example, I'm on the Cisco Partner Advisory Board, and we have our channels team and everything else, so we have room set up there where, so myself and other partners across the country that are on the partner board as well as the executive from Cisco that are on that board, are all in our Partner Advisory Board room, and so if they wanna tell us something or if they wanna run something by us, they just post it to the room, we get notified, we go into the room, and then we can make comments, we can see each other's comments, we can add more content... 06:52 KR: And that content is limitless, 'cause it's on Cisco's cloud, partners or customers aren't using their own exchange resources to throw those files, so if I send you a 5 meg , and most people have caps on the size of s they can send, but if I send you a 5 meg , if I send you a 20 meg video, you could post that in there and it's 120 meg video, it's not 20 times 50 for everyone, and not everyone's mailbox is filling up, so... 07:20 PC: Yeah. That's actually happened to me... 07:21 KR: Oh yeah. 07:21 PC: 'Cause I've try to something, I didn't realize how big the was, it was like... 07:26 KR: I think ours is set to six, but yeah... 07:27 PC: Yeah, it's like a 170 meg or something like that. It was was video obviously, and then I just go ahead and post it in the Spark room and it goes to the whole company and they can see the video. It's cool, 'cause we've used it also... We just moved, I think a lot of folks know that if you're attached at all with us on Facebook or Twitter you'll see that we moved, we have a new location we're really excited about. But during that move, we created a room so that the whole company could talk about, "Hey, what kind of things do you wanna have in the new offices? Here
5 5 are some of the designs we are running with. Here are some of the artwork we're looking at. Here are some of the stenciling we're putting in on the glass," right? And so everybody can give us their thoughts and we can get feedback, and it's almost like a water cooler room for us, right? 08:07 KR: Yeah, it is definitely meant for projectbased, right? So, move to a new office is a project, starting a new consulting business is a project, even standout PMOs, opening a new office, anything is considered a project. Some of the other things that people wanna use them for is a new hires; so videos from the CEO, as part of the new hire, all the... We actually did that for when we changed our benefits, the healthcare benefits, we put all that stuff out on Spark so people can review it and have... We actually did the WebEX meeting as well, and recorded that and put that out to Spark. So it's a great retention, and history, and transparency, so you know exactly one thing has happened and why they happened and who saw. 08:55 PC: So, do we replace Jabber with Spark? Can you? Or what's the kind of process? 09:00 KR: So, there is... I don't wanna scare anybody, there is still room for Jabber, but the way that I see it going down is Spark will and it will eventually replace Jabber all together. 09:10 PC: Yeah, it seems that way. 09:11 KR: It really is. And that's one of the things, one of the new things that they came out with Spark, 'cause Spark has had a kind of a slow roll out until... When it was back and called Project Squared, but that is one of the new things is the instant messaging in the escalation to voice. So, I can definitely see where you may still have the Jabber application, but the instant messaging may work off Spark. And there's just some customers that may... Today, maybe deemed to big for the cloud for bandwidth concerns, so they may want... Or they're government entity and they want instant messaging onprem, they don't want stuff like that on the cloud, so it will be around, but it's definitely the trend moving towards Spark. 09:57 PC: That's great. And then one of some of the beauties of the Spark, right, is that it's completely integrated into the Cisco network that you've invested in as a company or an enterprise today. It's still... It's completely secure, right? 10:10 KR: Yeah. And that's one of the things, it's new customers, new company, especially new customers at Cisco, Spark is definitely the way to go; it's seamless, it's a quick build provisioning time is way faster, but if you're an existing customer, we've got clients that had 15 or 20,000 phones, they don't wanna migrate all those users to Spark, they can use their existing infrastructure that they've already paid for, they can use their communications manager, they can use their total present system and just integrate it with Spark. 10:40 PC: Nice. Without having to forklift anything. 10:43 KR: Nope, without having to forklift anything. 10:45 PC: Yeah, that's great.
6 6 10:46 KR: And couldn't make it a much easier transition to cloud if they do decide to go to cloud, at some point, but you just got done paying money to go onprem, you gotta take your time and utilize that capital that you've already spent. 11:01 PC: Sure, makes total sense. I love the... You can hear in Ken's voice, like he understands. He has sat in the client chair before where he's had to have those decisions with executives, right? How do I use my capital and where do I invest and justify all this. So, from a problem solving perspective, 'cause I really try to get to, "Hey, what problem does this solve?" Right? I think of it, it's like everything being a mess and being all over the place, right? [laughter] 11:34 PC: Is this an ? And we got this in Jabber. 11:36 KR: The big one is escalation, the... Technically it may not be considered a problem, but speed is a problem for some customers, right? I mean there's been all kinds of studies and you've talked about it, there's been all kinds of studies that say, within 10 years, 40% of the current Fortune 500 companies are gonna be nonexistent... 11:54 PC: That's right. 11:54 KR: 'Cause they're not fast, they're sitting their ways, they're not reliable, they're not... I shouldn't say reliable; they're not fast, they're not agile. 12:01 PC: Sure. 12:02 KR: But that's the biggest thing that it's gonna do is, is it's gonna get you fast and agile. You're going to... The quicker that you can collaborate on things, the quicker you can resolve things and the quicker you can go to market with your product, so that's the number one thing. On the IT side, why IT managers want it is, cost of ownership, right? 12:20 PC: Right. 12:20 KR: So it's a cloudbased application, so you're not gonna have to spend a lot on infrastructure. It's very quick and easy to deploy, so you're not gonna spend 200 or 400 hours deploying it, it's much faster. And then provisioning is faster, so unlike the old days, especially when you integrate the voice piece, like the old days where you had to go get the Mac address first and then preprogram everything, you basically take any phone and you enter... You either scan a barcode or enter the 16 digit number and it just programs that phone, so provisioning is way faster, so instead of taking the time to setup a user with WebEx, what was Jabber, instant messaging, voice, and Telepresence, all that stuff, instead of taking an hour or two you're talking about 15 minutes to set everyone up. 13:12 PC: That's great. Yeah, and it really... This is across industries, there's no one industry,
7 7 "Whether these guys need it... " It really goes across, if you have people that communicate, and you've got people that are carrying around mobile devices... 13:26 KR: Everyone, no matter what industry you're in, you have to communicate and collaborate, and you have to work with other people. There's no one who's developing anything on their own, so you have to collaborate with other people and this is the tool that's gonna help you do it quicker. 13:40 PC: That's great. And we know a lot of our clients as well as partners and everybody, they all have these digital transformation platforms or initiatives that they're trying to build and they're trying to move towards, 'cause they know that, in the words of Marc Andreessen, "Software is eating the world," right? And so to do that, to become that fast, agile, collaborative company, you've got to go ahead and do this digital transformation, right? You've gotta have some type of... And this is something that can really help companies 'cause it'll move them fast down the collaboration route. So very exciting Ken. Thank you so much for being here today. 14:20 KR: Thank you. 14:21 PC: For all of you out there, thank you for listening again. Hope we are giving you useful content. We would love your feedback on our content, so please let us know either using a Facebook comment, shoot us an at You can find out more about what we're doing at NextNetpartners.com, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook, real simple. You look up NextNet Partners on Google you're gonna find all the ways to get us, so. Thank you everybody for listening, we'll catch you next time. [music]
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