Cisco is converging its messaging application Cisco Spark with its videoconferencing platform Webex, for better meetings and team collaborations. The result of this convergence is two new applications— Webex Meetings and Webex Teams.
What Cisco is doing is taking all the collaboration features from Spark and merging them with Webex, which already comprises superior videoconferencing functionality.
The aim of this convergence is to simplify the collaboration services Cisco offers. The newly formed applications will share a common cloud, and provide a similar user experience.
Previously, Cisco Spark and Webex had separate meeting options – a Cisco Spark app user could join only a Spark meeting, and Webex app user a Webex meeting. The convergence will simplify the things.
The new Webex Meetings application is a ‘video-first’ conferencing app, which can host up to 1,000 participants per meeting. It comes with better storage, analytics and security capabilities. It will be available to existing users in the coming months, company said.
“We are putting all our award-winning video devices onto this newly converged platform. And we’re adding a new hardware device that turns any work space with a TV into a Webex room. We didn’t stop there. We’re making everything easier to buy,” wrote Cisco. “And we’re continuing to apply machine learning and artificial intelligence that will dramatically improve meetings as we know them today.”
The other new application— Webex Teams, is an updated version of Cisco Spark. It will now have same Webex meeting functionality in Teams meetings. The Webex Teams will include a set of tools which allows persistent messaging, whiteboarding, simple guest access, content sharing and more to support the teams during and after the meeting.
The convergence will also have its impact on other devices and services of Cisco. The Spark Assistant, a digital assistant in Spark, will now be called Webex Assistant, while the Spark Board will be called Webex Board.
Furthermore, Cisco also rolled out a new device called Webex Share, which can be used as a Webex meeting screen when plugged into a TV.
“Everything we do is designed with people in mind—to help them work, collaborate, and create together. That’s why we have invested so much in Webex,” said Rowan Trollope, SVP and GM, Applications Group, Cisco. “Our vision is to bring this amazing experience to a billion users and conference rooms all around the world.”