Cisco has not been as prominent in the unified communications and collaboration space for the last couple of years in New Zealand. This has allowed Microsoft to push hard into the local ICT market with Office 365 including Skype for Business. Is this all about to change?
Cisco Spark was launched globally two years ago but was not released in New Zealand due to trademark licensing conflicts. This has held Cisco back from talking about innovation in this space in line with the marketing messages through the rest of the world.
Cisco has announced the launch of its Spark collaboration product portfolio in New Zealand following a lengthy licensing negotiation process with local telco Spark NZ. The entire Cisco Spark portfolio will now be available in New Zealand, including its security features and the Spark Board.
What is Cisco Spark?
Cisco Spark is an app-centric, cloud-based service that provides a complete collaboration suite for teams to create, meet, message, call, whiteboard and share, regardless of whether they’re together or apart. It is built to help teams work seamlessly. It is simple, secure, complete, and open. The core capabilities of Cisco Spark are Meetings, Messaging, and Calling. The app-centric design, hybrid services, and architecture of Cisco Spark they suggest create a unique and differentiated service.
Businesses will benefit from the range of Cisco Spark collaboration tools as they become available in New Zealand. Cisco Spark allows interaction in real-time using devices people already have today, with an improved collaboration and meeting experience.
Cisco and Apple
Another area Cisco has not told New Zealanders about effectively is their partnership with Apple that started in August 2015. This partnership created a fast lane for iOS business users by optimising Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps, integrating the iPhone with Cisco enterprise environments and providing unique collaboration on the iPhone and iPad.
Apple and Cisco are also working together to make the iPhone an even better business collaboration tool in Cisco voice and video environments. The goal is to provide users a seamless experience between the iPhone and the desk phone.
These two initiatives allow Cisco to compete again in the New Zealand market for unified communications and collaboration, including global vendor cloud solutions. It will be interesting to see how Cisco and Microsoft battle it out on what is now a level playing field.