Cisco unveils meetings for the 21st Century workplace

Cisco unveils meetings for the 21st Century workplace
Finally, an end to the misery of meetings


SINGAPORE, Mar. 21, 2017 – Cisco today set out to overhaul Asia’s traditional meeting and meeting room experience with the launch of Cisco Spark™ Board, a new hardware and software solution designed to bring meetings into the 21st Century and ready for today’s mobile, always-on workforce.

Introducing Cisco Spark™ Board, a sleek new plug-and-play, all-in-one device for team collaboration that lets you wirelessly present, white-board, and video or audio conference whether you are in the physical conference room or not.

While businesses are more connected than ever, there is still one area of the workplace that remains at odds with the digital transformation taking place elsewhere – the meeting room. Surprisingly many meeting rooms today still only contain a speakerphone and whiteboard. When they are upgraded, the technology often doesn’t work, is hard to use, or breaks down. Meanwhile, the tables are either littered with wires, connectors and remotes - or in many cases missing them altogether. No wonder meetings often feel like a waste of time, when the setup and connection time is more than the time spent on the meeting. The traditional approach to this conundrum has often been to add more clutter by developing a new “add on” app or bolting on a new device – ultimately adding to the chaos and disconnect.

Cisco took an altogether different approach. To end ‘miserable meetings’, we went back to first principles and built new breakthrough technology designed, developed and deployed together with new cloud-based software. Above all, it had to be simple to use, super secure, able to cope with today’s modern workplace demands, and priced affordably so it is available for any size of business.

“We are making meetings truly digital,” said Darryl McKinnon, Cisco’s MD, Collaboration Sales, Asia Pacific and Japan. “Our aim is to eliminate conference room clutter and connect physical meeting rooms with virtual spaces – where the majority of work gets done.”

NEW TECHNOLOGY:

A WIRELESS PRESENTATION DEVICE THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE.
Cisco has created a global, worldwide network of workspaces, accessible from anywhere. Walk up to a Cisco Spark Board anywhere in the world – yours or not – and you can start sharing with one click. When using the Cisco Spark App, as you approach, the board will recognize and greet you. No Bluetooth, no WiFi or network connection required. It is controlled from your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile phone. It is screen sharing that just works. We achieved it through a tight integration with the Cisco Spark platform plus new and groundbreaking ultrasound wireless pairing technology, making remote controls obsolete.

NEW FEATURES:

AN INTERACTIVE DIGITAL WHITEBOARD THAT EVERYONE CAN EDIT

  • Cisco Spark™ Board takes whiteboards to a new level: It ensures your creativity and content is shareable, editable, and secure and is packed with a host of features to make meetings memorable and creativity and collaboration flow.


Whiteboards are where some of the best ideas originate. But they haven’t really moved on since the 1950s when they were invented. They are great for creativity, but what goes on the board stays on the board, unless you opt for a whiteboard selfie.

Beyond snapping a photo, it’s difficult to save or share your work, and impossible if you want to go back and edit it. There have been attempts at digital whiteboards - but the experience has been terrible, and adoption limited. Until now.

BYE-BYE WHITEBOARD SELFIES
  • Cisco Spark™ Board automatically saves your work. Using the cloud your work is saved to a space that the whole team shares. Take a call, a break or another meeting then simply pick up where you left off at your leisure.


WE MADE IT ACCESSIBLE – BY ANYONE, FROM ANYWHERE:
  • Now anyone can leave their mark in real time (or later) —even from a mobile phone. Using the Cisco Spark app, every participant can now simultaneously whiteboard.


INCREDIBLE MEETINGS
  • Want to be on a video call while whiteboarding? You can do that, too. Say goodbye to that old speakerphone. The Cisco Spark Board gives you the video and audio quality you would expect from Cisco. The inbuilt 4K camera gives a broad, crisp view of the room without being obtrusive. The microphone array and Voice Track technology ensures that your message will come through crystal-clear on the other end.


OH, AND IT’S SO, SO SIMPLE
  • But all these assets are worthless, if it’s too complicated to install and use. So, we’ve taken care of that too. We have eliminated all the wires and cables through our ultrasound wireless pairing technology. Cisco Spark™ Board is plug and play so, setup is as simple as placing on a stand or mounting it to the wall and switching on. We’ve now put technology in every room for our customers.


Someday meetings will be eliminated altogether, but until that time, Cisco Spark will be on hand to ensure there are less of them and they are shorter and more productive.

Pricing and Availability
In Asia: The 55-inch (140 cm) version of the Cisco Spark Board is available from Cisco partners across Asia at a recommended price of USD $4,990 with a USD $199 monthly subscription. The subscription covers the cloud service, help desk and software upgrades. You can also buy through the Cisco Spark Flex Plan. The 70-inch (178 cm) version of the Cisco Spark Board will be available in Asia later this year at a recommended price of USD $9,990.



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