News & Events

Cisco Spark Board – a new way of collaborating

  • 24 April, 2017

Article, Cisco, Unified Collaboration

Cisco Spark Board is the all in-one device for team collaboration. From the touch of a finger, you can participate in digital whiteboard sessions and wirelessly present, and execute video conferences. Used in conjunction with the Spark app, the Spark Board allows you to connect virtual teams outside the physical room, through any device of your choice.

Once Spark meetings are shared or created on the Cisco Spark Board and associated with a Cisco Spark virtual space, content and messages are securely stored indefinitely and can be accessed from any device – laptop, smartphone or tablet. This means work and knowledge can be transferred seamlessly and securely from one team member to at any location on the globe, inside the office or on the move.

What’s really cool, is that the Spark Board automatically wakes up when you enter the room, detects your Cisco Spark app-supported device, and suggests an activity to choose from, such as making a video call or creating a new white board session. You can wirelessly share your presentation locally, so no physical wires are required to deliver your content to a wider audience. You can even control the Spark Board through your mobile phone or tablet.

cisco spark board

It has a stunning 4K Camera, capturing high-resolution video which shows detailed content beautifully, with a wide-angle image of the entire room. It also supports “Dynamic Framing”, which automatically adjusts and gives you the best possible camera angle based on how many people are in the room.

cisco spark board

Whiteboard sessions are performed using a pen or your finger, which will automatically save content to Cisco’s dedicated Spark Cloud for assigned teams to view and collaborate on. There is just a single solitary home button on the screen itself, with Cisco choosing to handle all the navigation through the highly responsive touch screen. The goal with Spark has always been to present the same interface and deliver the same user experience on every device, whether it’s a Desktop Computer, tablet, mobile device or Spark Board.

cisco spark board

The touch capability of Spark Board is beyond the majority of smartphones and tablets on the market because it allows for two-point multi-touch, which lets two people work on the board at the same time from completely different devices.

The built-in 12-microphone array, automatically amplifies and modulates speaker voices so meeting participants sound great, even those participants at the far ends of the room. This well thought out microphone array delivers a level of quality at a level that alleviates the need to purchase and install costly built-in or ceiling microphones and comes with the added benefit of reducing the number of wires running throughout the room. The overall aesthetics of the Cisco Spark Board are excellent as there are no wires behind the Screen whatsoever and it sits on the wall handsomely.

cisco spark board

The Spark Board supports Cisco’s MX and DX series video endpoints, 3rd party video endpoints, such as Polycom and any other mobile phone or tablet devices that have the Spark App installed.

Those of you concerned with the Security of your data and Business Compliance will be reassured to hear that Cisco Spark Board data is delivered securely with end-to-end encryption through Cisco’s Collaboration Cloud so your stored and real time data is completely secure. Cisco themselves have no visibility over your data and each individual line and stroke made in the whiteboard mode are encrypted and stored individually.

Pricing for the Spark Board is simply defined by the size of the screen (two sizes are available; 55″ & 70″) and on your choice of subscription, which can vary from monthly all the way through to 3 or 5 year options. Services can be added or updated automatically or on-demand, depending on your own requirements.

Cisco Spark Board Components are comprised of a multi-touch 55 or 70 inch LED display, with a black or white bezel, 4K UHD Screen, 4k Camera, 12-microphone array with build in speakers and a White board pen. The screen can be mounted on a wall or installed on a stand produced by Cisco themselves, which comes in Silver.

Installation couldn’t be much simpler. Enter a unique 16 digit code you retrieved from Cisco’s admin portal on the Spark Boards interface and the Spark Board takes care of the rest. It takes longer to mount the screen than it does to configure the device.

Final thoughts

Cisco recently did a survey where they discovered 95% of conference rooms around the world don’t have video or some form of conferencing equipment in them. I believe Cisco’s Spark Board is going to be revolutionary in its capabilities, usability, affordability and design. With its ability to easily connect multiple teams beyond the physical meeting room from any type of device using the Cisco spark app, Cisco have certainly produced a highly desirable and useful device that works for almost every business around the globe.

If this article has sparked your interest in the Cisco Spark Board and you’d like to find out more or give it a try, please get in touch with us and we can have a more in-depth conversation and answer any questions you may have.

Tesrex also provide a full range of services centred around Unified Collaboration. Contact us to arrange a consultation and to find out more about how we can help you understand where you are and how to get to where you want to be.