Spark Out! Cisco rebrand Spark to Webex Teams

Cisco’s Collaboration Summit in Phoenix saw the announcement of some significant changes to their product roadmap and the naming of their collaboration services, with the rebrand of Cisco Spark to Cisco Webex Teams.

The Webex brand is well established as a video and audio conferencing service and Cisco’s acquisition in 2007 of the service for $3.2b (twice the price of Broadsoft if adjusted for inflation) described as‘a platform for all forms of communications and collaboration’. The name change is across the board on their range of products with their portfolio now including Cisco Webex Calling, Webex Meetings and Webex Teams.

The Spark brand had built some momentum but this moves shows that both Cisco and Microsoft are putting their ‘Teams’ at the centre of their Cloud Comms strategy with Microsoft rebranding their Skype for Business service last year to Microsoft Teams. With this invigorated focus on internal collaboration, mainly driven through online meetings, messaging platforms and conferencing, it is really interesting to see the difference in strategies against Cloud Comms Service Providers.

Team Collab – Hype or reality?

The focus of the Cloud Comms industry over the past few years has really been around improving external communications and developments from Service Providers have been focused around improving enterprise’s interactions with their end customers through analytics and contact centre like features. Taking out providers who include Team Collaboration with their solution (RingCentral etc.), only 20% of users have actually purchased a Team Collaboration solution from their communications Service Provider. This is not to say that enterprises are not using collaboration but the question still remains whether it is a service that can generate revenue for both Service Providers and resellers, especially in the SME where the benefits of internal collaboration are not as strong as in larger enterprises.