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The 4 Keys to Success for a Collaboration Platform

These days, everyone seems to be searching for a magic bullet – that one thing that will miraculously fix your problem with little to no effort. In the workplace, this magic bullet would cut through all the different ways to communicate and bring everyone onto one platform for fast, simple, collaboration that gets work done. No more hours spent cleaning out the inbox or trying to find the latest version of a document or remembering to include everyone on a project in a meeting invite or….The list is endless and doesn’t even include increasing workplace mobility and a better work-life balance. 

Cisco Spark can be that magic bullet – an easy, intuitive collaboration app that was built from the ground up to allow teams to get stuff done. In order to reap the rewards, you need to use it. But where to start? A recent Nemertes Research webinar highlighted four factors of a successful adoption of a collaboration solution. 

Desktop Availability

Despite the massive increase in the use of mobile devices in recent years, most people still do the majority of their work on a computer and need a collaboration solution that works seamlessly between desktop and mobile versions. The Cisco Spark user experience remains the same no matter the device, allowing users to message, meet, whiteboard and access files at their desk or on the go. The Cisco Spark app gives you the ability to have those office “ah ha” moments, even when you are not in the office.

Dedicated Room Systems

Collaboration solutions should be designed to bring people together, even when they are physically apart. But if half the team is in the office for the meeting, it makes sense for them to be in a room together and for that you need a room system. Cisco Spark Board and Room Kits were specifically designed for the meeting room or huddle space to make it feel like all team members are in the same room. The cameras are smart, automatically scaling participants to be life-sized. No more giant head-syndrome!

Cisco Spark also works on a number of Cisco’s collaboration end points, including DX70, DX80 and the SX10, and third party endpoints with standards-based SIP. So if you’ve already started your video conferencing journey, your investment is protected.

The Cloud

The cloud is one of today’s IT buzzwords, but why? Its cheaper, faster, and easier to maintain than on-premises solutions, allowing businesses to scale with minimal investment as they share a prebuilt architecture. Updates can be rolled out to users immediately so they always have the latest versions. The cloud is the very backbone of mobility – allowing users to access apps from anywhere at anytime on any device.

With the recent WannaCry ransomware attack and other data hacks, security and the cloud is top of mind. Cisco Spark is designed to take advantage of the flexibility and mobility offered by the cloud, while also protecting your data with security built into the very backbone of Cisco Spark, protecting your data with end-to-end encryption.

User Adoption Plan

Simply expecting your employees to start using a collaboration solution when it appears on their computer is not a user adoption plan and won’t lead to company-wide use of your new collaboration solution. Something to keep in mind when developing a plan: Nemertes’ research showed a correlation between greater adoption and a larger-scale rollout; i.e. the greater the number of possible users, the higher proportion of actual users. Cisco Services can work with you to design an adoption plan to meet your company’s needs and even have a special Cisco Spark Board “All Aboard” Service.

My personal tip for user adoption – highlight the benefits and don’t make it intimidating. Cisco Spark has a lot of wonderful features, but some may find it overwhelming if introduced to them all at once. Start with the basics – messaging, meeting, calling, whiteboarding. My colleagues and I have created a Cisco Spark space where we experiment with the different features and try out any new updates. As a bonus, we are able to sustain our personal relationships even as we spend less time in the office together.