Cisco HK staff collaborating in cloud meeting rooms

Carol Ko
Computerworld Hong Kong

Over 350 Cisco Hong Kong staff members are now collaborating in cloud-based meeting rooms using Cisco Spark.

Essentially comprising the Cisco Spark Meetings mobile app and the newly launched Cisco Spark Board, a 55-inch giant tablet-like device, Cisco Hong Kong staff can now conduct presentations, collaborate on a digital white board and join high-definition conferencing sessions in the all-in-one device.

The Cisco Spark Board serves as a wireless presentation device that enables participants to attend and collaborate in virtual meetings regardless of their location. With ultrasound wireless pairing technology, participants can share with other conference participants their own screens with one click, whether they are using PCs, Mac, tablets or mobile phones.

In addition, the board serves as an interactive digital whiteboard that allows everyone to edit, save and share their encrypted work directly on the Cisco Collaboration Cloud, which is supported by Cisco's 22 data centers worldwide including Hong Kong.

Lastly, the board can also be used as a conferencing device, with "theatre-quality" audio and 4K high-definition video with intelligent framing, using microphone array and VoiceTrack technology. "The Cisco Spark Board has a TelePresence unit built in. There is no need to set up or maintain a separate conferencing camera system," said Garrick Ng (pictured, second from right), chief technology officer, Cisco Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Argon Ho (pictured, first from right), general manager of Cisco Hong Kong and Macau, added that the Cisco Spark Board will not replace the company's existing TelePresence offerings. "We will still sell TelePresence. With three screen panels, TelePresence offers a more realistic conferencing experience for meeting participants."

The Cisco Spark Board comes in two form factors: the newly launched Board measuring at 55 inches, and its next version measuring at 77 inches, to be shipped in end of May.

More than 300 downloads

According to Ho, the Cisco Hong Kong office has since 12 months ago recorded more than 300 downloads of the Cisco Spark Meetings mobile app by its employees.

Cisco Spark Meetings includes some of the existing meeting capabilities from Cisco WebEx, but extending the meeting to include the time before and after. In essence, this enables a new participant in a virtual meeting to view the entire history of conversation within the virtual meeting group.

"We typically create one virtual room for each project that we work on," said Ho. "Other than internal use, we also use Cisco Spark Meetings to engage our 200 channel partners, such as to keep them informed of our product launches."

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