Chat-based tools have become much sought-after by companies seeking to improve on collaboration, business productivity and “future of work” conversations. Many of them have come up in the last few years. They include Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Team, Slack, Google Hangouts Chat, Flock, Facebook for Work and Cisco Systems Spark among others.
These features are similar in that they allow the user to stay in “in-context” on one screen as opposed to switching context between applications. The overall goal of these features is to enhance smooth workflow in a simpler and more intuitive manner compared to email and Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL), SAP. The application are made to cater for the needs of young as well as highly mobile workers who prefer chat-based interfaces since they are familiar with Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ:FB), iMessage and text. Additionally, these features work very well on smartphones, tablets and PCs.
Recently, Cisco Systems introduced a similar feature. However, many analysts are keeping watch to see if it will manage to compete with Flock, Slack, Google and Microsoft.
First, the company announced that all Cisco Systems collaboration tools will be called “Webex”. The company announced that it will be integrating its Cisco Spark and Webex platforms to create a single Webex Meetings application plus a team collaboration application referred to as Webex Teams.
The Webex Meetings is made in such a way that it allows video chat. The integration of Webex meetings and Cisco Spark meetings is far more than just branding. According to Cisco, the move will significantly help in streamlining its meetings capabilities.
Until recently, Cisco Spark had “Spark meetings, which depended on servers in public clouds and could only be joined through the Cisco Spark app. Webex meetings were completely different thing.
All the meetings are taking place in Webex and are supported by Webex’s reliable backbone IP network, which is very important for high-quality video meetings. One can join these meetings from the Webex Teams append the Webex Meetings app.
Webex Teams is an updated and rebranded version of Cisco Spark and the company says it help bring additional tools. These tools include content sharing, simple guest access, persistent messaging and whiteboarding among others.