Into the Meeting Room: Cisco Spark Board

 

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Today Cisco announced in special keynote Cisco Spark Board with All-in-one Device for Team Collaboration in the Meeting Room.  All-in-one Capacitive multi-touch with 4k Display gives really an impressive experience. All integrated with Cisco Spark Applications for Desktop and Apple IOS devices as well.
Main features of the All-in-one Device:
  • A wireless-based presentation with proximity: Cisco Spark Board sense the proximity of any Spark Client in the meeting room with ultrasound wireless pairing technology. It provide a sharing and conference platform for any Spark Meeting
  • An interactive digital whiteboard that allow everyone in the Spark Meeting Room to Edit and auto-save it. It can be in the background and foreground of any ongoing Video Meeting. Equipped as well with a stylus-like pen.
  • Spark Board as well comes with beamforming microphone array and Voice-Track technology ensures that potential eliminate on-desk microphone. They are adopting their Voice tracking 4K Camera (currently available in the latest MX series) into Spark Board.
Cisco Spark Board comes with two screen sizes 55 Inch (Price tag of $4,990) and 70 inch (Price tag of $9,990 later this year) with Spark OS and managed by Spark Cloud (based on Webex Engines) with monthly subscription.
You can check this nice Demo video on
Cisco Press Release:
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Good Read: An insight into SIP Vulnerabilities

Recently, I came across a very insightful article discussing the importance of securing business and personal VoIP communications platform specially Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). The article was published on “nojitter” and by Andrew Prokop

http://www.nojitter.com/post/240172189

 

 

Happy New (and interesting) Year – 2017

 

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I hope you all have a very happy, productive, extraordinary, and (for sure) interesting new year 2017.

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An interesting Read: Applications Performance and network mitigations

Recently, I came across an interesting article on SDXCentral portal addressing Applications Performance from the Network perspective (every application at some point can potentially underperform) and Network mitigation to address these underperformance issues. It starts by laying out the three major network aspects that can be found in any Private or Public Cloud implementations of applications namely: Network Delay, Packet Loss, and Jitter.

Three interesting performance mitigation methods the author is proposing:

  • Intelligent  Connectivity Model with Hybrid WAN and with SD-WAN logic in place
  • Multidimensional Quality of Service Techniques that can be deployed close-to-the-device, close-to-the-edge,  and Core QoS WAN and LAN implementation
  • Application Awareness of Network conditions and adaptation. This is an interesting topic I will cover in details soon an separate article

I hope you like the article. You can read it HERE

 

 

 

 

Interesting Read: No-Jitter on new Cisco Spark offering

An interesting ready from No Jitter blog on the new Cisco Spark Flex Plan and new BE offering. Some details can be seen here

http://www.nojitter.com/post/240172104/cisco-simplifies-spark-decision-buying-process

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The Era of Managed Collaboration Cloud

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In the recent Cisco Partner Summit, Cisco made several announcements in Collaboration technologies by introducing, what it seems to be, a simple and flexible offering with SPARK and Collaborations Business Edition. These new innovative offering complement Cisco’s clear strategy for Digital network architecture (DNA) and Cloud-managed solutions. The announcement includes:

  • Cisco Spark Flex Plan:

Cisco is introducing a Flex-Plan Licensing Model in which allow customers that are having strong cloud-based strategy to gradually migrate their Collaborations workload by providing a customer choice to have a little mix between Spark Cloud and On premises services with a flexibility to decide which load can be on premises and which can be managed in the cloud with Spark, all with a single Contract. Meetings can be hosted in the Cloud with Spark Meetings/Webex or on-premises using Cisco Meeting Server. Calls can be handled using Cisco UCM on-premises and Voice gateways or using Cisco Spark Calls. “Migration” of any service can be done at any time within this Plan.

  • Cisco Spark Depot:

It is a newly introduced Depot for developing Partners to leverage the open API of Cisco Spark to find integrations to simplify the workday. Google Calendar, Jive, Trello, Box and more can be integrated with Spark to allow fully unified experienced. I advise you to check it on https://depot.ciscospark.com as well the very interesting http://sameroom.io as well.

  •  Spark Hybrid Media Service:

Spark Hybrid will give customers the option to deploy Cisco Spark meetings on premises, in the cloud, or even both at the same time. not sure if it would be integrated with the Flex Plan eventually, but it might be.

  • Cisco Business Edition 4000 :

With the same strategic direction in Cloud-based Collaborations, Cisco introducing Cisco BE4K targeting the Small-to-Medium-Business (SMB) sitting alongside Cisco UCM Express, Cisco BE6K, and Meraki MC. As announced, it will support 8800 and 7800 Cisco Line of IP Phones. Features like: Make, receive, park, hold and transfer calls.Auto-attendant for effective call routing, Voicemail, Hunt groups, and Audio Conference will be offered here.

With a feature of zero-touch deployment (from the customer perspective) the BE4K can automatically download its configuration from the Cloud once plugged-in into the remote site Network. I will try to find some more information on the specification and operation of the new introduced BE.

  • Cisco Business Edition 6000 pre-configured before shipment:

With the same approach, Cisco is improving its management tools for Partners in ordering Cisco BE6K to have a lot of the installation workload done before shipment to customer’s site. Cisco claims it will save up to 60% of the workload. I believe we need here more information about this scope as well.

Please checkout Gary Wolfson Blog on Cisco blogs on the link http://blogs.cisco.com/partner/collaboration-just-got-simpler-and-more-flexible

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I am Back

After several busy months of blogging inactivity, I have decided to relaunch the UC Journal Blog (Re-named Collaborations Journal) and start a weekly posts covering the latest and state-of-the-art advances in Collaborations technologies. I will try to cover wide perspectives in the Collaboration Technologies and digital Work-space.

Topics on How-to-implement and topics on How-to-Design  are also covered and Excellent referral posts from other blogs will be also re-posted with some comments. I will try to be vendor neutral as much as possible, however will be leaning toward the latest state-of-the-art development from Cisco, Microsoft, and other Enterprise and SMB dedicated technologies.

I will also cover several state-of-the-art emerging technologies like SDN/NFV and IoT in relation to Collaborations Technologies.

Also wait for the launch of the new domain moniemrezk.com

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Zero Touch IP Phones Migration with MigrationFX

Ok, Not totally “zero touch”, but you will get the idea.

Hello, It is the time of the year again :).  And no I don’t mean Thanksgiving, but the time of a fresh upgrade to your IP Phones. Planning to upgrade Cisco phones seems got a lot easier without the cost and complexity of rolling out phones and cost of Field operation rollout . UnifiedFX (unifiedFX.com) the developer of the UC tool PhoneView, introduces MigrationFX. 

From the functionality point of view, it is as simple as unplug the old Cisco IP Phone (like 7941) and plug the same cable (should be the same cable/port) with a new IP Phone (lets say the unique Cisco IP  8845) , and the new IP Phone get identified to be a replaceable IP Phone and move all the old phone profile with original line settings and IP Phones device settings (common profiles at least).  You can see a demo in the following video:

 

UnifiedFX states that  all Cisco Customers can get a free “Site” License of MigrationFX from Cisco in trad-in of Old phones and purchase a min of 100 new Phones. Orderable by the Promo code: L-CP-MGFX-PROMO=. There is a Free Trial you can download for Lab validation Environment.

In a future post, I will highlight the technical details of the operation of the Zero-Touch MigrationFX and how it is integrated to the system. Highlighting the potential cost saving. So stay tight for our future deep dive.

Note: I absolutely have no affiliation with UnifiedFX and highlighting this product here is merely to the share a useful tool that for sure improve IP Phones migrations to the customers and partners.

🙂

 

 

 

Collaborations Tech-Bites – Cisco Expressway Design Overview and Considerations – Part 4 of 4

Hello there,

Here is the final part of the first Series of Cisco Expressway – Design overview. In Part 4 we highlight the Design Considerations of Expressway including Service Discovery, Directory Search, and regional and global design. We highlight as well what will be covered in the next parts of the series.

Your feedback on the all series is appreciated as well. What is good and what is need to be mitigated. I really appreciate your feedback.

Also For any question or Enquiry, please Comment.

Thanks

Collaborations Tech-Bites – Cisco Expressway Design Overview and Considerations – Part 3 of 4

In Part 3 we talk about Cisco Expressway Mobile and Remote Access Licensing and Sizing. How to design a scalable Expressway solution for several organisation sizes. This is an important Part. Enjoy

For any question or Enquiry, please post in the comment here or on Youtube

Thanks