Hi, my name is Marcus Schmidt. I'm the Senior Director of Product at West Unified Communications, and I'd like to welcome you to Whiteboard Fridays. So I want to talk with you about one of the hottest things in unified communications. They’re called Spark Boards and you’ve maybe heard about them or seen them. I want to talk to you about Spark Boards, but I'm not doing it on a real Spark Board - this is a regular old whiteboard. I wish I could be doing this on a real Spark Board, but I don't have one yet! They're in such hot demand and I know Cisco has a ton of back orders on them. We're waiting to get ours. So future versions of Whiteboard Fridays will be Whiteboard Fridays on a Spark Board, hopefully.
Let’s talk about some of the reasons why I'm excited about Spark Boards, why I think the industry is excited about Spark Boards, and what Spark Boards do.
First of all, they're a great platform for presenting. They’ve got a big screen with a webcam and a bunch of microphones built in. You can take the content that you want to present and basically put it up on the screen. But that's nothing new, right? You can do that with any flat screen TV in a conference room. However, Spark Boards enable you to present wirelessly using a Cisco technology called Proximity. With Spark Boards, you can take what's on your laptop and project it onto the screen without having to go find the cable, find the dongle, figure out how it all fits together, figure out which input needs to be selected on the TV, etc. With Spark Boards, all of that stuff goes away. You just connect and project.
Kind of a no-brainer, right? It's a Spark Board, so you should be able to do whiteboarding on it. You can walk up to the screen itself, grab the stylus and start drawing on the whiteboard. Basically like I've been doing all this time with Whiteboard Fridays, but it's all digital and shareable. With Spark Boards you can easily share with colleagues - people can see the whiteboard on their laptops and devices while they’re in the room and take it with them when they leave.
Spark Board is also a platform for conferencing: it has a built in webcam and microphone array that you can use as your video conferencing and audio conferencing solution in the room. What I love about this is that it enables portable meetings. Spark Boards are tied back in with the Spark Cloud and with your Spark applications. All of your Spark Board content can stay in that Spark space, and then when you leave the meeting, you will have access to it on your laptops, tablets and mobile devices. So, it lets you take the meeting with you, and then take it somewhere else and maybe even start it up again in another room with another Spark Board. So that awesome stuff you captured on your whiteboard isn't locked on that whiteboard. You don't have to put up the "Do not erase," or, "Save for later" sign - you can just take it with you and go when you want to go.
So we're excited about Spark Boards. I can't wait to get ours and I can't wait to do future versions of Whiteboard Fridays on the Spark Board. So if you get one or you want to talk to us about getting one, let us know. We'd love to work with you on Spark Boards.