Monthly Archives: March 2017

My wife and daughter Spark a picture miles apart

My wife and 4-year-old daughter recently drew a picture together.

My daughter was home in California; my wife was on a trip to Arizona.

So how did that picture come to be?

Cisco Spark’s free, intuitive group-sharing technology. Tech that gets out of the way to make room for easy conversation, eye contact across the miles, and plenty of 4-year-old giggles. The drawing itself was performed on one end from an iPad, the other from an iPhone.

Cisco Spark had just launched its new “whiteboarding” capability on January 24. Whiteboarding sounds a lot like “drawing” to me, as does it to my 4-year-old. So I opened up a Spark Space, called my wife in the app (we already use it for messaging), and handed an Apple Pencil to my little girl. And away they went!

Seeing my daughter drawing hearts and my wife coloring them in helped ease the pain of my wife traveling away from home for medical treatment. It helped mom and daughter feel closer during a difficult time. It helped me feel like my wife was able to share in daily activities, even though she had to be away for a few weeks.

Thank you, Cisco Spark, for letting my wife be a part of precious family moments… even when she was away from home.

Here’s a quick video of this interaction. I hope you enjoy!

Cisco Spark averts apocalypse, lets me take kids to school

I lost my cell phone last night.
In 2010, those words would have sent me into a panic requiring me to rocket  the lost phone crisis to top priority. Like, I-know-I-should-take-kids-to-school-but-exactly-what-are-truancy-guidelines-during-the-apocalypse priority.
This is 2017, though, and I use Cisco Spark.
So I got to drop my kids off at school. Cool. Collected. No Mad Max apocalypse in sight.
How, you ask?
Because of Spark, most of what would previously have been text messages with coworkers has now moved to 1:1 or group conversations (AKA spaces).
Unlike text messages, Spark conversations are available on all my devices, regardless of what device the other person is using. This means I get a Spark message on my desktop and laptop, just like on my (currently lost) phone.
Plus, most coworkers call my work number, which rings through to Spark due to my setup as a Spark Hybrid user.
This means my text messages and phone calls land on ALL my devices, not just my work or cell phone.
My cell may be lost, but my communication continues seamlessly. 
If you haven’t checked out Cisco Spark yet, I’d recommend you go sign up for a free account at web.ciscospark.com.  Anyone can get an account, and you can use it today to start using messaging, video conferencing, whiteboarding, and file sharing from any of your devices.
My recommendation would be to start with the text messaging conversations you have with co-workers, and have those conversations over Cisco Spark.  That way all your conversations will be on all your devices. And when you eventually break or lose your smartphone (and you know you will), it won’t be the apocalypse.
Which means you too can continue your life without panicking and drop your kids off at school in the morning before dealing with your lost phone.
Thanks, Cisco Spark, for averting the end of the world, one lost cell phone at a time.