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Nov 27
A Tale of Two Cisco (White)Boards
Posted by Dustin Kaplan

A long long time ago in a convention hall not so far away from my dark, cozy office….(cue music by composer John Williams)

john-williams

(An image of the Spark Board appears) 

cisco-spark-board two way webex board

This would be the first time I laid eyes and hands on the Spark Board. It was a touch screen, a video endpoint, a presentation display, a slicer, a dicer, a julienne fry maker and most importantly a digital whiteboard! I remember smiling at the sight of the little "Whiteboard" button on the home screen and being excited by the device's possibilities. Here was not only a new end point but, a way to bring the humble whiteboard; one of the longest standing and arguably most used analog tools in business' everywhere to the modern age as a true two-way collaborative tool. This excitement lasted right up to the moment I actually tested the device and discovered something puzzling: The Spark Board was only really a collaborative whiteboard if you and your collaborators were in the same room. Which is similar to another technology you may be familiar with known as "every other white board you have ever used". Disappointing. Although, the Spark Board was still a tidy and well performing video endpoint, the missing whiteboard piece always left me sad for what could have been: a live two-way whiteboard session between endpoints and collaborators. 

Time, as it has a habit of doing, rolled on from that day. Following in the evolutionary branding footsteps of the rest of the platform, the Spark Board was eventually reborn as the WebEx Board and the word "Spark" was banished to the same place the Ark of the Covenant is sent to at the end of Indiana Jones.

Raiders-8

To the casual on-looker, outside of a name change and incremental updates, things appeared otherwise unchanged with the WebEx Board. That was until one sunny afternoon a few weeks ago. I was quietly called to a meeting with an internal team at Cisco for some "testing" but, details were limited outside of being told to reserve a room that had a WebEx Board in it. The time arrived, our meeting started and what followed took me straight back to that first day I saw the WebEx Board. The only difference was that this time, two way white board was ACTUALLY working. In real-time, the Cisco team and I were able to draw on the same whiteboard and as there is with every great product, there was more! That more came in the form of digital post-it notes. We were able to drag a number of these color coded notes onto the screen and add text to them as we pleased. Once our testing was complete the file could be shared as a PDF via email to any destination we wanted to send it. While release date for these features was stated as only "coming soon", I was happy to see that the collaboration tool I had always hoped the WebEx Board could be, is finally at hand.

 

As always if you have any questions on the Webex Board and would like to schedule a demo, please reach out to us at sales@lookingpoint.com and we’ll be happy to help!

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Written By: Dustin Kaplan, LookingPoint Consultant Services Engineer 

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