VOSS simplifies hybrid Spark provisioning

VOSS-4-UC automates the process of deploying and managing Spark Hybrid Services

VOSS simplifies hybrid Spark provisioning
Cisco Systems

Last week, Cisco held the European version of it’s Cisco Live event in Berlin. At these events, Cisco typically makes several product announcements and demonstrates many of its new products. Cisco Live is also a time for the company’s alliance and technology partners to showcase their own wares as they look to add value to the Cisco ecosystem. 

One of the more interesting announcements by an technology partner at the 2017 show was from VOSS Solutions, which extended its platform to support Cisco Spark Hybrid Services. The Spark platform has been red hot of late, as Cisco has made it the company’s main UC platform. During the show, the Spark Board garnered a lot of attention, including being part of Ruba Borno’s day 1 keynote

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While there are many team collaboration tools on the market today, Cisco’s is the only one that can run in hybrid mode. Spark Hybrid Services let businesses enjoy the benefits of Spark but keep some of the tools on premises with a single, integrated experience. The Spark Hybrid Services including calling, calendar, directory service and media service. 

Spark is growing in popularity, but for large enterprises, provisioning the service for tens of thousands of users can be a significant time suck filled with manual processes. VOSS, a leading unified communications (UC) management vendor, now has a solution to make this process easier, as its VOSS-4-UC product automates the deployment and management of Spark Hybrid Services. 

Eliminates the time suck of deploying Spark Hybrid Services

Without an automation platform like VOSS, businesses would typically use a mix of disjointed tools to administer Spark. For example, a business could use a homegrown tool to pull user information from Active Directory, a multi-step UC management tool to provision the individual users and applications, and a service management platform to measure the impact to the network and other infrastructure. 

The problem with that model is it can literally take months for large organizations to deliver Spark to all of its users. In this highly competitive digital era, that kind of lag in giving workers advanced tools could be the difference between capturing a market opportunity and being a leader or missing it and being a lagger. 

VOSS-4-UC automates the entire, end-to-end process. The product has had Active Directory integration for years, so customers do not need to build their own or purchase a separate connector. For the rest of the process, VOSS leverages the Spark API to automate the creation of a driver that incorporates the elements required to manage the cloud service in conjunction with the on-premises tools. 

The following are some of the Spark Hybrid Services tasks that can be automated with VOSS-4-UC: 

  • Provision, move, change or delete hybrid Spark users
  • Make individual changes via a “quick add” feature
  • Run operations in bulk via directory integration so changes in Active Directory automatically flow through provisioning
  • Manage Spark licenses so customers are assured of being in software compliance
  • Automate the hybrid call control set up within Cisco Unified Communications Manager
  • Enable multi-device configuration so new Spark devices can be brought online and provisioned quickly
  • Quickly create Spark rooms with automated population

Spark Hybrid Services are a great way for existing Cisco customers to jump into Spark without having to disrupt the status quo. However, the complexity of provisioning users and services in large environments can reduce much of the ROI the company hopes to gain by shifting to Spark. The automation capabilities of VOSS-4-UC enable businesses to start using Spark quickly without having to worry about the behind-the-scenes complexity.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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