October 3 2016

Recommendation with instant return

Posted on the 10:28 am under Productivity,Uncategorized by Darren Boyer

A significant development in communication has occurred the last 1 ½ years that your organization should seriously consider taking advantage of.

I believe the benefits of this communication service are almost 100% positive with virtually no downside. In testing, comparing and reviewing competing systems it is my conviction at this point in time there is no comparison. Even more interesting is that this tool for most of our readers will be free.

The service I would like to strongly endorse is called Cisco Spark. It is so good, and currently so superior to other services if you have no current platform consider starting a test right away. Organizations with a competing solution should consider dropping what they are using and moving to Spark.

What makes this service so good and others not worth keeping? To answer this question in a paragraph would be similar to trying to describe an iPhone when it first came out to the existing smart phones that were on the market at that time. Such a comparison was hard to sum up in a few words. No doubt, the iPhone was a bigger leap forward in productivity than Spark is to other alternatives but it is similar in that there is one clear leader. I remember when the first iPhone came out a local Doctor who was very technical told me in no uncertain terms the iPhone would take over the market. I had a Blackberry at the time and thought it was pretty hip. His conviction opened my mind to the possibility of doing things a better way even though I didn’t have concrete facts.

Many reviews of competing systems are available online should you feel that type of research is warranted. I believe that describing a long list of features is likely to miss the forest for the trees so to speak in this case. A better analysis would be to get 2-3 people together to try this service and watch the results. Those tests should involve a committed leader, people who care about productivity and also aren’t afraid to adapt and work in a new way. Even better would be to start a test with someone outside of your organization. In our case, we tested the service with vendors and our bookkeeper. We tested Spark with projects and new initiatives as well. In every case the design and functionality was very strong.

For those familiar with other systems here is a quick bullet point or two as to why Spark is better.
EmailYou will save as much as hundreds of emails per week over time. You will respond faster and with less interruption to your work day. Project based work or task based work will be significantly improved if this involves communication with other parties.
Skype for Business – You will find Spark much less annoying and productive to use. Not just a little bit better but so much better it is worth stopping all work done in Skype right away and consolidating to this platform. There are so many design enhancements to Spark versus the current Skype for business it appears the switching cost is well worth it.
Slack – Slack is the leader. It is a great product. For the organizations we work with Spark is much superior as you can use Spark with external clients, contractors, and stakeholders. Files and messages are also encrypted in a manner that is enterprise grade. Even better the Spark application doesn’t hamper functionality for the sake of security.
Jabber, Yammer, Other Instant Message- IM tools and so on – You will find significant ease of use to external users. This is such a superior value proposition that the value of these tools will instantly diminish.
Webex – GotoMeeting – If you use these tools for internal communications to less than 20 people at a time Spark may be a much better tool. It has the same functionality plus all the benefits of Slack.
Whatsapp – Whatsapp like most of the tools on this list is pretty useful. With Spark you will be able to video, call, and share documents from any device in a way that is more friendly than I have ever found with WhatsApp.

Over the last year in using Spark we have faced a few frustrations with stability, feature changes and updates. Still, in hindsight I wish our office had gone with my initial conviction to standardize on this service right away. Instead, I kept trusting competing products were ‘good enough’. Somehow I doubted this product was the leader it seemed to be and that some ‘missing’ feature was worth having. Over that period internally I faced feedback like ‘this was just another tool’ and doubts that Spark’s competitive edge would pass. So far Spark has maintained its big lead. To gain a similar lead visit here or ask PCIT to help with the initial installation.

Written by Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer is the founder and president of pcit.

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  • bwemF said, on October 8th, 2016 at 22:41.

    816238 507781 Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to discover somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is something that is required on the web, someone with just a little originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the internet! 636734

    • Darren Boyer said, on October 11th, 2016 at 08:52.

      Thanks for the positive comment.