Cisco’s Spark collaboration tool achieves ISO27001 certification, gains customer traction

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Cisco achieved ISO27001 certification for its Spark collaboration tool in just six months. (Image: Cisco)

Cisco has achieved ISO27001 certification for its Spark collaboration tool, giving the vendor and its service provider partner and enterprise customers more confidence as they adopt cloud-based collaboration service.

Given the complexity of achieving ISO27001 certification, what’s compelling for Cisco that it only took them six months, a reflection of the broad base of certifications it had already gained for WebEx and other products.

Besides Spark, the certification also covers WebEx. WebEx has gained ISO27001 certification (and a long list of others—including SOC2 type 2, SafeHarbor, FedRamp, and SSAE16), while Cisco also has ISO9001 certification.

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“Because of this strong foundation, we were able to achieve this certification very quickly—just 6 months from the start of the process,” said Jonathan Rosenberg, VP and CTO, Collaboration at Cisco, in a blog post. “Much of that time was spent collecting information and documenting all of the things we do, as the certification process is very heavy on documentation.”

Spark and WebEx services share infrastructure, and through Cisco Flex Plan subscription, are sold together to customers.

Rosenberg told FierceTelecom that these certifications illustrate how collaboration tools are becoming more widely accepted.

“We’re the first player in this new space as the industry is transitioning to collaboration tools,” Rosenberg said. “A growing sign of maturity is when industry players get these kinds of certifications that show these projects are getting ready for mainstream mass market enterprise adoption.”

What’s also key to this process is that the certification for the application itself versus the underlying data center.

“We want to be straightforward and say what really matters is the certification of the entire application, which is inclusive of the entire data center,” Rosenberg said.

Several service provider partners have already begun to offer Spark to their customers, including Orange, AT&T, and others Cisco has not announced yet.

Orange Business Services is seeing momentum build for its Cisco Spark collaboration platform, bringing aboard 20 multinational enterprise customers with almost 200,000 combined users signing on to the service.

Likewise, AT&T, is using Cisco Spark to create an app-centric, cloud-based service. Leveraging its global network, AT&T says its service makes communication more secure and reliable with better performance. Businesses struggling with disjointed tools and poor voice quality can move away from challenging infrastructures and enjoy an effortless, unified experience.

The solution brings together Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solutions for AT&T for cloud-based voice calling, AT&T Conferencing with Cisco WebEx, and Spark Messaging for chat conversations and file sharing from any device. It also integrates with third-party applications. Operations are simplified since AT&T provides comprehensive support.

“We have signed up several major global partners to sell Spark,” Rosenberg said. “It’s another sign of maturity and that this stuff is taking off.”