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Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Tons of Interest and Questions for this Slick ‘Bot’ Platform


Thanks to all the more than 500 participants who joined us last week to talk about Cisco Spark, the interactive possibilities of the growing chat ‘Bot’ phenomenon, and the cool cloud services from making it easy to develop, host and deliver Spark-connected Bot services!

If you missed the webinar, we have you covered as the full WebEx recording is available for playback.

Introductory slides are attached to this post (see below.)

Topics covered included:

  • Cisco Spark intro and overview
  • The reach and opportunity represented by the chat bot market space
  • Use-cases and solutions
  • High-level overview of the bot building/hosting platform
  • Walk-through demo: build, customize and deploy a Spark-connected Bot
  • New developer incentives from Cisco: $150m Cisco Spark Innovation Fund and Cisco Spark Startup Packages

Interest from the audience was high, with questions coming fast and furious – below are some of the top Q&A items we didn’t have time to touch on during the event.  If you have more questions or comments, we’d love to start a conversation!


Q: Are other langauages supported on Gupshup besides JavaScript?

Gupshup: You can code your bot in a different language, then use the callback URL function to link your bot to the Gupshup platform. This means that you'll have to take care of hosting as well. See here for details:

Q: Are there a debug view logs?

Gupshup: Yes, you can check the console to debug. We also have a log of all the chats that you can access

Q: Do you have a sample with some natural language processing/AI?

Gupshup: Check out

Q: Can you give me other examples of deeper, more business relevant bot integrations with Spark?

Cisco: Here are a couple:

  • Example #1 - Code-build DevOps bot - A bot integrated with Jenkins (or other build tools) which monitors build progress and test case results, notifying a room full of developer engineers of build success/failure, with interactivity for requesting charts/links to test case results, git hub source files, etc.
  • Example #2 - Pricing bot - Bot which can interactively search and price products or services, possibly present in a Spark-based customer support room

Stay tuned for the upcoming 'Cisco Spark Depot' - a site for browsing all kinds of Spark bots, integrations, tools and solutions.

Q: How can we get a more detailed overview of Gupshup?

Gupshup: You can start off with our documentation here:

Q: I can’t seem to find the Gupshup Proxy Bot in the Spark user search?

Cisco: Bot accounts created by users in a Spark ‘organization’ are searchable only by other users in the organization. However bots can always be added directly by anyone by specifying the full email address, i.e. ‘

Q: Do you have more complex examples of bots for each platform supported?

Gupshup: Check out ‘’, a bot that was built on Gupshup

Q: Can the bot run scripts from internal servers like in a corporate data center?

Cisco: Gupshup is a cloud hosted provider – if you wanted your Gupshup bot app to interact with systems inside your firewall, you would need to take steps to expose access, e.g. by publishing a REST-like API

Q: How does Gupshup pricing work?

Gupshup: Its a ‘freemium’ model. On signing up you get 100k API calls free. Past that you are charged per API call. Write to us and we can work out a custom deal for pricing.

Q: How about pricing for bots in Cisco spark?

Cisco: Bot functionality does not incur any extra charges on Spark (Spark itself is free to use for developers/small teams)

Q: How can we integrate a bot running on-prem Cisco Jabber with cloud Spark?

Cisco: This is an extended topic – I would invite you to contact DevNet Support for a detailed discussion:

Q: What are the possible message events available for Cisco Spark?

Cisco: The Spark event notification categories are listed here:

Q: What about sending images or doing transactions?

Gupshup: Check the documentation here:

Cisco: Spark bots can share links, Youtube embeds, images and other kinds of documents directly to a room (no support for monetary transactions or interactive objects at this time)

Q: Can the user or agent escalate from bot to a phone call using Spark VOIP?

Cisco: In a room with customer and bot, the bot could (on request) add in a customer service rep, at which point either the rep or the customer could then easily start a voice/video/screen-share session

Q: Can I use Gupshup as development platform, and migrate my bot later to a on premise platform?

Gupshup: In theory yes as your bot logic would still be intact. But since you'll be using helper methods and private APIs from Gupshup, migration will involve porting your code to the other platforms

Q: Is there a way to get reports of the usage of the bots?

Gupshup: Yes, Gupshup has a built it analytics tool

Q: Is the bot code API on Gupshup unique, or does it meets some standard?

Gupshup: The code you see in our cloud-based IDE is unique to Gupshup, as they are helper methods for many things that are under-the-hood. The code is mapped to different messaging platforms. For instance a context.sendResponse() will send a message on any msging platform.

Q: Can a bot be written to federate messages between two different chat platforms? e.g. Skype to Spark? Spark to Facebook Messenger?

Gupshup: We are working on bot-to-bot communication that will enable this. Stay tuned!

Q: Does gupshup support sending messages in response to external events - like a timer or web service?

Gupshup: Yes, Bots have their own HTTP endpoints. Read this:

Q: Any release dates on the Spark voice and video SDKs?

Cisco: No release dates set quite yet, but early access applications are being accepted here:

Q: Can we get parameters like IP address passed from Spark to for backend processing

Cisco: The available data from Spark is documented here: The actual IP of the message sender is not available, and would typically not be very useful as most clients will be behind NAT/firewall

Q: Given the example of the service desk, is it possible to 'reroute' the bot conversation towards another person?

Cisco: The bot could certainly add or remove reps to the customer’s chat room to effect something like that

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