Spark is an IM client that you can use in organizations such as schools or companies to allow people communicate with each other in a quick, efficient way. Of course, there's the possibility to use one of the big IM programs like Live or Yahoo! Messenger, but Spark is faster and far more secure. It uses the Jabber protocol which can be configured to use either private or public networks, depending on the plug-ins you install on your server.
Spark displays a nicely designed interface that makes it really pleasant to use. I especially like the emoticons sets included in the program, as well as the usage of a color code to distinguish between different statuses (online, away, busy and so on). Spark also has some extra details that are hardly found in LAN clients, such as avatar support, conference rooms, voice chat, spellcheck and even a special tool to capture anything on your screen and send it directly to any contact. What's more, the program includes some other useful tools like a basic note editor and a task list.
Of course, no software app is perfect and neither Spark is. I had some problems when trying to organize my contacts into groups, with groups completely disappearing from my screen (but easily recovered by restarting the program). Also, I feel configuration settings fall too short: I'd like to be able to change the font and color of my text or hide offline contacts, just to mention two missing options.
Spark is an attractive, secure and fast IM client for local network communication, with extra tools that make it a great companion for your daily work at office.