Cisco Collaborate.Com Acquisition Shows Need for Unified Cloud Communications

By Irwin Lazar
On Jan 07, 2014
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Cisco’s recent acquisition of highlights increasing enterprise adoption of cloud-based collaboration services. enables teams to set up workspaces for document sharing, task management, and communications; accessible from desktop and mobile devices. Collaborate’s offering is similar to those from companies like Citrix (Podio) and social software offerings from Igloo, Socialtext, and more.

Cloud collaboration is hot! Our 2013-14 Enterprise Technology Benchmark showed that more than 60% of companies were using some form of cloud-based collaboration service with web conferencing and messaging/calendar leading the way. Voice and video in the cloud is increasing as well. But as companies move to the cloud, a new challenge emerges: How to integrate various cloud (and on-premise) services into a seamless user experience?

Collaborate attempts to solve this problem by enabling back-end integration with other cloud products like Evernote, Box, and Drop Box. Collaborate isn’t alone - Unify, with its Project Ansible, also highlights its ability to integrate data stored on various cloud-based platforms. Box provides its own set of connectors to integrate with Salesforce, Google and more. Companies like Esna enable integration of on-premise UC platforms with cloud offerings from Google, Microsoft, and VMware.

In our conversations with IT leaders we are seeing growing demand for the ability to integrate cloud with cloud, and cloud-with-on premise. As you conduct your vendor evaluations pay close attention to their ability to not just provide their own services, but integrate with the services of others.