Converging the Clouds

By Irwin Lazar
On Sep 24, 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Last week Salesforce and Workday announced a strategic partnership to unify their respective cloud services for CRM and HR/finance into a seamless set of enterprise services. This move reflects a growing challenge for buyers of cloud services, especially those who are moving UC applications to the cloud: The lack of integration among disparate applications.

The promise of UC is the ability to bring together formerly separate applications for voice, instant messaging, conferencing, and video into a single user interface, with a common set of controls, APIs, and features across desktop and mobile devices. But as IT leaders increasingly look to SaaS to reduce costs and improve agility, they often find that integrating cloud services with legacy on-prem systems, or even with each other, is problematic. For instance, a company deploying a hosted UC provider for voice and IM may not be able to federate those services with other hosted offerings for email and document management. Those deploying CRM in the cloud may find that they can’t link it with their cloud-based ACD and IVR for integrated customer management.

With more than 60% of companies having at least one UC application in the cloud (mostly web conferencing, but other apps are growing fast), the lack of integration is an increasingly challenging problem, and one that I expect to see solved by integration agreements similar to what we’ve seen from SFDC and Workday.