IBM and Cisco have announced a partnership to combine their core collaboration and analytics technologies to create a new breed of productivity tools.
IBM’s Watson analytics platform will underpin the new services, which will take the key components of the firm's Verse and Connections cloud collaboration tools alongside Cisco’s WebEx and Spark.
Doing this would allow firms to pick a single suite of tools for their collaboration requirements, rather than having to cobble together different platforms from different firms and expect staff to switch between them depending on the task at hand.
Inhi Cho, general manager for IBM collaboration solutions, explained that this will save time for employees while boosting the benefits of collaboration.
“The irony of many workforce tools available today is that there are so many to choose from that they can reduce employee effectiveness,” she said.
“With our combined technology strengths and understanding of how teams get work done, IBM and Cisco can deliver the next generation of collaboration tools needed to cultivate innovation and drive productivity.
“By incorporating analytics and cognitive technologies into these solutions, we expect them to be able to learn what is important, in context, and take the right actions on behalf of the user.”
The integration of Watson is touted as the key way in which the joint Cisco-IBM products will be able to differentiate from rivals in the market.
The companies gave the example of a virtual meeting between a financial advisor and an investor during which Watson could offer real-time advice and information on relevant topics.
Meanwhile, the WebEx platform would allow files to be shared between those taking part via the IBM Connections tool that will store them securely.
The partnership sees the firms competing more directly with the likes of Slack and Microsoft in the collaboration space, and underlines the growing era of partnerships between tech firms, including Apple which has partnered with both companies already.
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