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Cisco adds workplace solutions to the IBM partnership alliance

CloudCisco, IBM, integrated infrastructure, VersaStack, converged infrastructure

IBM and Cisco are adding Spark and WebEx to its 2015 historic partnership alliance. The two colossal corporations plan to concentrate on developing the knowledge-worker market with a suite of cloud-based tools and application backed by IBM Watson technology.

After being rivals, IBM and Cisco in early 2015 forged a joint integrated infrastructure solutions pact with the VersaStack being the flagship solution. A solution made only available through channel partners.

Move forward 18 months and IBM and Cisco are integrated Spark and WebEx collaborative workspace platforms with IBM’s cloud collaboration solutions, including Verse and Connections.

The strategy behind this move for both vendors is to make collaboration simpler by combining IBM’s advanced analytics, Watson, and email and social offerings with Cisco’s collaboration solutions, including business messaging, meeting and calling offerings.

The plan now is for the two companies to design joint solutions that take advantage of all types of data to help people get more done, in less time backed by Watson powering a joint IBM-Cisco solution. Again both vendors confirmed that these solutions will be made available through channel partners.

The future of work and workspace is changing dramatically says futurist Ayelet Baron. Baron said it’s not that new radical practices are emerging, but rather that current practices are behind – by about a century.

“We live in abundance now. We live in possibilities and opportunities, the question we need to ask ourselves is ‘What would you do if you had 100 years to live?’”

The problem, she argued, is that when you have 100 as opposed to 50 years to live, it no longer makes sense to work to death, as she felt like she did and others do in the corporate world, struggle for work-life balance, then retire.

With this partnership, IBM and Cisco are working to address today’s fast-paced work environment. According to stats provided to CDN by IBM, the average employee is distracted once every 11 minutes and needs an average of 25 minutes to refocus on tasks.

Inhi Cho, General Manager, IBM Collaboration Solutions, said the irony of many workforce tools available today is with because there are so many to choose from, they can reduce employee effectiveness.

The goal is for the combined IBM and Cisco offerings to be integrated to connect seamlessly on behalf of users to complete mundane tasks such as scheduling and note-taking, and proactively bring people and content together in the context of specific tasks.

Jens Meggers, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Cloud Collaboration Technology, said the goal here is to think exponentially and together with IBM create the next generation of collaboration. “Now we can deliver amazing, next-generation “Intelligent Collaboration” that allows enterprises to compete in this fast moving digital world.”

The new solutions will incorporate structured and unstructured data in any form, whether from on-premises, the desktop, or the cloud. With applications to handle hundreds of work-related tasks, they are built to seek, consume and analyze all types of data, uncover meaningful workflow patterns, and provide actionable insights through the course of daily activities and interactions.

Dave Yin contributed to this article.