IBM and Cisco: Partnering to Redefine Work

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Since joining the IBM Collaboration team in February, I’ve had the opportunity to think about the meaning of collaboration and observe how work gets done – the people, processes, chemistry, when it works, when it doesn’t, and the technology that facilitates it. Different patterns emerge depending on if you’re an industrial designer, or an agent, or pharma researcher, or an artist, or merchandise specialist, and so on. It’s personal and contextual – co-creation and sharing of content or an idea that matters, and having the right conversations and information surface one-to-one, in groups, and even with machines.

One of the key observations that led to the IBM and Cisco partnership has to do with the changing nature of work. First, no matter who you are or where you work, there are certain fundamental things we do at work. We work on and with content (documents, images, videos, products). We work together in teams (small, large, remote). And we tend to follow a method or process to achieve an outcome. What is changing is “how” we work. The forces of mobile, cloud, social are in fact changing the digital aspects of work, definitions of workforce, and our personal expectations of the tools and services we use. The digitization of all interactions, mobility of workforce and workplaces, and the growing accessibility of data and analytics, give us an opportunity to innovate differently together.

This is why we are putting Watson to work for individuals and teams with this first-of-a-kind partnership.

IBM and Cisco are partnering to provide a suite of cloud-based, cognitive-infused workplace tools and applications designed to enable individuals and teams to work more efficiently and effectively. We’ll integrate our respective market-leading offerings in audio, video, team collaboration, enterprise social networks, and business email. And we will be jointly developing new capabilities that leverage the cognitive intelligence of IBM Watson™. By incorporating advanced analytics and Watson into these solutions, we’ll enable enhanced contextual experiences for end-users. Our strategy is to build an open and connected platform that lets users and teams use the workplace tools they want in more intuitive and integrated ways.

A preview of the integrations will be shared at Cisco Live. The first set of integrated offerings will be available in October at IBM World of Watson. Some examples of the Watson APIs that we’re leveraging include natural language classifiers, social extraction, text analytics, and more. The goal is to help you orient your day, anticipate actions you need to take, and have more seamless experiences across workplace tools. The goal is to help you decide what to do first and what to do next. This partnership, and the powerful set of tools and cognitive capabilities it will provide, will help realize the true promise of workplace collaboration, for organizations of all shapes and sizes. You can learn more about the IBM-Cisco partnership here.

This partnership with Cisco is an extension of the partnerships we’ve announced with Box for collaborative cloud content management, DocuSign for trusted digital transactions and signatures, Actiance for enterprise communications compliance and archiving, and IBM Watson Analytics for predictive analytics and data visualization as well as weather data for predicting and managing disruptions to your day. And we are very excited to be taking the next step on this journey by partnering with Cisco to create the next generation of collaboration designed to help clients compete and thrive in the Cognitive Era.

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