Following on to Rob's great analyses of Cisco's Jabber and PostPath acquisitions, here are some additional things that Information & Knowledge Management Professionals should tune into regarding Cisco as the new collaboration kid on the block:
First, Cisco is building a meeting-centric workspace product with WebEx Connect. Think about the key documents, chats, connections, calendar, contact lists, business and collaboration widgets, and video links hosted in a workspace with persistence, invitation- and approval-based access, and all the piece parts of a real workspace. That means you should be putting Cisco on your vendor list when looking at new team collaboration scenarios.
Second, Jabber will be bundled into WebEx Connect as the core presence engine. In other words, this acquisition is, as Rob pointed out, a great way for Cisco to get a global-scale presence engine. But it's also presence designed around a B2B or distributed team environment. And that signals where you should look at Cisco: It's in B2B teams. Or teams that sit on the edge of the enterprise -- sales, product development, supply chain, partner management -- should look at this new option.
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So before my flight West today, I picked up the recent Jeff Howe book Crowdsourcing. I was looking for a little inspiration for a speech I'm giving at Forrester's Business & Technology Leadership Forum on a trend we call "Technology Populism." Like other edgy, Web 2.0-ey books of our era (Groundswell, Wisdom of Crowds, Tipping Point, The Long Tail, and many others), Crowdsourcing is packed with examples of how companies are leveraging networks of people on the Internet to innovate, collaborate, disrupt business models, and solve real business problems. All great stuff.
Then I land and my phone rings. It's a reporter who's asks me about the latest United Airlines story. Since I'm not yet monitoring news feeds from several thousand feet, I say "What story?" He explains that at 1am on Sunday of this week a story with the headline "UAL Files for Bankruptcy" appeared on the "most popular" list of the Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper Web site. It then got picked up by Google News, summarized by a securities analyst, and United Airlines stock proceeded to tank by 75%. The problem: the story was from 2002.
Today, Google announced Google Video for business, a new cloud-based collaboration service that gives employees the same ability as consumers to upload, find, view, and share video clips. It's YouTube for the enterprise, folks. See Rob Koplowitz's and Kyle McNabb's report for more on cloud-based collaboration services.
Not that Google's the first company to introduce this service. Startup Veodia launched its cloud-based enterprise video service in 2007. Both moves are part of the video-ification of business, what Forrester's Henry Dewing calls "The Screening Of Global Business."
I think this is an important innovation for the enterprise because it will allow a million video flowers to bloom: training videos, meet-the-team videos, rally-the-sales-troops videos, learn-about-my-product videos, customer-win videos, walk-through-the-power-generation-plant videos, corporate-event videos, how-its-made videos. You get the picture.
Google Video for business:
Is bundled into the Google Apps Premier Edition. So even if you don't need cloud-based email, calendaring, document sharing, or team sites, if you buy video, you get the whole suite of collaboration tools.