Cisco is no stranger to acquiring companies to gain market advantage, but sometimes it makes more sense for the company to partner rather than acquire. That's what's happening in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) space, as Cisco today announced a new strategic partnership with SaaS pioneer Salesforce.com
The timing of the partnership announcement is no coincidence either. Oracle's OpenWorld event is just wrapping up and Salesforce's Dreamforce event is coming up on October 4. Oracle has been aggressively pushing its own CRM and cloud-based systems approach to rival that of Salesforce.
The new Salesforce-Cisco partnership isn't about one company just reselling the other's products and services, but rather involves product and technical integration across collaboration and IoT capabilities.
On the collaboration front, Cisco's WebEx web conferencing platform and Spark unified collaboration system will be natively integrated into the Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud services. The Cisco integration is being done by way of the Salesforce Lighting Framework. Lighting is based on the open-source Aura framework and provides a user interface-based framework for developer dynamic web apps. According to Cisco, the integration will enable joint customers to stay inside of Salesforce apps to make use of Cisco's video and voice technologies.
Additionally, Cisco's Unified Contact Center Enterprise is being integrated with the Salesforce Service Cloud. The combination of the two technologies is about helping organizations to manage call center operations. Cisco's technology handles the intelligent contact routing while Service Cloud provides visibility into customer activity.
Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging area of growth for Cisco, thanks in part to the company's $1.4 billion acquisition of Jasper in February. Jasper's platform provides visibility and control for IoT devices. Salesforce has a service called IoT cloud that connects events from IoT event with the Salesforce platform to provide customer analytics.
"Together, these solutions will empower companies to quickly and cost-effectively leverage billions of IoT data points to provide personalized, engaging experiences for customers, partners and employees," Cisco stated in a release.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist