Cisco is also using its acquisition of PostPath last year to create a cloud-based e-mail system integrated with the presence technology it acquired from Jabber, Dennerline said. And its move to bring smartphone users into WebEx is continuing, with more than 150,000 downloads so far of the WebEx application for the iPhone, he said. Cisco is also talking with Research In Motion, Nokia and Samsung about smartphone clients, he added.
Cloud computing is critical for collaboration because the next wave of productivity gains will come from inter-company collaboration, Warrior said.
There is a trend toward richer collaboration between companies, where so far most tools for interaction have been within organizations, said IDC analyst Abner Germanow, who attended the briefing. This is where Cisco has an edge over its competitors, namely Microsoft and IBM, which have dominated intra-company collaboration, he said. The faster that enterprises move in this direction, the better for Cisco, Germanow said, because its rivals are trying to catch up. However, the trend is likely to take two to five years to play out, he said.