How the two companies will integrate products, and what it could mean for Hangouts, WebEx, Google Docs, and collaboration.
Day 2 of the 2014 edition of Enterprise Connect started with a bang. The first keynote of the day was by Cisco’s Collaboration Business Unit General Manager, Rowan Trollope. Although Trollope has presented at other conferences, this was his first Enterprise Connect keynote. As expected, he showed off the new video endpoints the company had announced last week and talked a lot about ease of use and the problems with UC today.
Trollope certainly saved the best for last, though, when he invited Google’s director of product management for Chrome for Business, Rajen Sheth, to join him on stage, then proclaimed that the two tech giants would be teaming up in the area of unified communications. The two companies demonstrated Cisco’s WebEx running natively on a Google Chromebook within a Chrome browser.
WebEx has not been able to run on a Chromebook, the fastest growing segment of the laptop market, because WebEx requires a browser plug in to be installed on the device. I, like many of you reading this, probably use WebEx regularly on a Windows or Mac OS computer, but this partnership opens up the Chromebook market, which now accounts for around 20% of the US laptop market.