The power of Watson: The evolving IBM and Cisco partnership | #ibmwow

Inhi Cho Suh and Jens Meggers - IBM World of Watson 2016

For the past 17 years, IBM Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. have worked together on technology development, cooperative engineering, channel marketing and other key initiatives. With the evolving cognitive power of Watson, the partnership has moved into a new world of open and creative joint solutions.

Inhi Cho Suh, GM of Collaboration Solutions at IBM, and Jen Meggers, SVP and GM of Cloud Collaboration at Cisco Systems, joined John Furrier (@furrier) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante), co-hosts of theCUBE*, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, during the IBM World of Watson event in Las Vegas, NV. They discussed the partnership between their two companies and how they work together to create tools to facilitate team collaboration.

“When I think about the way people want to work, they want to work in teams, they want surface content, they want to progresses the business objective or process, and throughout that, people want to interact in real time,” said Suh.

She continued, “When I look at the landscape of potential partners and leadership vendors, it was very clear for me in terms of a spectrum of all that Cisco provides.”

Integration is key

On the collaboration side, Furrier asked for specifics on how IBM and Cisco work together.

“When you look at our existing customers and offerings, our product portfolio is highly complementary. IBM provides email and social; we provide real-time meetings, messaging and chat,” Meggers replied.

He explained that Cisco listened to customers asking for better integration. “So that’s when we started talking to [Suh] and her team,” he said. “When we started working together, we got more ideas about what we could do. We figured out we can do more than just integrating, like bringing cognitive intelligence in there and making the portfolio much, much better. That’s what we’re doing right now.”

Suh added that regarding collaboration, they jointly go to market and visit customers together as one, unified team.

Supporting the developers

Furrier noted the large number of startups present at World of Watson, and asked what they’re doing to help facilitate developer creativity around their integrated products.

For developers, Suh recommended they go to IBM Bluemix and the Watson Developer Cloud, where IBM is exposing both the variety of Watson APIs, like Conversation, AlchemyAPI, Classifier and image analytics. “I happen to be looking at APIs as we build them. We’re going to use [them], and we’re going to build on top of [them] to train and test the system, and then we want to expose that as well. So that puts the rigor in the engineering accountability for us, as well as an opportunity for the developers,” explained Suh.

Meggers stated that Cisco has found that one size does not fit all. “We have tons of developers who have come to us and say, ‘I want to integrate your technology in my app.’ And we support that. That’s why we’ve developed Spark for Developers. We have 200,000 developers who say they use APIs — either their technology with us or embed our technology in theirs,” he said.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM World of Watson 2016.

*Disclosure: IBM and other companies sponsor some IBM World of Watson segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither IBM nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.

Photo by SiliconANGLE