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Cisco and Acano Become One

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As Cisco collaboration chief Rowan Trollope wrote in a blog post this morning, the company has completed its acquisition of online collaboration platform provider Acano.

"Today, two winning teams with a common vision for the future of work become one," Rowan wrote. In a short video, below, Rowan and Acano CEO (and former Cisco exec) OJ Winge share the collaboration challenges they aim to tackle moving forward:

Rowan outlined three things Cisco will be working to deliver now that the acquisition, announced in November, has closed:

Interoperability is one area within workplace collaboration requiring improvement, Rowan noted. Indeed, interoperability has long plagued enterprise communications. In fact, any attendee of Enterprise Connect will remember that every year we ask industry leaders when their companies' disparate solutions are finally going to work together. The answers are always the same, "Yes, we're working on it. It's important to us. It's top of mind... yada, yada, yada." But when are we going to see true interoperability, already?

We can only hope that interoperability is top of mind for Cisco, as Rowan suggested it is. "Separately, Cisco and Acano have been laser-focused on bringing interoperability to the enterprise," Rowan wrote. "Together, we'll solve some of the tough problems that have made collaborating at work too hard for too long. This is absolutely critical to the future of collaboration at work...."

Manuals and IT support should not be necessary components of making collaboration easier, he said. "Connecting should be simple, magical even," he wrote. Figuring out the technology should not be the focus; rather, the focus should be on the work itself that the technology enables. He promised great things for the user experience moving forward.

Rowan also touched on the new needs of modern businesses, highlighting how the growth in size of teams has mandated getting on a call with thousands or tens of thousands of participants. All the participants don't just need to be listening to a broadcast; he said they need to be able to be seen and share content and audio. "Make no mistake: This is not easy and the Acano team has solved several key challenges in delivering collaboration at hyperscale."

While Rowan does not give any specific timeline about new things we'll see coming out of this acquisition, I expect that with Enterprise Connect coming up in just over a month, and him set to take the stage for a keynote address, we may soon see the fruits of these promises.

"We are really excited and customers are too. Let's just say the whisper suite at Enterprise Connect will be a very fun place to be," Rowan hinted in an email exchange.

Enterprise Connect 2016 takes place March 7 -10 at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando. Register here by Friday, Feb. 12, to save an additional $200 off the early bird rate. This discount, available using the code NJPOST for those signing up for an entire event pass or Tuesday through Thursday conference pass, represents a total savings of $700 off the onsite price! As an added bonus, register three or more attendees from your company for even bigger savings.

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