EMC World is in full swing this week and the news that EMC and Cisco are joining forces to create a new enterprise collaboration platform that combines the world of collaboration, content management and compliance may be music to some ears.

Next Generation Social Collaboration Platform

That's what EMC (news, site) and Cisco (news, site) are calling the latest venture in their existing partnership. And the plan makes perfect sense. Enterprise collaboration platforms abound these days and organizations are slotting them into their environments and learning how to make their employees more productive and effective using them.

It's happening now. The new user, as Murali Sitaram, VP/GM Collaboration Software Group at Cisco Systems, says is empowered and connected, wants choice and the ability to do things without getting IT involved. And they aren't using email to get things done.

But here's the thing, using enterprise collaboration software is great, but it can easily become a potential pit for un-managed information -- a challenge that enterprise content management systems can resolve. If the two platforms work together.



Integrating ECM and Enterprise Collaboration

And this is what EMC (specifically EMC's Information Intelligence Group (IIG)) and Cisco are planning. The two companies have announced that they will integrate EMC Documentum and Cisco Quad -- enterprise content management and enterprise collaboration -- to create a new separate solution, yet to be named.

It will encompass the collaborative capabilities of Cisco Quad, including the social features and communication features, with content management necessities such as security, governance, compliance, business process, case management and more.

Here's a look at the breakdown:


According to Sitaram, this combined platform is something Cisco is already using internally today. But it's not a platform yet. The plan is to spend the next few months working on the engineering side pulling everything together. The forth coming EMC/Cisco social collaboration platform will be built in such a way that existing customers of both vendors can take advantage of the new platform as well.

At EMC World, they are showing the use cases where this platform will work - namely highly regulated industries.

An Obvious Integration: ECM, Collaboration

Yes, this type of integrated platform is really a given into today's collaborative, connected organizations. Having EMC integrate Documentum with Cisco Quad is a great pairing. But it's not the only way to get the best of both worlds.

OpenText already does this with SharePoint -- although it is not a separate, single platform. Laserfiche and even EMC also both provide enterprise content management capabilities to SharePoint.

But then, it's not really an equal comparison: Cisco Quad and SharePoint. SharePoint is a collaboration platform, but not in the same way that Quad is -- so that's something to consider.

If you are an EMC or Cisco customer, or just excited to see what this "next generation social collaboration platform" can really do, you will have to wait a couple of months. Sitaram told us that we wouldn't see the platform available until sometime in August.