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Cisco's move to bring Benioff to its board shows that the networking giant wants to bring a mover and shaker on board to get fresh ideas in the area of cloud computing, Enderle said. Having Benioff on the board also strengthens the partnership between the companies.
"Cisco really needs an edge to move deeper into the server space against the big entrenched vendors like HP and IBM," Enderle told us. "They've been working on that edge both in their partnerships with EMC to gain scale and also through special relationships with SAP and Salesforce. So it looks like they are pulling out all the stops to really make sure that their server platform is well positioned."
A Six-Year History
Salesforce.com and Cisco partnered in 2009 to deliver a complete contact center in the cloud. The combined solution, dubbed Customer Interaction Cloud, brings together Salesforce.com's Service Cloud 2 with Cisco Unified Communications.
Salesforce.com and Cisco also partnered in 2006 to make the Cisco Unified CallManager Express Connector available for Salesforce.com's AppExchange. CallManager Express is the call-processing component of the Cisco Unified Communications system for small- and medium-size businesses.