Cisco and IBM announced a partnership today to bring IBM’s AI-powered Watson into offices and their enterprise software.

The collaboration will mean that Cisco and IBM will mix and match services and may result in new chatbots for workplace tasks. Such chatbots might be used to integrate voice-activated software, automate routine tasks and eliminate the need to search through multiple apps and databases for information.

The Cisco and IBM partnership reflects growing interest in enterprise-level chatbots and will help the two companies compete against Slack, Yammer and Skype owner Microsoft, as well as Facebook’s business chat client, Facebook at Work.

“For example, a financial advisor could meet with a high value investor over Cisco video with a Watson service offering real-time advice and handling tasks, while files would be securely stored and available in IBM Connections, shared through WebEx for a seamless transaction,” the statement said.

The plan to work together will begin with bringing together Cisco’s chat app and video conference tools Spark and WebEx with IBM’s Verse, an email client, and Connections, an IBM chat app, the companies said in a statement.


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