In February, Tim Banting of the Business Technology and Software group at Current Analysis, produced a report analyzing the growth and changes around SoCoMo Platforms. I’ve summarized the focus and themes of that report below.

When you hear the acronym SoCoMo for the first time, what comes to mind? I pictured a little hipster coffee shop located in Southern California. In actuality, it stands for social, collaborative, and mobile platforms. The past two decades have experienced radical change in the collaboration and communication market, which occurred in two distinct stages of transformation.

  • The first wave resulted in significant cost cutting, brought on by simplifying and consolidation IT infrastructure.
  • We are currently in the second wave, where SoCoMo reigns supreme.

SoCoMo platforms provide the software to integrate current business systems with new capabilities, all via a single cloud service. It has already become apparent that vendors who choose to not invest in SoCoMo platforms risk being marginalized. On the other hand, companies that integrate their current unified communications (UC) offerings and new SoCoMo platforms will generate further value.

Market Trends & Business Drivers
As we trek through the formative stages of the second wave, platforms are becoming a core for team productivity and collaboration. There is a rising need for platforms to be flexible enough to meet current business needs, and innovative enough to address future needs. This second wave has also proven to be more impactful. How? It’s not limited to the organization alone but has the potential to stretch across the entire digital supply chain.

SoCoMo platforms have gained a lot of traction through employees investigating and using the technology on their own. This bottom-up approach has proven effective in large organizations. But to truly be ingrained within an organization, managers and IT leaders must also come on board.

From Past to Present
Fifteen years ago, Cisco Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data (AVVID) was a revolution. Scalable, flexible, and reliable, the majority of communications vendors at the time used it. But as the industry moved forward, new avenues have emerged, like virtualization. This let vendors sell different software options “as-a-service,” further simplifying the process for customers. The overarching theme of the first wave of productivity seemed to be all about simplifying and consolidating.

As technology continues to mature, new challenges develop. For instance, “Shadow IT” can expose your company to potential security threats through unsanctioned apps. Employees bring in these apps because they are searching for new ways of working and collaborating. Aware of the risks, IT professionals have made strides to include the rest of the organization in buying decisions.

Technology is only useful when people use it. SoMoCo vendors have developed Enterprise Graph analytics to map out a user’s connections through a collaboration journey. Vendors have also adopted gamification technology to increase employee engagement: Employees  can earn points and badges for completing tasks. Many gain a sense of pride by showing off their accomplishments.

Another critical challenge can be the organization itself. People fully expect technology to change, but the organization needs to evolve as well. Innovation must not only occur at the technological level; it must be encouraged at the organizational level as well.

Banting offers some perspective on the current SoCoMo platforms available, one of them obviously being Cisco. He notes that Cisco Spark has a lot to offer in the areas of integration capability and support that its competitors don’t. He also advises that Spark can be improved by integrating with Cisco’s recent acquisition, Acano.

Not only does Banting offer his sage advice to the software companies, he also extends it to current enterprises. He calls for existing Cisco clients to take full advantage of the free technology available to them, and to be on the lookout for the many innovations Cisco will ultimately release.

To dig deeper into the report, read the full report here.


Maggie Harper

College intern

Collaboration Business Unit