Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) are partnering to have WebEx brought to Chromebooks. Chromebooks will have WebEx bundled with the laptops along with further collaboration between Google Apps and Cisco Web conferencing. The partnership was announced by Rajen Sheth, Director of Product Management at Gogole’s Chrome for Business division at the Enterprise Connect conference.
“Imagine joining a WebEx meeting directly from Calendar, or starting an instant meeting from Contacts or the Gmail People widget. Starting today, if you use Cisco and Google Apps, features you love, like messaging, fax, click-to-call and Cisco presence, are visible alongside Gmail,” wrote Saswat Panigrahi, Product Manager at Google Chrome for Business in a blog post.
What’s interesting about the partnership is that Google and Cisco are rivals. Google’s Hangouts competes with WebEx. Hangouts does not seem to be considered a business tool though. Cisco and Google acknowledge that they have overlapping and competing products, but this should not cancel opportunities to partner in ways that would be mutually beneficial.
WebEx cannot run on Chromebooks today because WebEx requires users to download browser plugin extensions so that code can run locally on Windows and Mac OS computers.