IBM buys Ustream: is it a workforce communication play?

IBM has added Ustream to a long list of video technology company acquisitions in the recent past — like Clearleap acquired last month — buying the streaming video vendor for around $130 million (according to Fortune). The company had raised $50 million in venture funding, and was the sole video partner involved in the launch of IBM’s cloud marketplace in 2014.

The typical analysis is that this rounds out a spectrum of technologies that now make IBM a player in corporate streaming video, particularly targeting customer contact and marketing activities.

But I’m betting that IBM’s primary focus will be — although not be limited to — workforce communications.

Marcia Conner makes my case in a tweet.

Ustream Align is an inside-the-company video ‘collaboration’ — or ‘workforce communication’ — product built on the Ustream platform.

Even though there’s a broad market of offerings from companies like Google, Microsoft, Unify, Cisco, and so on, no one has become the dominant player in video-based workforce communication, which may be the most natural solution for an increasingly mobile world.

The Ustream acquisition is another indication of the rapid transition to video in workforce communications, where it is destined to be the major medium for work communications.

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