VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger probably doesn’t lie awake at night worrying how Box CEO Aaron Levie plans to win the Enterprise Content Collaboration market.

Chances are good that he’s not all that concerned about Jeetu Patel at EMC Syncplicity, Morten Brøgger at Huddle or Vineet Jain at Egnyte either.

And that’s not because the aforementioned vendors and others like them lack good enterprise file sync and share and/or enterprise content collaboration products. In fact, VMware even partners with some of them.

But Gelsinger’s team is aiming for something bigger and broader — owning end user computing in the enterprise.

And that means social, mobile, video, content, collaboration, cloud and desktop virtualization.

Mystery Solved

While VMware has acquired top shelf products that fit into the aforementioned categories, exactly how they’d play together has been a bit of a mystery.

Until now that is. This morning VMware gave us a peek at how it envisions the future.

It just unveiled the VMware Collaboration Bundle. The new product suite integrates AirWatch Content Locker file sync and sharing, Socialcast enterprise social networking and AirWatch Video distribution as well as sharing products for customers seeking to empower employees, drive business innovation and simplify information technology.

What it boils down to is this. VMware customers who purchase the bundle will not only be able to securely sync and share documents and video, but they’ll also be able to effortlessly tap into an enterprise’s collective knowledge (it lives in documents, video and other forms of content, right?) and socialize around it.

While one might conclude that VMware is trying to capture the EFSS market by tagging Socialcast onto AirWatch’s Secure Content Locker’s capabilities, that’s not necessarily the case.

“We focus on aggregation. We’re not trying to be just another place to put your stuff,” said Kevin Strohmeyer, senior director for workspace services at VMware.

It’s like a single pane of glass through which you can see, work with and usurp knowledge from all of your content, regardless of how many repositories (on-premises or in the cloud) in which it's stored.

Bridging Gaps

In other words, VMware’s content and collaboration play aggregates and mobilizes existing internal and cloud-based information repositories and bridges existing systems of record with secure social collaboration.

What does the bundle bring to the enterprise? An ability to:

  1. Aggregate content across new and existing, internal and external repositories with mobile-optimized access and enterprise data loss prevention. The integrated platform more securely bridges data within existing systems, data repositories, applications and workflows. AirWatch Content Locker brings content out of individual accounts or emails into a collaborative workspace for cross team, regional and organizational use.
  2. Align the organization with open channels to broadcast information in any medium and create feedback loops to drive true engagement. Socialcast and AirWatch Video provide interactive broadcast mediums for text, files, images and video that is simpler than email attachments, while allowing for cross organizational, two-way communication. Remote employees receive real-time access to company information, news and resources, and employee ideas and suggestions are supported through submission and feedback portals.
  3. Discover experts within the organization through social networking, and engage with them in real-time to get relevant questions answered. Through Socialcast, employees can find internal experts through simple searches and get quick answers to questions by broadcasting questions to specific workgroups within the organization. Social analytics provide insight into recommendations for people, groups and content to follow within the social community.
  4. Connect people and processes to applications, systems and workflows by integrating mobile collaboration services into new and existing applications. With integration between AirWatch Content Locker, Socialcast, AirWatch Video and dozens of third-party applications, organizations can seamlessly share content and ideas without compromising security or losing data integrity and historical context.

Possible Implications

It’s much too early to guess how enterprise customers will respond to VMware’s pitch. But it does address a number of concerns that IT managers often voice today.

Aggregating content from a variety of cloud repositories is an attractive strategy, especially as IT managers realize that employees have been storing their files in clouds of their choice versus the one IT has sanctioned.

Putting Social around enterprise content has also been in demand for a long, long time and if it can be done effectively, it could be a competitive advantage for both VMware and its customers.

And, finally, if and when VMware can present the bundle as part of its broader mobile and cloud strategy, it may bring relief to managers who sense they are losing control of enterprise assets.

The big question is whether the market wants to buy these integrated capabilities from a single vendor or custom build them by integrating a number of handpicked solutions.