Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) has been proposed as a standard by IBM, Microsoft and EMC as a way of using Web services for sharing content between a variety of content repositories. While the process of turning CMIS into a standard has just started with the submission of CMIS to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards, it holds promise as a means of increasing the adoption of unified communications.The basic problem that CMIS is attempting to solve is a serious one. Today, users employ a number of data repositories to do their work: e-mail systems; instant messaging systems; collaboration tools; CRM systems; production databases; and a host of additional tools, each of which typically have their own data stores. Further, most of these systems each have their own interface that IT must deploy and configure, and that end users must learn. This drives up IT and help desk costs and requires users to spend time learning a number of interfaces.What CMIS hopes to achieve is improved productivity by allowing individuals to learn and use a single interface through which they access the various data repositories they need to do their work. The benefits of such an approach include easier access to data for individuals, since they need learn only one interface to access various content repositories; easier deployment for IT because they are managing a more unified system; and less work for application developers who can develop a single interface for accessing all of the repositories that people need to do their work.CMIS is a very good idea and one that should permit organizations and users to become more efficient as the proliferation of content repositories continues to expand.To download a white paper on CMIS, click here.