The News: Cisco has begun its week with a series of announcements of its intent to acquire two companies, IMImobile and Slido, that it says will boost customer interaction on its Webex video conferencing platform.
According to the release, it is said to have reached a $730 million deal with IMImobile, a public company based in the United Kingdom, that provides cloud communications software and services.
Just hours after the IMImobile announcement, Cisco also announced its intent to acquire Slido, a Slovakian startup that developed an audience interaction platform with more than 7 million participants monthly. The platform provides users with real-time feedback before, during, and after events and meetings using polls, Q&A, and quizzes. The companies didn’t disclose the purchase private price for Slido, which raised a mere $36,400 in seed funding in 2013. Read the full release info in Cisco’s Newsroom.
Analyst Take: Over the past few years, Cisco has made a run of small acquisitions to advance its Webex and Collaboration business. This has included CloudCherry, BabbleLabs, and Broadsoft, to name a few. While Broadsoft was a larger acquisition, many of the acquisitions have been incremental as a path to generate important user improvements for certain users, whether contact center or meetings. This week, ahead of the company’s big WebexONE event, the company has made a splash by announcing two more acquisitions to round out the Webex platform.
The IMImobile Acquisition
IMImobile isn’t a household name in the contact center or collaboration, but that isn’t why Cisco is making this move. A key strategy for Cisco, right now, in the contact center is to democratize greater volumes of data, especially data that lives beyond typical enterprise software suites to enable agents using its platform to do so more effectively. This is what IMImobile can offer to Cisco. IMImobile provides software and services which allow enterprises and organizations to make deeper, more consistent connections to their customers through enhanced interactive channels, including social, messaging, and voice. This acquisition will enable Cisco to offer customer-facing businesses an end-to-end solution for managing customer interactions and delivering a better customer experience. Speed, intelligence, and automation of the contact center all part of the intent of this acquisition.
The Slido Acquisition
I think the Slido acquisition is a clever play. Despite limited information on the deal size, I have seen an increased use of Slido during web events and meetings to help meeting planners, and events get better insights into participants. While 2020 has driven a huge upswing in remote events, this platform isn’t limited to remote events and meetings but was already seeing increased use within events, classrooms, and other places where there was a desire to increase content engagement without complex or expensive technologies. This will be a nice addition to the Webex Platform.
Overall Impressions of the Cisco Acquisitions
A big week ahead for Cisco, as WebexONE is a signature moment for the company.
The collaboration space is heating up, and Cisco is a player with room for growth. I believe strategic moves to differentiate the platform are increasingly important as Microsoft, and now Salesforce is certain to offer substantial competition.
Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
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