Cisco Acquires Two Companies for Communications Portfolio
New companies are added to the Cisco portfolio for Communications and Customer Care
Even in a pandemic, the business of expanding your capabilities must continue. To this end, Cisco announced two acquisitions just ahead of the WebexOne analysts’ meetings tomorrow. Each is targeted at delivering differentiation in a critical area. If you are a Cisco customer, these may be features in your future. For those evaluating, Cisco continues to differentiate Webex from others in the space with added functionality that may be critical for some.
First, Cisco announced acquiring IMImobile PLC. IMImobile delivers cloud-based solutions to manage and analyze customer interactions across arrange of systems. This is an important part of moving from being the largest current Contact Center seat vendor to a more significant role in managing customer interactions across range of systems and technologies. In a blog post, Omar Tawakol, VP/GM of CX at Cisco, said that “Cisco’s vision is to provide a comprehensive Customer Experience as a Service (CXaaS) offer to the market.” Clearly, IMImobile fits into that vision and will be a key part of the delivery. For Cisco Contact Center customers and the communications teams, understanding both the technology and how to implement across organizations will be critical. This acquisition also shows how the CX market is converging. Combined with the recent Salesforce announcements, the clarity of best of breed solutions elements is changing.
The second acquisition is Slido, an audience interaction company. Slido provides tools to facilitate and automate meetings and meeting processes. There are a range of tools for organizing, conducting and profiling a meeting. These include surveys, quizzes, etc. While the Slido toolset has applicability in smaller meetings, the focus appears to be on larger groups and events. However, with the pandemic forcing most activities on-line, Cisco must be seeing a need to make these experiences better for larger groups. In a blog post, Abhay Kulkarni, VP GM Webex, said, “At Cisco, our goal is to deliver Webex experiences that are 10X better than in-person interactions and an important part of that is making these experiences inclusive and equal for all.” For Cisco, that means going beyond noise cancelling barking dogs to providing tools to better engage during the meeting process. The value of these tools will be defined by how they will be integrated into the overall Webex experience and into the data structure of Webex Graph.
As we all grapple with the new normal where half our workers may be out of the office and in-person meetings are few and far between, innovations in communications, collaboration and customer experience may provide the tools we need to optimize our new environments. It will be interesting to see how others in the industry react and what solutions they bring forward or acquire.