Cisco Announces MindMeld Acquisition
Cisco is ready for another acquisition, with its announced intent to acquire MindMeld Inc. MindMeld, an artificial intelligence (AI) company with 10 patent assets to its name, is known for its unique AI platform that lets customers create intelligent, human-like conversational interfaces for applications and devices, developed and advanced through its proprietary machine learning (ML) technology.
Cisco has stated its belief that artificial intelligence and machine learning will play more and more important roles for all parts of business, and aims to embed it across its network and the cloud. Currently, the company offers some AI and ML technology throughout its portfolio, which it uses to help customers self-manage their network and data centers, provide predictive analytics, and manage security, so with the acquisition of MindMeld, it will be able to offer more robust AI and ML capabilities.
Cisco intends to use MindMeld’s AI technology to provide unique experiences, starting with collaboration in order to improve ease of use and allow for new cognitive capabilities. For instance, Cisco intends to add natural language commands to Cisco Spark, and bring voice-based AI to meeting rooms.
In his blog, Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IoT and Applications, notes, “Creating a high-quality conversational interface requires six distinct types of ML, including Natural Language Processing, Question Answering, Dialog Management and so on. MindMeld has written the book on these technologies and has built the world’s best conversational user interface platform.”
“MindMeld is less than six years old,” notes Dave Michels, UC Expert for UCStrategies, in his TalkingPointz article. “Cisco tends to evaluate acquisitions not on what they are, but what they can be. They look for technology that can scale. MindMeld has 10 patents. Cisco has a lot of potential use cases, customers, and sales staff to sell it.”
Dave adds: “What makes MindMeld compelling is technology that supports machine learning at scale, support for specialized vocabulary libraries, and natural language parsing. … Cisco needs conversational AI to power things like Spark Bot, Spark Care Bot, and 1000 other bots that will emerge.”