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Cisco Acquisitions Will Boost Webex, CCaaS

Cisco agreed to acquire IMImobile for $730 million and Slido for an undisclosed sum.

Jeffrey Schwartz

December 11, 2020

3 Min Read
Mergers and acquisitions_M&A

Cisco announced two acquisitions this week that build on its revamped Webex meetings and new cloud-native contact center offerings. The networking provider agreed to acquire IMImobile, a company that offers an omni-channel messaging solution for $730 million in cash. Cisco also is also acquiring Slido, provider of a SaaS-based polling solution, for an undisclosed amount.

Company officials discussed both deals during this week’s WebexOne.  At the two-day virtual conference, Cisco launched a major new Webex meetings release and new contract center solution. The acquisition of Slido will help Cisco add more interactive capabilities to Webex meetings. Slido, based in Bratislava, Slovakia, fits with Cisco’s effort to make meetings more inclusive.

Customers can embed Slido’s polling service into presentations created in PowerPoint or Google Slides. Likewise, they can conduct Slido surveys in Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams meetings. Slido also integrates with live video services streamed via Facebook Live, Vimeo and YouTube. Customers have used the polling tool for more than 1 million online events, according to Slido.

Slido Integration for Webex


Cisco’s Jeetu Patel

Cisco will integrate Slido into Webex, said Jeetu Patel, general manager of Cisco’s security and applications group. “The all-new Webex will soon, as a result of this acquisition, be able to offer a best-in-class audience engagement platform that significantly heightens participant engagement before, during and after meetings and events for both in person as well as virtual audiences,” Patel said during the WebexOne event. “This is a great mechanism to provide audience engagement in real time, it works for everyone from the smallest of groups, to the largest of events.”


Cisco’s Abhay Kulkarni

Patel said Cisco will continue to support the integrations of Slido with competing meeting solutions. More than 7 million participants use Slido monthly, according to Abhay Kulkarni, general manager of Webex at Cisco. “Once a participant joins [a meeting or presentation], they can respond to polls, ask questions or provide feedback,” Kulkarni noted. “The richness of this audience interaction technology will empower everyone to engage in new ways. It’s a great mechanism for providing audience engagement in real-time.”

Slido currently offers three paid tiers of service, all priced monthly. An entry-level service costs $9 per user and supports up to 200 participants and unlimited polling. The professional option, priced at $39, supports up to 1,000 participants with more advanced polling and surveying capability. The enterprise version, which costs $199 per month, supports up to 5,000 participants and offers enterprise-grade security and professional onboarding.

Adding Chat to New Webex Contact Center


Cisco’s Omar Tawakol

Cisco used this week’s WebexOne event to officially launch its new cloud native Webex Contract Center. Now available in the U.S. the Webex Contract Center will become available in other countries early next year. Cisco officials said the company has spent 18 months building the new contract center as a service from scratch. Besides the fact that it’s built on a modern architecture, Cisco describes the new contract center as an omnichannel platform.

The acquisition of IMImobile will enable an enhanced chat-messaging channel, said Omar Tawakol, general manager of Cisco’s contract center organization. “We will be able to provide a comprehensive set of popular channels including WhatsApp, Google RCS and Apple Business Chat,” Tawakol said during the WebexOne event. “Beyond that, we will be able to extend our journey analytics and customer interaction capabilities.”

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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