Cisco will bring BabbleLabs' native noise removal capability to its entire collaboration portfolio.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

August 25, 2020

2 Min Read
Video conference on laptop
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Cisco is acquiring BabbleLabs, which uses AI to enhance the audio quality of communications and conferencing applications.

With the addition of BabbleLabs, Cisco will bring native noise removal to its entire collaboration portfolio. Initially, Cisco will focus on adding BabbleLabs to Webex Meetings users wherever they are and however they connect via the Webex application.

The acquisition is expected to close this quarter, subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals.

Competitive Advantage

Javed Khan is senior vice president and general manager of Cisco collaboration. He said the acquisition will give Cisco and its partners a competitive advantage.

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Cisco’s Javed Khan

“This technology is the most advanced noise removal and speech enhancement technology available today,” he said. “In the age of remote work, this has never been more needed or important. It’s a competitive advantage for partners who are helping customers empower their remote workers. People working from home can appear professional and have minimal distractions during a video call.”

BabbleLabs‘ noise suppression technology distinguishes speech from background noise, removes background noise in real time, and enhances the voice to elevate communication, regardless of language.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

When the deal closes, the BabbleLabs team will join the Cisco collaboration group led by Khan. It’s part of the Cisco security and applications business led by Jeetu Patel.

Annoying Distractions

Cisco conducted a global survey focused on the future of work. It revealed that 98% of workers say they experience frustration from distractions during video meetings when working from home. Two of the top five frustrations are about background noise, either from other participants or their own side of the call.

“BabbleLabs will continue to build on the Webex focus to make the remote work experience better than in-person interactions,” Khan said. “Today, people working from home can have automatic meeting transcription, automated note taking, background removal and blurring, and now unwanted noise removal. It makes work about what you are accomplishing, not the location where you are working.”

More information about how Cisco and BabbleLabs will come together will be available soon after the acquisition closes, he said.

“BabbleLabs is excited to become part of Cisco and the collaboration group,” said Chris Rowen, BabbleLabs’ CEO and co-founder. “The Cisco team shares our passion about speech as the core of collaboration and communication. Cisco’s collaboration platform will enable us to quickly scale our exceptional speech enhancement technology for the hundreds of millions of Webex users.”

About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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