With the Voicea acquisition, Cisco adheres to its commitment to up its collaboration game.

Lynn Haber

August 6, 2019

3 Min Read
Business handshake
IT services and consulting firm NexusTek (No. 33 on the 2018 Channel Futures MSP 501) has completed three more acquisitions this year — Cal Net Technology Group, Syndeo Technologies and Decision Consultants (DCI). The purchases in Southern California, Arizona and New England, respectively, mark five for NexusTek this year and eight in four years, each of which "directly benefits customers by augmenting the company’s core competencies and ability to execute best practices." NexusTek is backed by Abry Partners, a private-equity firm with more than $77 billion of leveraged transactions under its belt.Shutterstock

Cisco says it’s buying Voicea, the AI-powered voice collaboration vendor, whose technology it will add to its Webex family portfolio once the deal closes — expected before the end of October.

Since Cisco Partner Summit 2018, held last November, when Cisco rolled out new collaboration integrations and products to bolster product demand and dissipate user disappointment, the company has been on a mission to up its collaboration game. The acquisition of Voicea fits into Cisco’s vision of cognitive collaboration, interoperability and workplace transformation through combining the power of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, software, hardware and the network to remove friction and get work done faster and smarter, the company said.


Cisco’s Amy Chang

“Voicea’s true market-leading technology will be a game changer for our Webex customers to experience more productive and actionable meetings,” said Amy Chang, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Collaboration.

Voicea voice collaboration technology leverages the power of AI to mimic real human brain function and improve productivity in the workplace. Voicea’s EVA – enterprise virtual assistant and productivity tool – attends meetings, captures the important highlights and delivers them to the company teams. EVA does that through meeting transcription, voice search, and meeting highlights/action items, with data privacy.

In March 2018, Voicea closed $20 million Series A ($13.5 million in new money) financing backed by leading venture capital, enterprise and collaboration players, including Cisco Investments.

Cisco noted that its intent to acquire privately held Voicea reinforces its commitment to make Webex the collaboration platform of choice. Using Voicea technology, Cisco said it will enhance its Webex portfolio of products with a powerful transcription service that blends AI and automated speech recognition (ASR) to unlock the power of any collaboration, such as meetings and calls.

“Our first focus with Voicea is to turn meetings into a treasure trove of digital meeting notes and insights. Attendees and non-attendees can quickly gather the most relevant information from these digital notes and insights, turning a block of text into actionable information,” the company said.

Sri Srinivasan, senior vice president and general manager, who leads the Webex portfolio team, talked about the possibilities of combining transcription (EVA) and conversational AI (Webex Assistant) engines.


Cisco’s Sri Srinivasan

“When you combine these two powerful engines you have an intelligent meeting assistant for every one of your meetings. Meetings users can see the live transcription, publish effective meeting summaries and highlights, and also capture and automate action items. Workflows can be pushed automatically through voice command’s into systems of record like Salesforce, Trello, Teams, Jira and Asana, thereby creating uninterrupted work streams,” he wrote in a blog.

Cisco said that transcription services are table stakes for Meetings; Voicea features enable Cisco to leapfrog basic transcription and enhance the power of the Webex platform. Transcription services are an add-on feature, a value-added service partners can take to market and deliver superior customer outcomes.

Cisco and Voicea will function as two separate companies until the deal closes. After the closing, Cisco will integrate Voicea into its products as smoothly as possible and will keep partners informed about as it develops product road maps, the company said.

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like