VMware Acquires Business Presentation Iconoclast SlideRocket


VMware on Tuesday said it has acquired SlideRocket, a San Francisco-based startup whose goal is to remove the excruciating aspects from business presentations and make them more applicable to mobile and cloud computing scenarios. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

SlideRocket's eponymous flagship product is a SaaS application for building business presentations that are stored online. Through a Web-based interface, users can handle all parts of the process, from designing slides and compiling content, to reviewing documents and publishing and delivering them. The software also includes traffic and performance metrics and can pull in live data from Twitter, Google Spreadsheets and other sources.

Collaboration using traditional presentation software is a clumsy process that's hampered by large file attachments, software compatibility issues and tracking comments via e-mail, but SlideRocket solves these issues through a "cloud centric" approach, Stephen Herrod, CTO and senior vice president of R&D at VMware, said in a Tuesday blog post.

"People can work as teams to build presentations that take full advantage of the cloud, while analytics provide insight into how presentations are impacting your audience," Herrod said in the blog post. "Most importantly, all SlideRocket presentations are built so audiences can experience them on multiple devices, ranging from desktops to tablets, online or off."

Since its founding in 2007, SlideRocket has built a base of more than 20,000 customers and 300,000 users worldwide with tools for creating business presentations that break free of the "single, predictable, and boring desktop trajectory" that has defined this market over the past last quarter century, according to SlideRocket CEO Chuck Dietrich.

"Audiences were subjected to static slides with 10 font bullet points, inboxes laid to waste with huge attachments, teams of people ran around confused with old versions of presentations. Communication was tough. It was a sad time," Dietrich said in the blog post.

SlideRocket becomes another piece in VMware's end user computing portfolio, which includes VMware View desktop virtualization, ThinApp, and Zimbra. End user computing is a big part of VMware's push into cloud computing, and the company is telling partners that this opportunity is many times larger than the one around virtualization.

VMware is backing up this claim with a cloud marketing campaign that drills home the end user computing message in terms of desktop modernization, reducing total cost of ownership, securing applications and data and managing users as opposed to devices.