Cisco Snaps Up Mobile Collaboration Player

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Cisco Tuesday acquired Boston-based communications company, in a move the networking giant said will build out its mobile- and cloud-based collaboration lineup.

Financial terms of the deal, which already closed, were not disclosed.

Privately held Collaborate offers a mobile collaboration application that lets business users share documents, communicate with team members and manage tasks via their iOS or Android mobile devices or a Web browser.

[Related: Cisco Financial Analyst Day: 9 Tough Questions For CEO Chambers And Team]

Users can also leverage the platform to create virtual collaboration rooms where they can share documents, notes, photos, videos or other files with teammates.
Collaborate's platform also integrates with third-party productivity apps, including Box, Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive.

Jens Meggers, vice president in Cisco's Collaboration business group, said the acquisition of Collaborate will help Cisco's collaboration lineup better reflect trends like bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the consumerization of IT.

"Mobility and the cloud is the future," Meggers said. "It's everywhere, and this is true especially for collaboration."

At Cisco's annual financial analyst event last week, Cisco CEO John Chambers told investors and analysts that collaboration would be a Cisco portfolio to watch, in terms of growth, in 2014.

Cisco said the Collaborate portfolio and team will be rolled into its Collaboration Technology Group.

Kent McLeod, president of DPE Systems, a Seattle-based solution provider and Cisco partner, said he was glad to see Cisco investing more heavily in the mobility and cloud arenas, as evidenced by its Collaborate buy.

"We are excited to see them move into the mobility space; there's no doubt about that," McLeod said. "And they have had a pretty good track record with acquisitions, if Meraki is any indication."

Collaborate founder and CEO Matt Cutler said in a blog post Tuesday that Collaborate is "thrilled" to be part of the Cisco team, and that the acquisition will not create any disruption to Collaborate's existing users.

"We're excited about this great opportunity and look forward to working with Cisco to accelerate innovation in collaboration," Cutler wrote.

Collaborate is one of several companies to be snapped up by Cisco in 2013. The San Jose, Calif.-based company just closed an acquisition of its SDN-focused spin-in Insieme Networks, on the heels of spending $415 million for storage vendor Whiptail in September. In perhaps Cisco's biggest M&A move this year, the company plunked down $2.7 billion in July for cybersecurity specialist Sourcefire.


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