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Cisco Closes Slido Deal For ‘Inclusive’ Webex Meetings

In an effort to make meetings more inclusive, Cisco closed its acquisition of Slido, a provider of audience interaction technology, that will be built into the Webex platform.

Cisco Systems on Monday announced that it has closed its acquisition of audience interaction technology specialist Slido.

The Slido purchase will help the tech giant on its mission to make collaboration — and specifically, the popular Cisco Webex platform — more inclusive for remote meeting participants and those returning to the office, said Javed Khan, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Collaboration in a blog post on closing the Slido deal.

The two companies did not reveal financial terms of the deal.

[Related: Chuck Robbins: Cisco Webex Will Strike The Balance Between Security, Ease Of Use]

The technology from Bratislava, Slovakia-based Slido will give Webex the ability to measure enthusiasm, and let users and meeting host receive immediate feedback, understand audience sentiment, and engage more with fellow meeting participants in real-time, even in a meeting of up to 5,000 people, Cisco said.

Cisco plans on using Slido’s technology to pop up anonymous questions, polls, and quizzes to boost Webex meeting participation. The technology will also allow meeting hosts to crowdsource questions in advance so they can share content that resonates, and view and upvote audience questions, which will give all participants a voice, Khan said. “That kind of real-time participation blows my mind – and opens up endless opportunities for ways in which we can significantly increase the intimacy and personal engagement of large-scale virtual events,” he added.

Slido can already be integrated with Webex, Microsoft Teams, Google Slides, YouTube and PowerPoint.

Per the terms of the deal, the entire Slido team is joining Cisco. Slido’s co-founder and CEO Peter Komornik is coming on as director and general manager of Slido for Cisco, the companies said.

The goal of Cisco’s collaboration group, led by Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s senior vice president and general manager, security and applications group, is to make Webex meetings "10x better" than in-person meetings. Cisco has added more than 400 new features to Webex since September.

“Today, with the completion of our acquisition of Slido, we have taken another step forward in delivering on our promise of creating Webex experiences that are 10x better than in-person interactions,” Khan said.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company first revealed plans to boost its collaboration portfolio by buying Slido, as well as London-based contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) firm IMImobile PLC for approximately $730 million last December. Cisco closed the IMImobile purchase in February.

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