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Cisco (CSCO) Acquires Socio Labs, to Combine With Webex

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Cisco Systems (CSCO - Free Report) completed the buyout of event management platform — Socio Labs — for an undisclosed amount.

U.S-based Socio Labs’ event technology platform assists organizers to conduct virtual, in-person as well as hybrid events with varying size of attendees and in different formats. Post the acquisition, Socio Labs’ team will merge Cisco’s Collaboration Group.

Cisco will integrate Socio Labs’ technology with its video conferencing solution, Webex. With event management platform embedded with Webex, business enterprises can create bespoke branded registration and ticketing experiences along with dynamic ads.

 

Cisco added that event coordinators can also gain valuable inputs regarding an event’s attendees, sponsors as well as other event details to gauge attendees’ interests.

By having a regular engagement with attendees across various events, business enterprises can obtain valuable data regarding participants’ behaviour and help in forging personalized experiences, noted Cisco.

In May 2021, Cisco announced its intent to acquire Socio Labs.

Distributed Work Model to Drive Video-Conferencing Market

Continuation of remote work set up, globally, triggered by the pandemic is driving continued demand for cloud-based video conferencing, teleconferencing as well as workspace communication and collaboration solutions.

Cisco’s Webex along with Zoom Video (ZM - Free Report) and Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) Teams App and Slack Technologies have been substantially benefitted by this trend.

The demand is unlikely to abate after the pandemic as the distributed/hybrid work culture gains mainstream acceptance. Worldwide, companies have been forming hybrid work policies as employees increasingly encourage such set up.

Enterprise communication infrastructure market is expected to witness a CAGR of 17.53% between 2021 and 2026, according to a Mordor Intelligence report. Global video conferencing market is forecast to witness a CAGR of 19.7% between 2021 and 2026 and reach $22.5 billion, per MarketsAndMarkets data.

Cisco is working on gaining a larger share of this booming market. Recently, the company refurbished the logo and identity of Webex and added various new features. The company integrated the offerings of its Slido acquisition (audience interaction technology platform) with Webex.

Webex users will be able to remove all background clatter for an enhanced online meeting experience with My Voice Only functionality (available from August 2021). Cisco added over 800 new features and devices to Webex since September 2020

Webex’ new features are anticipated to drive the adoption of the application and boost Cisco’s top line, going ahead. In the last reported quarter, the company witnessed double-digit growth in Webex revenues.

Increasing expenses toward product development along with stiff competition in the space are a concern for Cisco, which carries Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).  

Leading players are constantly adding new features as well as acquiring latest technology to make their enterprise communication platform more agile and productive.

Recently, Zoom announced its intent to purchase Karlsruhe Information Technology Solutions, Kites, GmbH. Kites specializes in real-time machine translation technology. The companies will jointly develop multilingual translation functionalities to render meetings more effective for users.

In the past year, shares of Cisco have gained 14.2% compared with the industry’s return of 14.4%.

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