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Friday, May 8, 2015

Cisco To Acquire Tropo To Boost Collaboration Capabilities

Continuing its software acquisition strategy, Cisco this week announced intentions to acquire privately-held Tropo, an application programming interface (API) specialist. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Hilton Romanski, senior vice president and head of business development, Cisco systems, said in a blog post: "The need for next-generation communications and collaboration platforms with modern, easy-to-use APIs is more important than ever," and added this: "Helping people connect, engage and innovate on any device, Cisco and Tropo will provide a collaboration platform-as-a-service, which allows our customers and developers to create and sell new communications services with minimal development effort." 

Johnny Diggz, technology evangelist for Tropo, wrote in a blog post that: "From Enterprise to Service Providers, Cisco is hands down the most well respected brand in voice and video; and with their recent introduction of Spark, they are gearing up to put ultra high-quality video and collaboration tools into the pockets of every remote team, class room, space station and home office.”

The deal gives Cisco a key component to offer what the networking company calls a collaboration platform-as-a-service, this collaboration capabilities would allow Cisco customers to build and sell communication services with minimal development effort. 

What attracted Cisco to the privately-held Tropo is the important role Tropo could plays in enabling the so-called API economy, Tropo provides a cloud API platform that simplifies the addition of real-time communications and collaboration capabilities to any applications. Tropo also has a strong developer network (a massive 200,000 strong developers), this gives Cisco the shot its looking for- the ability to extend the power of its collaboration technologies to third-party developers and businesses.  

Founded in 2009 and based in Menlo Park, Tropo offers a robust cloud APIs platform that enable developers and businesses to build and embed real-time communications into their applications. It specializes in real-time presence, voice,video and messaging APIs that help telco players create new revenue opportunities through third-party application development. It customers include Deutsche Telekom AG and Globe Philippines. In addition it also has partnerships with companies such as IBM and Apcera (now part of Ericsson AB).

The deal, which announced on Thursday (May 7), is expected to close in Cisco's fiscal 2015 fourth quarter. Once completed, Tropo employees will join Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group under the leadership of Rowan Trollope, SVP and general manager.

Image Credit: ZDnet and Tropo

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