Cisco Buys Browser-Based Collaboration Vendor Assemblage
Cisco Systems has bought Assemblage, a collaboration company whose technology lets people collaborate through the browser on any device, a move that company officials said not only bolsters Cisco's broad collaboration portfolio but also fits in with its efforts around the burgeoning Internet of things. Cisco announced the deal June 27, saying that Assemblage also will add to its work around making collaboration simpler and more interoperable with third-party products. With Assemblage's technology, users can collaborate without having to install or download anything onto their devices, including plug-ins. No financial details of the deal were released. "Assemblage offers real-time collaboration apps for shared white-boarding, presentation broadcasting and screen-sharing," Hilton Romanski, senior vice president and head of business development at Cisco, said in a post on the company blog. "Users are able to collaborate simply via their browser with one-click, instantly accessing collaboration apps delivered via the cloud. Assemblage's technology also integrates with popular third-party cloud services and supports 40 different file types to enable quick and efficient collaboration. … In addition, Assemblage's experience integrating with third-party cloud ecosystem applications like Box and Google shows a close alignment to Cisco's collaboration strategy and our commitment to simplicity and interoperability." Assemblage employees are being folded into Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group, Romanski wrote. The company's products will help Cisco as it looks to address the changes happening in the business world, including the transitions toward greater mobility, cloud computing and the Internet of everything, Cisco's term that includes the Internet of things. Assemblage offered a product called Kollaborate.io, which officials said enables users to start a meeting within five seconds using only a single click. Users can start meetings with high-definition audio and video in a Web browser, from Gmail or through a social networking site. Assemblage offered a free service for public meetings, and a Pro service for $9.99 a month that included free meetings and private meetings with password protection. The Enterprise service, at $29.99 a month, offered both the public and private meetings, as well as the ability to archive meetings, manage teams and projects, and schedule meetings. In a post on the company blog, Assemblage officials said the acquisition by Cisco was a "natural continuation and acceleration of our goals and vision" of making real-time collaboration easier. "We will continue to push the limits of browser technologies and maintain our focus on making collaboration as simple as possible; laser-focused on the end-user experience and ease-of-use," they wrote, adding that their products will continue being available to customers and promising a smooth integration into Cisco.