VMware Acquires SlideRocket for Online Presentations

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-04-27 Print this article Print

SAAS-based presentation service adds to VMware's growing catalog of applications that can be deployed across any device via the cloud.

VMware on April 26 acquired a new whiz-bang feature to add to its growing stock of cloud-based products: SlideRocket, an online business-presentation service that competes directly against Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe PDF.

Terms of the transaction to purchase the 25-person, San Francisco-based company were not disclosed by VMware.

SlideRocket, founded in 2007, is currently being used by about 20,000 licensees and distributed to some 300,000 users to create, share and store presentations in the cloud.

The services enables users to create presentations and easily add such features as video, Twitter feeds, various types of charts and graphs, and embedded financial data widgets with real-time information updates, SlideRocket founder and CTO Mitch Grasso told eWEEK.

Go here to see a video on how it works.

"This is all about taking this 25-year-old technology that's PowerPoint and reinventing it for the Web," Grasso told eWEEK. "This really brings the ability to integrate collaboration as it needs to be with the tools and to provide different levels of security and analytics that weren't possible with a desktop tool.

"It also allows the move into mobile-both for authoring and consuming a presentation, and just improving the authoring experience across the board."

Presentation software is second only to email as the most widely used business software, VMware VP and General Manager Brian Byun said.

"The modern end-user environment is mobile, social, collaborative and delivered via the cloud-characteristics that legacy PC-era technologies could never have anticipated," Byun said. "SlideRocket's cloud-based architecture, design and integration with other cloud applications and services have transformed a decades-old business-productivity software."

SlideRocket features online authoring, editing and access, combined with built-in collaboration and version control; a Web-based interface; the ability to add dynamic data feeds from sources, such as Google, Twitter and financial services; and shared access, both online and offline, across a range of end-user devices, from desktops to mobile devices and tablets.

The new VMware product also offers real-time viewer feedback and analytics to capture key usage metrics, to provide insight into presentation effectiveness.

SlideRocket has a marketplace that offers an online resource for browsing and purchasing content, including themes, stock photography, graphics, data feeds, audio, video, illustrations, animations and plug-ins. The publishing model enables slides to be accessed via a URL, embedded in a Web page or blog, or shared in an online meeting.

Additional security preferences allow authors to control publishing, printing, viewing and password rights, Grasso said. Users create new presentations using a full set of browser-based professional authoring tools built into SlideRocket or quickly import existing legacy presentation applications into the SlideRocket environment, protecting existing content investments.  

SlideRocket comes in a range of price points starting at free, Grasso said.

"VMware and SlideRocket share an affinity for seizing big opportunities to reinvent how people work, and we are aligned in our vision for the future of cloud applications-it's a future where work becomes collaborative, social, mobile, and even fun!" CEO Chuck Dietrich wrote in his blog.


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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