Cisco Acquires Collaboration Provider Versly

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-08-29 Print this article Print

San Francisco-based Versly's speciality is that it brings Microsoft applications into social networking.

Cisco Systems, continuing to look into markets outside the network infrastructure sector that it already leads, Aug. 29 announced that it is acquiring 2-year-old collaboration software maker Versly.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

San Francisco-based Versly's speciality is that it brings Microsoft applications into social networking. It integrates employee and supply-chain collaboration within a private cloud using its proprietary plug-in to Office applications, such as PowerPoint, Excel, Word and Outlook email.

CEO John Chambers has said that collaboration software and services is one of Cisco's top five company priorities for the short term, a market Cisco believes to be in the neighborhood of $45 billion. The acquisition will provide opportunities for the company's partners to provide enhanced collaboration solutions to their own customers, Cisco said.

Versly's software gives Cisco collaboration users a lot more latitude when communicating with colleagues. It will be integrated into several of Cisco's existing collaboration products, including Quad (enterprise collaboration platform), Jabber (social networking) and WebEx (video conferencing).

For example, users now will be able to receive automatic notifications within Cisco Quad when the content of a document has changed, move from simply reviewing a document to an instant-messaging session through Jabber, or initiate a Web conferencing session from a presentation through WebEx. 

"Collaboration is a top priority at Cisco. With this acquisition, we're enhancing our collaboration offerings and improving the user experience by integrating social technologies within the business applications individuals and teams use at work," said Murali Sitaram, Cisco Systems vice president and general manager of the Collaboration Software Group.

"Furthermore, the integration with Versly will drive productivity improvements for organizations and their knowledge workers, many of whom are among the 600 million Microsoft Office users."

Upon the close of the acquisition later this quarter, Versly's 10 employees will be integrated into Cisco CSG, Cisco said.



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 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 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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