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Cisco Makes Two Big Acquisitions to Take on Zoom

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced on Monday that it is making two acquisitions to help improve the functionality of its WebEx videoconferencing, collaboration, and customer service platform. The networking giant is paying an undisclosed sum to acquire audience interaction platform Slido. The technology company provides tools that help moderate large groups, and "enables real-time feedback and insight before, during and after any meeting." Slido has features that allow viewers and meeting participants to ask questions, answer polls, and participate in quizzes, among others. The Motley Fool regularly uses Slido for its events.

Slido boasts over 7 million participants each month and will continue to be available for use by competitors. "Cisco understands the value in continuing Slido as a stand-alone product and building great integrations with other virtual meeting and presentation platforms like [Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)] Teams, Zoom (NASDAQ: ZM) and [Alphabet's (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG)] Google Meet," said Juraj Pal, Slido's product head.

Image source: Getty Images.

The tech giant also revealed plans to acquire IMImobile, a cloud communications software and services company, for roughly $730 million. IMImobile allows organizations to communicate with their customers across various channels, including social media, messaging, and voice. The company will become part of WebEx to further Cisco's contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) platform. The company will use the platform's omnichannel capability to allow businesses to better connect with their customers.

Zoom has become the de facto industry standard for video conferencing since the rise of the pandemic earlier this year. In the third quarter, its revenue grew 367% year over year. At the same time, the number of customers contributing $100,000 or more in trailing-12-month revenue grew 136%, while the number of customers with more than 10 employees grew 485%. This marked the third consecutive quarter of triple-digit revenue growth for Zoom, eating into Cisco's market opportunity.

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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Danny Vena owns shares of Alphabet (A shares), Microsoft, and Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Microsoft, and Zoom Video Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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