The Stack Archive

Cisco buys search startup Synata to strengthen collaboration portfolio

Tue 8 Mar 2016

Cisco has confirmed today its acquisition of privately-held search tools development firm Synata. Specific terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

In an official blog post released this morning, Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of the Cisco IoT and Collaboration Technology Group, wrote of the decision to integrate Synata software with Cisco’s Spark business collaboration service. According to the networking giant, the addition of the new technology will improve user experience when searching for rooms and content on the cloud-based service, which allows professionals to arrange meetings and connect with customers via messages and calls.

The specialised Synata software is designed to allow users to search both on-premise and cloud applications at the same time from within one platform. Cisco added that the new tools would also work alongside Spark’s encryption capabilities, enabling users to collaborate and search with high levels of privacy and complete control of their data. The blog post underlined that Synata would help boost Spark’s search encryption by speeding up the process and lending a more predictive and intuitive design.

Trollope elaborated: ‘While we have recently released secure search in Cisco Spark, we’ve always envisioned it being even better. Advances in deep learning and artificial intelligence are making it possible for computers to predict what you want almost before you know it yourself. That’s what we want for Cisco Spark. We want it to be like that good friend who can finish your sentences. Super-fast. Almost uncannily accurate.’

This acquisition follows multiple Cisco purchases in the collaboration space, including Collaborate.com in 2013, Assemblage in 2014, Tropo last spring, and London-based Acano at the end of 2015.

The company has also recently launched an innovation fund to improve and incubate projects for its collaboration offering. The Cisco Spark Innovation Fund promises to invest $150 million (approx. £105 million) across joint development projects, ‘additional enhancements and developer support.’

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