Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) is bolstering its collaboration technology and product offerings through two moves made Tuesday:

  • The acquisition of a Massachusetts collaboration software startup,
  • The launching of a “cloud” virtual desktop offering in partnership with Citrix and VMware.

Collaborate recently rebranded itself, including the new name that replaced Kibits. The two-year-old firm had raised some $2.3 million from investors – including Google Ventures – according to Xconomy.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Collaborate’s skilled team of cloud and mobile software developers has created a mobile collaboration application that provides unified document sharing, task management and team communication capabilities, enabling today’s mobile workforce to collaborate with team members on projects. Workers can instantly create virtual collaboration rooms where they can chat and share documents, notes, photos and videos,” wrote Cisco’s Hilton Romansky in a blog. He is Cisco’s head of business development.

“Cisco’s acquisition of Collaborate supports our goal of driving market leadership in Collaboration. Together, Cisco and Collaborate plan to provide a comprehensive solution that enables the mobile workforce to work smarter and more efficiently from virtually anywhere. Collaborate’s cutting-edge technology and strong engineers as part of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group will help accelerate Cisco’s innovation in Collaboration.”

(More about the announcement can be read online.)

The “Desk” Offering

Cisco also is the latest firm to offer DaaS – Desktop as a Service, and Cisco is targeting “cloud” computing service providers as customers.

But it’s not doing so alone.

Cisco teamed up with Citrix, which has a major operation in Raleigh built around its Sharefile acquisition, and VMware. The Cisco offering is built around Cisco’s own virtualization solution.

“Citrix is working alongside Cisco and its new DaaS solution to help Service Provider partners, such as our mutual customers ChannelCloud and Proxios, to scale quickly, easily and economically, while delivering high levels of performance and service. This enables partners to differentiate with flexibility in desktop deployment models while preserving margins to help them capture new service and revenue opportunities. Our multi-tenant solution based on XenDesktop and XenApp leverages app orchestration to deliver a rich user experience; desktop, mobile and thin-client support; and self-service ease-of-use,” said Mitch Parker, group vice president and general manager of Citrix.

The DaaS service will be available based on subscriptions.

Features include:

  • Improved density of hosted virtual desktops offering up to 252 virtual desktops on a single UCS blade server
  • Support for end user applications that require high-quality rendering of immersive, 3D graphics
  • New UCS Solution Accelerator Packs for Desktop Virtualization, providing simplified ordering

“For business customers, the solution provides increased choice and flexibility. Customers can choose to build their own on-premises desktop virtualization solution or buy a cloud-based, as-a-service solution, with Cisco Powered performance, scalability, and security,” Cisco says.

But is DaaS the solution to virtualization challenges? Check out IT World;s report.

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