Networking giant Cisco is making a move into artificial intelligence for the Internet of Things by acquiring a Silicon Valley startup. It’s the third acquisition Cisco has made this month.
The deal will cost Cisco $125 million.
Cisco’s vice president of corporate business development explains why Cisco is making the AI play, which comes as the tech firm moves toward more of a software solutions provider.
“Artificial Intelligence represents a tremendous opportunity to expand the reach and enhance the capabilities of enterprise technology. At Cisco, we have already been introducing AI into our solutions across security, orchestration, application performance and collaboration,” Rob Salvagno wrote in a blog post.
“MindMeld … has developed a conversational platform based on natural language understanding (NLU). This acquisition, Cisco’s third in two weeks, represents how the buy pillar of our innovation strategy continues to impact our strategic shift to become more of a software company.”
[VIDEO: Watch a video about MindMeld technology at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_aCkMMiP5E ]
Cisco will form a Cognitive Collaboration team around MindMeld and make it part of the Cisco Internet of Things and Application group.
“Since 2011, MindMeld has focused on building intelligent conversational interfaces for companies to interact with their customers across almost any device or application,” Salvagno wrote.
“They have become an industry leader in AI, providing natural language interfaces for such use cases as shopping online, ordering products or contacting customer support. At the core of MindMeld’s technology is a powerful machine learning platform that is able to ingest customer data and create a highly accurate and customized natural language model, tailored to each company’s industry and requirements. MindMeld also delivers a dialog manager that enables a computer to respond to user requests through chat and voice applications in a human-like fashion.”
MindMeld holds 10 patents related to AI and its products.
Cisco (Nasdaq; CSCO) operates one of its largest corporate campuses in RTP.