RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Cisco’s continuing evolution under CEO Chuck Robbins continues with two announced acquistions that target interactive messaging and what’s called CXaaS – customer experience as a service.

Cisco, which operates one of its largest campuses in RTP, is buying UK-based IMImobile for some $730 million.

Also to become part of Cisco is Slido, a startup targeting audience interaction. It’s based in Slovakia. No financial terms were disclosed in that deal.

Robbins in his five-year reign as Cisco’s top executive continues to move the company away from its traditional base of communications hardware and related services to more software and solutions. He also continues to grow Cisco through a variety of acquisitions even as the tech giant slices other costs totalling some $900 million through early retirements and layoffs.

In August, Cisco moved to acquire BabbleLabs for its technology designed to improve audio used in videoconferencing.

IMIglobail is also seen by Cisco as providing a major boost to its Webex videoconferencing services where business has grown due to the global pandemic.

“A great customer relationship is built on consistently enjoyable interactions where every touchpoint on every channel is an opportunity for businesses to deliver rich, engaging and intuitive experiences,” said Jeetu Patel, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Security and Applications business. “We look forward to working with IMImobile to help create a comprehensive CXaaS [customer experience as a service] solution for the market—one that gives businesses a platform to provide delightful experiences across the entire customer lifecycle journey.”

Key benefits of the IMImobile deal, according to Cisco, include:

  • Intelligent: Using AI along the entire customer journey to create super agents and augmented frontline employees.
  • Contextual: Providing the customer data needed to personalize interactions.
  • Collaborative: Empowering employee collaboration in order to deliver 10x better customer experiences.
  • Omnichannel: Connecting with customers in their channel of choice—text, social or voice—throughout the customer journey
  • Programmable: Giving the business the ability to orchestrate workflows and personalize customer journeys

Cisco describes Slido as one that “provides a best-in-class audience interaction platform. Slido technology enables higher levels of user engagement―before, during and after meetings and events.”

The company already draws some 7 million users a month.

Cisco reports spending $900M on early retirements, severance, termination benefits

Weeks after announcing $1B in cost cuts, Cisco finds funds to acquire BabbleLabs