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Cisco Systems, continuing to look into markets outside the network infrastructure sector that it already leads, Aug. 29 announced that it is acquiring 2-year-old collaboration software maker Versly.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

San Francisco-based Versly’s speciality is that it brings Microsoft applications into social networking. It integrates employee and supply-chain collaboration within a private cloud using its proprietary plug-in to Office applications, such as PowerPoint, Excel, Word and Outlook email.

CEO John Chambers has said that collaboration software and services is one of Cisco’s top five company priorities for the short term, a market Cisco believes to be in the neighborhood of $45 billion. The acquisition will provide opportunities for the company’s partners to provide enhanced collaboration solutions to their own customers, Cisco said.

Versly’s software gives Cisco collaboration users a lot more latitude when communicating with colleagues. It will be integrated into several of Cisco’s existing collaboration products, including Quad (enterprise collaboration platform), Jabber (social networking) and WebEx (video conferencing).

For example, users now will be able to receive automatic notifications within Cisco Quad when the content of a document has changed, move from simply reviewing a document to an instant-messaging session through Jabber, or initiate a Web conferencing session from a presentation through WebEx. 

"Collaboration is a top priority at Cisco. With this acquisition, we’re enhancing our collaboration offerings and improving the user experience by integrating social technologies within the business applications individuals and teams use at work," said Murali Sitaram, Cisco Systems vice president and general manager of the Collaboration Software Group.

"Furthermore, the integration with Versly will drive productivity improvements for organizations and their knowledge workers, many of whom are among the 600 million Microsoft Office users."

Upon the close of the acquisition later this quarter, Versly’s 10 employees will be integrated into Cisco CSG, Cisco said.


To read the original eWeek article, click here: Cisco Acquires Collaboration Provider Versly