Cisco To Acquire WebEx

Shabana Qadri March 16, 2007 16:21:35 IST
Cisco To Acquire WebEx

Cisco Systems, a network equipment maker has announced its decision to buy online video conferencing company WebEx Communications for $3.2 billion. The move highlights Cisco's expansion from its main business of making routers to an increasing focus on unified communications.

"WebEx's strength in the small-to-medium business (SMB) market would help Cisco expand its customer base. Cisco is already ubiquitous in large enterprises, and it has been working to develop a similar or larger presence in SMB as well," said Prudential analyst Inder Singh.

According to Cisco chief development officer Charles Giancarlo, "WebEx's network-based technology is a natural extension of Cisco's vision for unified communications and collaboration. This vision is to give users inside and outside the workplace the ability to interact collaboratively over the open platform of Internet."

The deal has been approved by the board of directors of both companies and is expected to close in late July. It would be Cisco’s largest acquisition since it purchased Scientific-Atlanta for $7 billion last year.

Cisco has been working on Web conferencing services and launched a high-end video conference product, TelePresence, last year.

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