HomeNewsCisco Acquires Voicea, Enhances Webex with AI and Speech Recognition

Cisco Acquires Voicea, Enhances Webex with AI and Speech Recognition

Cisco-Logo-Transparent-Alpha-Channel-PNG-High-Quality-Large-versionSan Jose, US, August 6, 2019 — Cisco is preparing the acquisition of Rizio Inc, doing business as “Voicea”, in order to bolster the capabilities of their Webex collaboration solution. With the Voicea technology, it is likely that they will add features such as transcription and advanced analytics. In combination with translation engines, this could lead to video communication with live translation through closed captions or machine voice-overs. The cost of this acquisition has not been disclosed by either of the two parties.

How do these two match up in a unified communications world?

Cisco is a multinational technology giant that deals with manufacturing and sales of telecommunications equipment, networking hardware, and other high-tech services and products like Webex. You may know Webex as the leading enterprise solution for video conferencing, online meetings, webinars, and screen share.

Now, Cisco has recently announced its intention to acquire Voicea, a private company known for its real-time solutions. These solutions include meeting transcriptions and highlights/action items, as well as voice search, with strong data privacy mechanisms. With these in mind, the acquisition will be a true game-changer, especially for Webex.

Webex itself counts more than 130 million people using its services every month. On top of that, more than 360 million meetings take place on Webex every year. So I’m sure you realize how big this announcement is for Webex.

Perks of bringing Voicea into the mix

This acquisition will enrich Cisco’s Webex portfolio with a strong transcription service that combines AI and Automated Speech Recognition (ASR). The aim is to unlock the power of any collaboration and supplement meetings with digital meeting notes and insights. These would help attendees and non-attendees alike to have better access to the most relevant information. Furthermore, they will all be able to complete their work assignments in a faster and smarter fashion.

Similar things already happened in consumer space: Skype Now Also Translates Japanese in Real-Time

The acquisition is in line with Cisco’s vision of cognitive collaboration, interoperability, and workplace transformation. Moreover, the company wants to turn this vision into reality by combining the power of AI, ML, hardware, software, and network.

Amy Chang, senior vice president, and general manager at Cisco Collaboration, expressed the company’s enthusiasm. According to her, this acquisition will allow it to rise above providing basic transcription services. It will also be able to deliver its vision of AI-driven, cognitive collaboration across its portfolio.

Cisco will finalize the acquisition during Q1 of the company’s fiscal year in 2020, under the customary closing conditions and necessary regulatory approvals.

Photo credits: The featured image has been taken by Annie Spratt. The logo used is owned by Cisco and was provided for press usage.
Sources: (Cisco Blogs) / The Network

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Sead Fadilpasic
Freelance writer / journalist / blogger. Tech enthusiast and gadget freak. Guitarist. Previously Al Jazeera journalist.