This week, Cisco announced the acquisition of Collaborate.com, a Boston-based work management solution. The company, formerly known at Kibits, raised at least $1 million from Google Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, SOSventures, LaunchCapital, and Common Angels (according to Business Insider).
I confess that I knew nothing about Collaborate, and was surprised by the announcement as it seemed like Cisco was moving away from collaboration after — in my mind — smothering the promising Quad work management solution in the poisoned embrace of the Webex brand, renaming it WebEx Social, and then ceasing all effective promotion of the tool (see Cisco sees a decline, and collaboration is flat).
The press-release, er, blog post at Cisco makes no mention of WebEx Social, and it reads more like an acquihire:
Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s acquisition of Collaborate.com to help capture this market transition in mobility and cloud. Collaborate’s skilled team of cloud and mobile software developers has created a mobile collaboration application that provides unified document sharing, task management and team communication capabilities, enabling today’s mobile workforce to collaborate with team members on projects. Workers can instantly create virtual collaboration rooms where they can chat and share documents, notes, photos and videos.
Collaborate’s platform integrates with email and third party cloud services to make collaborating efficiently with others while on-the-go that much easier. Collaborate’s flexibility also enables teams to integrate collaboration and communication into their enterprise workstreams, as the application helps keep teams aligned and accelerates decision-making.
Cisco’s acquisition of Collaborate supports our goal of driving market leadership in Collaboration. Together, Cisco and Collaborate plan to provide a comprehensive solution that enables the mobile workforce to work smarter and more efficiently from virtually anywhere. Collaborate’s cutting-edge technology and strong engineers as part of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group will help accelerate Cisco’s innovation in Collaboration.
Notably unmentioned is what roles the CEO Matt Cutler and CTO David Greenstein will play in the Collaboration Technology Group.
A number of existing WebEx Social users wondered about the future of the product at the blog, and got no answers from Hilton Romanski, Cisco’s SVP/Head of Business Development:
A number of others pushed for more answers, like this, but Romanski gave an answer that really says nothing
My sense is they acquired for the mobile smarts and the clients. Here’s some images of the iPhone, showing integration with various file sync-and-share services.