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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Voicea*

Turn Talk Into Action

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SAN JOSE, Calif. – On August 6, 2019, Cisco announced its intent to acquire Voicea*, a privately held voice focused Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology company based in Mountain View, CA. 

In March 2019, Cisco unveiled its vision on how tools and technologies are collectively forming a new approach to work and productivity, called Cognitive Collaboration. This new approach slipstreams intelligence and context throughout all collaboration experiences.

With Voicea technology, Cisco will enhance its Webex portfolio with a powerful transcription service that blends AI and Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) to unlock the power of any collaboration, like meetings and calls. With Voicea, meetings become a treasure trove of digital meeting notes. Meetings can not only be transcribed, but highlighted, made searchable, and bring action items to the forefront. Attendees and non-attendees can quickly gather the most relevant information from these digital notes and insights, turning a block of text into an inbox of insightful/relevant information. 

This acquisition reflects Cisco’s vision of Cognitive Collaboration, interoperability, and workplace transformation through combining the power of AI, ML, software, hardware, and the network to remove friction and get work done faster and smarter.

*Rizio Inc., is doing business as Voicea.

Q: Can you explain Voicea’s offering?
A:
  Voicea’s advanced capabilities include meeting transcription, voice search, meeting highlights, and automatically capturing and initiating action items. With Voicea, meetings become a treasure trove of digital meeting notes. Meetings can not only be transcribed, but highlighted, made searchable, and bring action items to the forefront. Attendees and non-attendees can quickly gather the most relevant information from these digital notes and insights, turning a block of text into an inbox of insightful/relevant information. All of this while preserving the highest data privacy and security standards. Now teams can have efficient meetings by turning talk into action.

Q: What is the strategic importance of the Voicea acquisition to Cisco’s strategy?
A:
Today more than ever, organizations are looking to transform their workplaces and workflows in order to remove friction improve their business processes and technology. Teams must collaborate seamless and accelerate their ability to make decisions and get work done. Cisco Webex is at the forefront of driving workplace transformation through the use of our collaboration technology. And where so many people spend so much time in meetings, whatever can be done to get the most out of those meetings is critical.  In fact, 89% of survey respondents want their meeting tool to be smart, proactively providing information to meeting participants based the context of the meeting subject and attendees. Additionally, Cisco’s goal is to be a leader in Cognitive Collaboration. Voicea’s service help people get the more information and insight out of meetings…not just a block transcript of the conversation, but actual insight into key highlights and action items. That is the unique capability that Voicea will provide to our Cognitive Collaboration story.

Q: How will Voicea’s products be integrated in to Cisco’s collaboration portfolio?
A:
The Voicea portfolio currently has several potential areas of connection with Cisco’s Webex collaboration portfolio. Over the next few months, we will be evaluating our portfolios and will share more details around integration plans at close.

Q: Was Cisco previously working with Voicea prior to the acquisition announcement and if so, in what capacity?
A:
Yes, as an OEM.

Q: How might this acquisition impact current Voicea customers?
A:
Until this deal closes, Cisco and Voicea will be functioning as two separate companies. After close, we will work diligently to integrate Voicea into Cisco’s products as smoothly as possible and to deliver the greatest value to our customers. As we move forward to develop product roadmaps, we will keep customers informed on any changes.

Voicea Customers and Partners:
If you are an existing customer or partner of Voicea and have questions about your product or service, please continue to contact your existing Voicea sales representative.

Cisco Customers and Partners:
If you are an existing customer or partner of Cisco and have questions about your product or services, please continue to contact your existing Cisco sales representative.

Cisco is dedicated to your success and profitability. We will maintain business continuity while making significant investments to bring next-generation Collaboration solutions to market.   

Between now and when the acquisition closes, Cisco and Voicea will continue to operate as separate companies. Existing Voicea Partners should continue to contact their Voicea representative. Existing Cisco Partners should continue to contact their Cisco Partner Account Manager (PAM).

Voicea customers should continue to use the existing process for support on installed Voiceaproducts. Cisco will notify you in advance of any change to the support process.

Cisco customers should continue to use the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) for technical support on Cisco products. For more information about opening a technical support case and for regional TAC telephone numbers, refer to Cisco Worldwide Support Contacts.

Better Together

Together, Cisco and Voicea will enable organizations to experience less friction, more magic moments and more productivity no matter the tools they use to get work done.