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RingCentral, Cisco End Year with Acquisitions


Two companies coming together
Image: metamorworks -
Just as COVID-19 shaped the unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) industry in 2020, acquisitions have also left their mark on a tumultuous year. And as we wrap up the year, there appears to be no slowing down, as we learned of two acquisitions this week, one from RingCentral and another from Cisco.
RingCentral Boosts Video Story with AI
First, RingCentral yesterday announced that it closed a deal to acquire DeepAffects, a conversational AI company, to boost its video AI capabilities.
With the acquisition, RingCentral will enhance the pre-meeting, during-meeting, and post-meeting experience with speech analysis and emotional sentiment recognition, RingCentral said. With the DeepAffects platform, the Glip platform can recognize emotional sentiment and then categories the conversation based on emotional cues, like pitch, intensity, etc., RingCentral said. The DeepAffects platform can also identify an individual speaker based on their voice and can convert audio to text, RingCentral said. Additionally, speech recognition can recognize multiple languages and variants, including accents, and can transcribe non-native English speaker’s audio, RingCentral said. Terms of the deal were undisclosed as of press time.
As the video market continues to heat up following the COVID-19 remote work boom, the next fight appears to be over which vendor can provide the best-added features, Irwin Lazar, VP and service director at Nemertes Research, told No Jitter. The DeepAffects acquisition demonstrates "the ability for meeting apps to capture notes, transcripts, and action items [has become] table stakes," and more importantly, meeting app buyers are willing to pay for them, Lazar said. And from a market position perspective, with this acquisition, RingCentral can "keep pace with recent announcements from Cisco, Microsoft, and Zoom," and it gives them a slight advantage in voice analytics, Lazar explained.
Cisco Acquires Dashbase for Data Capabilities
While RingCentral was busy closing a video deal, Cisco today revealed its acquisition with Dashbase, an enterprise software company, to enhance its AppDynamics analytics and data. With Dashbase integration, AppDynamics users will be able to receive additional insight into performance issues. Additionally, AppDynamics users can leverage Dashbase's logs and events analytics technology to improve the case investigation and resolution process, Cisco said.
Looking ahead to 2021, there’s a good indication that more acquisitions are coming. In a recent No Jitter article, Lazar predicted that UC&C consolidation and harmonization will impact vendors and IT leaders alike in the new year. IT leaders will start to reassess their collaboration “to eliminate redundancies, reduce costs, and simplify administration, performance, and security management,” with many leaders opting for a platform over a point solution, Lazar said. And as IT leaders do this, Lazar said vendors will take note, leading to market consolidation.