Cisco has revealed plans to acquire Tropo, a cloud platform provider that gives developers an easy way to embed communications into applications.
The deal will give Cisco access to a platform with over 200,000 developers, expanding the reach of the firm's communication products, developers, platforms and partners.
Tropo's platform essentially offers a cloud-supported API that allows developers to embed messaging, phone calling and voice recognition into apps without the need to be familiar with new coding languages or telephony technology.
The company offers the API for free and makes money through each communication made via the Tropo platform.
Hilton Romanski, Cisco's head of business development, revealed the purchase plans in a blog post, but did not say whether the company will continue with Tropo's current model or integrate the platform into those already offered by Cisco.
"We look forward to bringing Tropo's unique communications platform-as-a-service as a key component into Cisco's cloud collaboration platform, and welcoming Tropo's strong team into Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group," he said.
"Together, we will help extend the Cisco platform to third-party endpoints and applications via modern APIs and enable Cisco to better serve the developer community."
Romanski added that Cisco is committed to building out Tropo's existing ecosystem by offering new functionality through its own technology and adding a layer of integration with Cisco's existing products.
Tropo explained in a blog post that the acquisition will help the company to scale up. "Just about every Tropo product you know and love is here to stay and will continue to get better," he said.
Romanski also described the move as a way for Cisco to keep up with the latest trends in the industry.
"Given the market transitions of mobility, cloud and the Internet of Everything, companies are seeking simpler and faster ways to communicate internally and externally from any device in real time through the cloud," he said.
"The need for next-generation communications and collaboration platforms with modern, easy-to-use APIs is more important than ever."
Cisco appears keen to support a growing ecosystem of developers in way that allows it to keep an eye on innovation in the technology market that a company of its size might struggle to develop in-house.
This is part of the reason why Cisco relocated its growing Create IoT innovation centre to Hackney. The centre nurtures startup talent in the surrounding area through support from Cisco and other partners.
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