Today is arguably the most interesting and thought provoking day in the history of the conferencing business because of the Cisco announcement about their acquisition of WebEx. We've seen other conferencing acquisitions in the past, but this announcement reflects more than just an acquisition. It's really a peek into the future of virtualization and has implications for a range of productivity and cultural issues in mediated environments. Cisco's new high-end video telepresence initiatives, its recent social networking acquisitions, and a redefinition of itself now combined with WebEx's formidable market share for web conferencing services and ecosystem plans for WebEx Connect create so many angles from which to evaluate and understand this milestone of an announcement.
Here's What We Link! ...We borrow and twist that phrase from our talented east cost and west coast analyst friends in the conferencing industry; check out the links in the Conferencing News headlines that are full of opinion, commentary, and analysis about the Cisco acquisition of WebEx, two of the most important companies that will continue to make the real world virtual and the virtual world real. It remains to be seen how they'll execute. But in the conferencing and collaboration space, as we've stated before, no one has beaten WebEx at branding, and Cisco will no doubt benefit from WebEx's skills in the marketing of remote collaboration.
As we said recently, we love the smell of M&A in the morning, and more is surely on the way. What today's announcement means to Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, SalesForce and many of the pure-play conferencing providers will be interesting to watch.
March 15, 2007