Cisco adds AI to Spark collaboration platform with MindMeld buy
Cisco plans to use MindMeld’s AI platform to enhance its Spark platform and other enterprise collaboration solutions
Cisco has announced its intention to buy California-based artificial intelligence (AI) platform developer MindMeld to enhance its Spark collaboration portfolio by introducing new conversational interfaces for its office products.
MindMeld specialises in applying machine learning to help users better interact with voice and chat assistants. Cisco said it plans to use these to bring voice AI and natural language commands to the enterprise meeting room, where it is already close to having a ubiquitous presence.
Cisco, for its part, already uses AI and machine learning in a number of its enterprise offerings, including Stealthwatch, Spark Board, and Spark Room Kit, and is working on capabilities that will eventually enable autonomous network and datacentre management, predictive security and analytics, and so on.
“The workplace of the future is one powered by AI,” said Rowan Trollope, senior vice-president of Cisco’s internet of things and applications group.
“This is a significant step towards making that workplace a reality. Integrating MindMeld into the Cisco Spark platform will transform how users interact in Cisco Spark Spaces, Cisco Spark Meetings, and Cisco Spark Care.”
At close, expected during the fourth quarter of Cisco’s financial year, MindMeld’s team will form the core of a new Cognitive Collaboration team in Cisco’s Cloud Collaboration group, led by senior vice-president and general manager Jens Meggers.
A number of other suppliers, including Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce, have already introduced AI into their own collaboration platforms, but besides enabling users to interact with collaboration technology in a more natural way, AI and machine learning technologies are beginning to become established in other areas of networking and communications technology.
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