Cisco just announced an agreement to acquire Accompany, which uses artificial intelligence to build databases of people and relationships at companies.
Founder and CEO Amy Chang has compared the product to a digital chief of staff or personal assistant, giving executives the context they need before conversations and meetings. Cisco plans to incorporate Accompany technology into its collaboration products, for example by introducing company and individual profiles into Webex meetings.
Cisco says it will pay $270 million in cash and stock in the deal.
The company probably didn’t have to search too hard to find Accompany, since Chang (who previously served as the head of product for Google’s ad measurement and reporting) has been on Cisco’s board of directors since October 2016. As part of the transaction, she’s resigning from the board, effective immediately.
In addition, Chang will be taking over the company’s Collaboration Technology Group. Rowan Trollope, who currently leads the collaboration group, is departing to become CEO at cloud software company Five9.
“Amy has proven to be an effective and innovative leader through her years as an entrepreneur, an engineer, and CEO, and I couldn’t be more pleased to have her and the Accompany team join Cisco,” said Cisco chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins in the announcement. “Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to further enhance AI and machine learning capabilities in our collaboration portfolio and continue to create amazing collaboration experiences for customers.”
According to Crunchbase, Accompany has raised around $40 million in funding from investors including CRV, Cowboy Ventures, Iconiq Capital and Ignition Partners.
Cisco also announced today that it’s selling off some of its NDS video assets.
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