Cisco buys Tropo, eyes collaboration platform as a service

Cisco acquires Tropo, which provides a platform for integrating SMS and voice calls into applications.

Cisco on Thursday said it will acquire Tropo, a company that provides a cloud application programming interface platform.

The acquisition of privately-held Tropo gives Cisco a key component to offer what the networking giant calls a collaboration platform-as-a-service. This collaboration platform in theory would allow Cisco customers to create communications services without a lot of development.

Tropo has more than 200,000 developers. Cisco's goal is to extend its developer network and ecosystem to be more of a cloud collaboration player as well as an application provider. Tropo's platform can provide voice calls as well as texts.

With the move, Cisco will compete directly with Twilio.

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Traditionally, Cisco's software has been used to run its hardware and systems. Cisco has been breaking apart that effort so it can license its software without the hardware.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Cisco said it is committed to build Tropo's ecosystem as well as add new features and support.

Tropo's business model revolves around free services, charges for production use and enterprise pricing.

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