Cisco said it will acquire Accompany, an AI-based startup focused on sales relationships, $270 million in cash and put the company's CEO in charge of its collaboration group.
Accompany CEO Amy Chang will now be in charge of Cisco's collaboration portfolio that includes Spark and WebEx--two products that are being combined.
Cisco added that Rowan Trollope, general manager of the company's collaboration group, will leave to become a CEO at another company May 3.
The move is notable since Accompany sounds more like Salesforce and sales automation than collaboration. Cisco's bet is that Chang can put artificial intelligence front and center in its collaboration tools.
Chang's mission will be to add user and customer profile data to Webex meetings.
Chuck Robbins, Cisco CEO, said machine learning and AI provides a "a tremendous opportunity" for collaboration.
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