Cisco recently announced that it will be acquiring the artificial intelligence (AI) company Accompany. Accompany utilizes AI to help create databases for the relationships of people at companies.
Amy Chang, Founder and CEO of Accompany, equated the company’s product to a personal assistant or digital chief of staff that provides executives with the information they need before conducting a conversation or meeting.
As for how Cisco plans to incorporate Accompany into their business vertical, company leaders have stated they plan to utilize Accompany’s technology to help integrate collaboration products, including Webex meetings.
The cost of this acquisition was $270 million in both cash and stock.
Purchasing Accompany wasn’t a difficult decision for Cisco, as Chang has held a seat on Cisco’s board of directors since October 2016 — a spot she will resign from as a part of the transition. Instead, Chang will head Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group. The current Collaboration group head, Rowan Trollope, will be leaving to become CEO of Five9, a cloud software company.
Chuck Robbins, Cisco chairman and CEO, sang Chang’s praises in the purchase announcement. He feels that together they will be able to grow the company and further advance both machine learning capabilities and AI — advances that will only stand to enhance Cisco customer experience.