Cisco completes the IMImobile acquisition

Cisco plans to use IMImobile's messaging and voice APIs to bolster its cloud contact center offering. The executive team of the U.K.-based company has joined Cisco.

Cisco has completed the $730 million acquisition of IMImobile, a communications-platform-as-a-service provider.

Cisco completed the deal this week, which it had first announced in December. IMImobile will join Cisco's Contact Center business unit. Cisco said it will combine IMImobile's CPaaS offering with its cloud contact center product.

IMImobile is a U.K.-based company that specializes in cloud-based messaging APIs. Customers use the technology to interact with clients over voice, SMS, email, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Apple Business Chat, WeChat and Google RCS.

IMImobile will let Cisco customers construct contact center workflows without much coding. According to COMMfusion analyst Blair Pleasant, customers can add steps such as identifying a caller, looking up a caller in a database, matching up a caller with their history, sending out notifications, and routing a call without going through IT.

"In the past, it's been really hard to create these workflows for the contact center," Pleasant said. "With the IMImobile capabilities -- what they call the flow builder -- it's more drag and drop."

IDC analyst Courtney Munroe said IMImobile was one of the top 10 players in the CPaaS field. Twilio currently leads that section of the market, while IMImobile had about a 5% market share last year.

"I think it's a good move on the part of Cisco," Munroe said. He cautioned, however, that Cisco had trouble with its first CPaaS acquisition, Tropo, in 2015. Cisco was unsuccessful in integrating the service into its collaboration, communications and contact center strategy.

Cisco said it will bring on the entire IMImobile team. IMImobile CEO Jay Patel will assume the role of vice president and general manager of the IMImobile team inside of Cisco and will report to Omar Tawakol, general manager of the contact center business unit.

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