August 25, 2020

Cisco Announces Intent To Acquire BabbleLabs To Improve Video Meeting Experience

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —
News Summary:
Intent to acquire BabbleLabs’ noise…

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ —

News Summary:

  • Intent to acquire BabbleLabs’ noise removal and speech enhancement technology furthers Cisco’s commitment to deliver an exceptional video meeting experience from anywhere and on any device through the Webex application.
  • Acquisition builds upon a focused technology and talent strategy to continue to integrate intelligence into the Cisco Collaboration platform – helping users work smarter and be more productive.
  • Promotes Customer Privacy and Cloud Security by processing noise removal 100 percent at the source where the noise happens (on the client side), aligning with Cisco’s culture of security by design.

Work is what you do, not where you go. With this reality, unwanted background noise has become one of the most common and frustrating distractions in today’s work environment. To help users control unwanted noise in meetings–be it from barking dogs, lawn mowers, a car alarm or sirens–Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced its intent to acquire privately held BabbleLabs, Inc. headquartered in Campbell, CA.

BabbleLabs uses advanced AI (Artificial Intelligence) techniques to distinguish human speech from unwanted noise, enhancing the quality of communications and conferencing applications. BabbleLabs goes beyond existing noise suppression technology solutions by:

  • Distinguishing speech from background noise;
  • Removing background noise in real-time; and
  • Enhancing the voice to elevate communication, regardless of language.

According to a Cisco global survey* focused on the future of work, 98 percent of workers say they experience frustration from distractions during video meetings when working from home. Two of the top 5 frustrations called out are about background noise—either from other participants or their own side of the call.

With the addition of BabbleLabs, Cisco will bring native noise removal capability to its entire Collaboration portfolio. Initially, Cisco will focus on integrating BabbleLabs to deliver a best-in-class audio experience to Webex Meetings users – wherever they are and however they connect via the Webex application (whether via a conference room or mobile device). A great user experience is also a secure user experience. BabbleLabs complements Cisco’s focus on secure and private collaboration by processing noise removal 100 percent at the source where the noise happens (on the client side). In doing so, BabbleLabs aligns to strict data policies that underpin Cisco’s culture of security by design.

“A great meeting experience starts with great audio,” said Jeetu Patel, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Security and Applications Business Unit. “We’re thrilled to welcome BabbleLabs’ team of highly skilled engineers. Their technology is going to provide our customers with yet another important innovation – automatically removing unwanted noise – to continue enabling exceptional Webex meeting experiences.”

“BabbleLabs is excited to become part of Cisco and the Collaboration Group,” said Chris Rowen, CEO and co-founder of BabbleLabs. “The Cisco team shares our passion about speech as the core of collaboration and communication. Cisco’s Collaboration platform will enable us to quickly scale our exceptional speech enhancement technology for the hundreds of millions of Webex users.”

Key Facts: 

  • The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s FY21, subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals.
  • Upon completion of the transaction, the BabbleLabs team will join the Cisco Collaboration Group, led by Javed Khan, senior vice president and general manager, which is part of the Cisco Security and Applications Business, led by Jeetu Patel.
  • Cisco Collaboration is trusted by 95 percent of the Fortune 500.

The BabbleLabs acquisition builds on Cisco’s investments in AI technology and talent over the last three years – all designed to make collaboration more intelligent, secure, effective and productive. Cisco is uniquely focused on every phase of work and meetings. This includes: before meetings by serving insights into people attending the meeting, or being able to see who’s on before you join and more; during meetings through optimized audio and video, blurred or custom background across any OS, touchless sharing of ideas and files, automated note taking, live transcription, and more; as well as after meetings by automatically sending meeting notes with spoken action items.

Additional Resources

  • For more details, read the blog from Cisco Collaboration Group leader, Javed Khan.
  • Read the blog from BabbleLabs Co-Founder and CEO Chris Rowen.
  • For more information on Cisco Webex visit https://www.webex.com/.

* Soon to be released, this survey covers the changing working environment as a result of COVID 19. In July 2020 we surveyed 1,569 qualified participants globally—knowledge workers, IT, HR and facilities professionals at small to larger enterprise companies representing all seniority levels. China, APAC, EMEA, and North America.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet. Cisco inspires new possibilities by reimagining your applications, securing your data, transforming your infrastructure, and empowering your teams for a global and inclusive future. Discover more on The Network and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

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Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco’s trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the acquisition building upon a strategy to continue to integrate intelligence into the Cisco Collaboration platform, the acquisition bringing native noise removal capability to Cisco’s entire Collaboration portfolio, the expected completion of the acquisition and the timeframe in which this will occur, the expected benefits to Cisco and its customers from completing the acquisition, and plans regarding BabbleLabs personnel. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual future events or results due to a variety of factors, including, among other things, that conditions to the closing of the transaction may not be satisfied, the potential impact on the business of BabbleLabs due to the uncertainty about the acquisition, the retention of employees of BabbleLabs and the ability of Cisco to successfully integrate BabbleLabs and to achieve expected benefits, business and economic conditions and growth trends in the networking industry, customer markets and various geographic regions, global economic conditions and uncertainties in the geopolitical environment, and other risk factors set forth in Cisco’s most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. Any forward-looking statements in this release are based on limited information currently available to Cisco, which is subject to change, and Cisco will not necessarily update the information.

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SOURCE Cisco Systems, Inc.