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Cisco to Acquire API Specialist Tropo

Networking giant wants to make a bigger push into the API economy by acquiring Tropo and its real-time voice, video and messaging APIs.

Sarah Thomas

May 7, 2015

2 Min Read
Cisco to Acquire API Specialist Tropo

In a bid to increase its focus on real-time communications, Cisco plans to acquire application programming interface (API) vendor Tropo.

Tropo specializes in real-time voice, video and messaging APIs that help telcos monetize their network assets through third-party app development. It works with both enterprises and telcos, including Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and Globe in the Philippines, and has partnerships with companies such as IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)-owned Apcera. (See Apcera, Tropo Bring APIs to PaaS and PaaS It On: Ericsson Buys Into Cloud Startup Apcera.)

What attracted Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) to the privately held company is the important role Tropo plays in enabling the API economy. According to Heavy Reading analyst Caroline Chappell, the API economy is all about mashing up pieces of software-based function from different sources, through programmatic interfaces, to create new services to attract new customers.

Want to know more about the API economy? This will be just one of the many topics covered at Light Reading's second Big Telecom Event on June 9-10 in Chicago. Get yourself registered today or get left behind!

Tropo enables this type of on-the-fly, customized service creation via its APIs, and Cisco sees the opportunity in marrying that to its cloud, as well as using these APIs to bring real-time communications to the Internet of Things (IoT). It's also likely interested in tapping Tropo's 200,000-strong developer community. (See Cisco CEO: Get Ready for New Digital World and Apigee Aims to Provide IoT's Missing Link.)

"Helping people connect, engage and innovate on any device, Cisco and Tropo will provide a collaboration platform-as-a-service, which allows our customers and developers to create and sell new communications services with minimal development effort," Hilton Romanski, head of corporate business development at Cisco, wrote in a blog post on the deal.

Tropo will join Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group under SVP and GM Rowan Trollope, where its cloud API platform will be combined with Cisco's cloud collaboration offers. Terms of the deal were not announced, but Cisco expects it to close in the fourth quarter of this year. (See Validating Cisco's Service Provider Virtualization & Cloud Portfolio.)

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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