Cisco Systems to Acquire WebLine Communications
Internet-Based Communications Software Extends Web Collaboration and Email Management to Customer Support and E-Commerce Solutions
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- September 22, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held WebLine Communications of Burlington, MA. WebLine is the leading provider of customer interaction management software for Internet customer service and e-commerce. This acquisition underscores Cisco's commitment to the New World communications network of integrated data, voice and video and strengthens its strategy to create an open software platform for enterprise and service provider customers.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco common stock worth $325 million will be exchanged for all outstanding shares, warrants and options of WebLine. The acquisition will be accounted for as a pooling of interests and is expected to close in the second quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2000. This acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is subject to various closing conditions including approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
WebLine's products include web collaboration and email management tools. The web collaboration tool allows multiple parties to work collaboratively over the Internet. This software facilitates two-way information sharing of web pages, forms, applications or voice calls using a web browser. In a customer service scenario, the software works by synchronizing the web pages of both the customer and the customer service agent enabling them to work collaboratively to solve a problem. As an example of an e-commerce infrastructure application, the web collaboration tool allows people in separate locations to shop collaboratively over the Internet. The email management tools will allow large businesses to effectively manage customer contact emails in a uniform manner. The software tracks incoming customer emails similar to tracking phone calls in a customer service center and manages the routing and response process.
This acquisition complements the earlier acquisition of GeoTel. WebLine's products will be integrated with GeoTel's suite of distributed call center products. This acquisition expands Cisco's application platform to bring Internet-based technology to customer support environments.
WebLine was founded in 1996. The 120 employees will be lead by CEO Dan Keshian and will become part of the Applications Technology Group headed by Senior Vice President John Thibault. Based in Lowell, MA, the Applications Technology Group develops infrastructure applications to enable Cisco partners and customer to create solutions based on open Internet standards.
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