This was a good acquisition for Cisco on a number of fronts.
I read Eric’s blog on the acquisition of Versly and he debates on whether this was a good acquisition for Cisco or not. I’d like to weigh in with my thoughts. In case you didn’t read Eric’s blog (and you should), Versly is a small start up based in San Francisco that focuses on allowing users to collaborate at the document level using Microsoft Office applications. From what I understand, Versly is very small, only about 10 people in total so the risk here to Cisco is marginal. It’s akin to the first-place Red Sox (and this year’s World Series champs) trading for Eric Bedard. There’s a high amount of upside possible with very little downside risk.
In my opinion, this was a good acquisition for Cisco on a number of fronts. Make no mistake–the acquisition was as much about talent as it is about the product itself. During the latest analyst roundtable with CEO Chambers, he specifically pointed out that the company wanted to bring in more high level application talent; Versly is loaded with it. Versly has talent from BEA, Weblogic, Sun and others including one of the original Java team members. No offense to Cisco, but the company isn’t exactly brimming with application talent, so the Versly team will be a welcome addition into Cisco. I certainly don’t think this is the only acquisition Cisco will be making in the application space, but it’s a good start.