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Cisco to invest $500 mln in Germany, $150 mln in Slack Technologies

By Staff Writer | Mar 09, 2016 12:57 AM EST
NEW DELHI, INDIA - JUNE 18: John Chambers, chairman and outgoing CEO CISCO Systems during a news conference on June 18, 2015 in New Delhi, India. US technology giant Cisco said that it is committed towards manufacturing in India and will invest USD 2 billion in the country this year. The company, which pumps in USD 1.7 billion every year will invest additional USD 60 million in India on training and facility expansion. (Photo : Saumya Khandelwal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Cisco Systems Inc has decided to invest $500 million in Germany and $150 million in Slack Technologies Inc. Cisco will work closely with German public sector companies on technology projects and help technology startups build apps that work with Spark eco system.

The San Jose-based Cisco Systems Inc has firmed up two investment plans. As part of this, it'll invest $500 million in Germany in the next three years and $150-mln to business messaging specialist Slack Technologies Inc. The technology giant has already bought Synata, a San Francisco-based data-searching startup.

Market Watch reports that Germany has been a major market and is offering business potential to technology companies in data security and privacy space. Cisco will help Germany speed up the country's digitization program, which covers investments in startups and venture funds. It will  also collaborate with public sector companies on technology projects.

Currently, Cisco is in the process of providing its popular Slack service with Spark, its own collaboration tool. This facilitates employees to post messages in a fashion designed to cut down on email. Cisco has integrated Spark with its voice and videoconferencing offerings.

Cisco is investing $150 million on cloud collaboration and Cisco Spark ecosystem which is for developers to get innovative ideas from the outside. Cisco Spark service is considered to be the industry's first integrated cloud-based collaboration service. Cisco Network, a platform for developers, has created a fund to invest $150 million in Cisco Spark ecosystem. The fund covers direct investments, joint development, enhancements and developer support, as reported by Cisco the network.

Rowan Trollope, Cisco senior vice president who also oversees its collaboration offerings, said that the $150 million Spark Innovation Fund would focus on helping companies in building apps. The activity of fund will be developing apps that work with Spark or otherwise fostering an 'ecosystem' around the service. 

Trollope said "In some cases, Cisco will take equity stakes in startups, in other cases it may fund joint development projects or take other steps to help developers."

Cisco is the biggest manufacturer of networking equipment. The technology major has been forging alliances with the US and other foreign government agencies, also playing a key role in formulating technology policies and handling major procurements. Cisco decided in 2015 to invest over $10 billion in China as part of its long-term plan for the world's second largest economy, as reported by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Spark team will enhance its research and security applications. Meanwhile, Synata technology includes capability to search through documents that have been store in an encrypted form, which is much advanced compared with conventional search engines.

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