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Slido’s online events expertise will enhance the capabilities of Cisco’s Webex videoconferencing platform, which competes with Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Cisco Systems has announced plans to acquire Slido, a startup that enables companies to provide a better experience for audiences attending online events such as virtual conferences and webinars.

Specifically, Slido provides a cloud service that lets people moderate questions and interactions from a larger group. Their solution works for both virtual conferences as well as in live events.

The company has established itself as a useful way of managing engagement during large videoconferences with a number of participants. Slido works particularly well when the “floor” was open to questions from the audience.

In a blog post this week, the Slido Team claims that Slido will enhance WebEx, but that Cisco plans to also maintain Slido as a standalone offering.

Meeting the shift to “virtual everything”

Abhay Kulkarni, VP/GM of WebEx Meetings for Cisco, announced the acquisition in his own blog post.

“In the massive shift to ‘virtual everything,’ remote meetings and events have become the lifeblood for connecting people in all aspects of their lives.” he writes. “Companies are rethinking how they maintain bonds, foster culture and make virtual experiences with employees, sales and customers―on small and large scales―inclusive and better than in-person interactions.”

“Slido has over 7 million participants monthly and provides its customers with an inclusive audience engagement platform that enables real-time feedback and insight before, during and after any meeting or event,” he says. Slido does this via dynamic polls, Q&A, quizzes, word clouds, surveys and more, he added.

“With Slido’s technology, Cisco will integrate even more insights into the Webex platform to help everyone work smarter and be more productive,” says Kulkarni. “We are going to enable companies around the world that have traditionally relied on in-person events like townhalls, all hands meetings and major user conferences to make sure everyone is engaged and included.”

Tip: Cisco takes on Teams and Slack with Webex