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Cisco Acquires Synata to Solve a Tricky Problem: How Do You Search What You Can’t See?

- March 8, 2016 - 3 Comments

I recently bought a new home and even before I’d signed the papers I was mentally making a punch-list of things I wanted to change and improve.

The Cisco Spark team loves punch lists, too. From the beginning, two things have been at the top of our list: world-class security and incredible search.

Just like I don’t put my passwords on sticky notes, I don’t want my team’s communications lying around unencrypted on a server somewhere – open to any sys admin or hacker who breaches the system. And as for search, well, I want not just today’s best search technology but the search technology of the future.

While we have recently released secure search in Cisco Spark, we’ve always envisioned it being even better. Advances in deep learning and artificial intelligence are making it possible for computers to predict what you want almost before you know it yourself. That’s what we want for Cisco Spark. We want it to be like that good friend who can finish your sentences. Super-fast. Almost uncannily accurate.

Some said we couldn’t have it both ways. Super-secure, they said, means super-difficult to search.

We thought those people were wrong. So did the founders of a little company called Synata, Inc. They were working hard to solve the tricky problem of how you search something you can’t see…something like highly encrypted data in the cloud.

Today, in addition to announcing Cisco Spark’s availability and the creation of the Cisco Spark Innovation Fund, I am pleased to announce that Cisco has acquired Synata. Its talented engineers are now part of the Cisco Spark team. Read more on Rob Salvagno’s blog here.

When I first saw what Synata could do on top of Cisco Spark’s end-to-end encryption—without negatively impacting speed or usability—it blew me away. I am excited to welcome these pioneers in encrypted search into our team. And we are all excited to deliver super-powered search to Cisco Spark users everywhere soon.

Heavy-duty security plus search that makes you smile—what a great combination! What a great team!

What else will the Cisco Spark team do that “they” say can’t be done? Stay tuned as we keep hitting that punch list hard. And what is on your punch list for the tools you use to get your best work done? Please let me know @rowantrollope

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  1. This will be key. Search has been an excuse by many to continue filling my inbox with emails instead of using real-time communications.

    How different would Spark searches be after we complete this acquisition & incorporate their technology ?

    Can't wait to see what else it can do with the search data.