The news that VMWare is acquiring SlideRocket is interesting, if a bit out of left field. What it does do is signal VMWare's move firmly into the cloud services market. VMWare has a history of acquisitions and deals with the likes of Cisco to round out its services offerings, but last year picked up Zimbra to start offering open source collaboration.
This latest move gives VMWare a high-profile app service with SlideRocket offering a web-based rival to PowerPoint and VMWare has subsequently started making noises about only just getting started as far as end-users are concerned.
They Say, We Say
VMWare's CTO, Steve Herrod has a blog post up highlighting how the company is now looking at the common, everyday problems that users face, and how it is trying to come up with ways to answer them. SlideRocket has a similar tone to its CEO's post, highlighting a glowing cloud future for all, with the companies offering, "where work becomes collaborative, social, mobile, and even fun!" While you can admire the sentiment, we'll get back to you on the fun part.
With presentations going mobile, becoming interactive and collaborative, they perhaps represent more of a future mode of operation for knowledge workers, sales teams and opinion formers, above documents and spreadsheets.
VMWare and SlideRocket seem to be banking on the fact that this method of presentation, using new features like interactive chat with clients, metrics measurement and collaborative creation among others that will see presentations become a hub in their own right, saving on the need for traditional collaboration tools.
With more end users turning to VMWare for services like this, the company can sell more of its wares and is likely looking to other acquisition targets to offer even more services. Whatever happens, SlideRocket has found a good home in VMWare and should help the IT admin's darling become a big name among end users too.