Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Aliph in Collaboration Deal With Cisco–Jawbones in the Workplace?

Today at a partner event, Cisco will unveil a wide-ranging collaboration with Aliph–a San Francisco start-up that is famous for its noise-cancelling Jawbone Bluetooth mobile headset–to deploy its software and device in its IP phones in the enterprise.

It is a big win for Aliph, since the networking giant is a dominant player in the arena to provide telephony solutions to businesses, part of its Voice and Unified Communications division.

The idea, said sources, is to use the Jawbone device and the software that manages it to allow workers to move around an office and have the call move with them, echoing increasingly mobile consumer behavior.

BoomTown had heard rumors of intense interest in Aliph by Cisco (CSCO) months ago and assumed a purchase to add to its growing consumer portfolio, such as its recent acquisition of Pure Digital’s Flip camera line.

But that did not turn out to be the case–instead it is more a partnership, said sources, to use Aliph’s technology.

The company was formally launched in 2006–in fact, at the D: All Things Digital conference–by Alexander Asseily and Hosain Rahman, who met as Stanford University undergraduates. It is funded by Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

With the stylish and innovative Jawbone–the most recent of which is reviewed here by The Mossberg Solution’s Katherine Boehret–Aliph turned a lot of heads in the wireless headset space, aimed directly at high-end consumers.

Now, it is apparently pivoting into the workplace.

While Rahman confirmed the collaboration, he did not give a lot of details, although he did agree to sit down with me last night to broadly sketch out the new relationship.

Here’s the video of the interview:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work