Cisco Systems, the San Jose, Calif.–based technology giant, has agreed to buy WebEx, a leading provider of webconferencing and online meeting technology, for about $3.2 billion.

WebEx, founded in 1995, provides technologies and services that allow individuals to hold meetings, collaborate, and share documents over the Internet. According to the company’s figures, it owns 64 percent of the webconferencing market and is used by 3.5 million people every month. The Santa Clara, Calif.–based company will become part of Cisco’s development organization.

The purchase is part of Cisco’s strategy of bolstering its communications capabilities--that is, bringing voice, video, data, instant messaging, and e-mail telecommunications together in a single online platform.

“Cisco believes the network is a platform for all forms of communications and collaboration, and WebEx’s technology and services portfolio complement Cisco’s leadership in the unified communications and collaboration market, while providing Cisco with a new and unique business model to expand its presence in the fast-growing SMB (small-to-medium business) market,” said Charles Giancarlo, chief development officer at Cisco, in a statement.