Cisco is to acquire London-based collaboration specialist Acano for $700 million (£462m) as the networking giant increasingly turns its attention towards its collaboration business, revenues from which rose by 17 percent to $1.2 billion (£790m) during the most recent quarter.
The company, now under the stewardship of new CEO Chuck Robbins following the retirement of John Chambers last year, is attempting to diversify its business away from networking towards other enterprise IT services like converged infrastructure, analytics and security.
Cisco is convinced there is a huge opportunity for collaboration software as companies demand the ability to be able to work together, and video conference from any device wherever they are.
It says Acano’s portfolio of software and hardware will allow customers to collaborate on any type of endpoint, using any type of service, whether it is on premise, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment and at scale.
The takeover is expected to be completed during the third quarter of the 2016 financial year and will see the Acano team join the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group.
“People, companies and organizations are more geographically dispersed than ever before, and collaboration is essential to helping teams increase productivity and drive growth,” said Rob Salvagno, vice president, Cisco Corporate Development. “Acano’s innovations make it easier for customers to collaborate when, where and how they want. Together, we will help our customers to extend collaboration to every room, every screen and every user.”
In June, Cisco pledged to invest $1 billion (£650m) in the UK through job creation, startup assistance and acquisition, and education, promising its programme will provide significant benefits to the British economy. Earlier this month, it opened its second office in central London a move which will double its footprint in the capital and see 300 people working on “high growth” areas like mobility and security.
Other recent acquisitions include OpenDNS, while the firm has also sold its connected devices unit to Technicolor for £388 million, and scrapped its unprofitable flash storage array line just two years after it was launched following the £268 million acquisition of Whiptail. Cisco has also agreed a wide-ranging partnership with Ericsson that will see the two firms sell each other’s products and co-develop networking and technologies as they seek to take advantage of demand for the Internet of Things (IoT).