Cisco is well and truly back in the acquisition game. After a turbulent year 2011, the networking giant made its first buy this year in the form of Lightwire, a company that develops “advanced optical interconnect technology for high-speed networking applications.”
Earlier this month, Cisco bought NDS – a leading provider of video software and content security solutions that enable service providers and media companies to securely deliver and monetize new video entertainment experiences. And yesterday, the networking giant scooped up Vancouver-based ClearAccess, a privately held startup that provides tools to telecommunication and broadband providers.
ClearAccess is widely recognized as a Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) specialist that offers software solutions based on the TR-069 spec to aid service providers monitor and manage a range of consumer devices. The company was founded in October 2005 by Ken Hood, currently VP of marketing, and Joel Pennington, currently managing director of EMEA operations and is based out of Vancouver, Washington.
Cisco is expected to utilize ClearAccess’s flagship platform ‘ClearVision’ to enhance its flagship offering in the service provider business – Cisco Prime. ClearVision lets service providers troubleshoot broadband, firewall, and Wi-Fi issues on the home network via an easily accessible administrative portal interface.
“The ClearAccess acquisition reinforces Cisco’s commitment to service providers by accelerating software architectural advancements in mobility, cloud and managed devices, and video,” Jamie Lerner, vice president and general manager of service provider applications in the Cisco Network Management Technology Group. “ClearAccess provides a critical technology that will advance Cisco’s mission to offer service providers a complete set of tools to manage their networks, within the home and across any connected device, amid the ongoing proliferation in network traffic.”
Cisco says it will absorb 22 ClearAccess employees in its network management group. ClearAccess will spin off its hardware business which comprises its Smart RG Gateways as a separate legal entity named SmartRG Inc. This isn’t Cisco’s first acquisition in the service provider business segment. Last May, the networking giant acquired NewScale, another vendor offering self-service solutions for service providers.
In hindsight, it’s a good move as ClearAccess solutions can help Cisco’s wireline and wireless service provider customers to become more efficient and better manage and monitor the fixed and mobile end-points connected across multiple services including voice, data and video services. The acquisition also gains significance in light of Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index Forecast which suggests that Internet traffic worldwide will hit 966 exabytes per year by 2015, with mobile devices outnumbering human population.