In a move designed to speed up its collaboration strategy to deliver video everywhere, Cisco is prepared to pay $700 million (€659 million) to acquire Acano – a London-based privately held company that supplies conferencing software and collaboration infrastructure. Acano’s software and hardware includes video and audio bridging technology and gateways that allow users to connect video systems from several vendors across both hybrid and cloud environments.
Today, according to Cisco, fewer than 10% of the conference rooms in the world are connected via video. However, there is a huge market shift underway in collaboration – people want to be able to easily connect from anywhere, from exclusive hardware endpoints to sharing video on a mobile smartphone. The collaboration business of Cisco is already seeing the impact of this trend, with a year-over-year growth of 17% in the first quarter of fiscal year 2016. As the force continues, there is a necessity to produce solutions that will connect any vendor, no matter the vendor, at a scale that is significantly higher than ever before. Cisco states that Acano’s expertise and technology will allow it to speed up development in the major areas of scalability and interoperability.
- Scalability: As collaboration adoption expands, so does the requirement for infrastructure models that can support a larger capacity of systems and users than customers have ever needed before. This is necessary in both hybrid environments and cloud-based environments where customers have a mix of on premises and cloud solutions. Acano has solved many major challenges in delivering collaboration at a significantly increased scale – with both exclusive hardware appliances and virtualized software options that enable customers to connect tens of thousands of meeting rooms and users without compromising on video and audio experience.
- Interoperability: In this swiftly growing industry, users expect any new collaboration solution to work with their existing technology. Acano shares the commitment of Cisco to interoperability; they have concentrated on developing products that connect a variety of systems and endpoints from all key collaboration vendors. Their technology further enhances the ability of Cisco to deliver video from the cloud to any screen.
Cisco believes that with Acano it can speed up its collaboration momentum and bring new capabilities to market quicker. Together, Acano and Cisco will be able to seize the growing market opportunity in collaboration and supply interoperable and open solutions whether via a hybrid model or in the cloud.
Acano will join the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group led by senior vice president and general manager Rowan Trollope. As stated in the terms of agreement, Cisco will fork out $700 million. The acquisition is expected to be finalized in the third quarter of fiscal year 2016.