Cisco Acquiring Collaboration Vendor Acano for $700 Million

Cisco aims to expand its collaboration capabilities with Acano acquisition.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Nov 20, 2015
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Cisco today is announcing latest acquisition, privately held British collaboration vendor Acano. Cisco is paying $700 million in cash for Acano, and the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2016.

When the deal closes, Acano's staff will become part of Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group, which is run by Cisco senior vice president and general manager Rowan Trollope.

Acano was founded in 2012 and has 170 employees across the US, Europe and Australia. The company brands itself as an online collaboration platform for teams. The backend technology is comprised of two core elements, the Acano server and the Acano manager.

"Acano Manager provides management software for video conferencing and collaboration infrastructure," Acano's website explains. "It’s suitable for in-house use, allowing administrators to setup and manage large company meetings, and is simple enough for participants to manage their own day-to-day meetings. Acano Manager also supports multi-tenancy and white-glove services run by service providers."

On the front end, the Acano app supports PCs, web clients and iOS devices. Capabilities include audio, video and web conferencing features. Additionally, Acano has a Skype for business (Microsoft Lync) integration as well as unified communications features.

One of the big ideas behind Acano is the concept of the coSpace for group collaboration.

"So what’s a coSpace? It’s a shared space for thinking together, a virtual meeting room only radically better," OJ Winge, Acano CEO wrote. "It is a place you can meet, share or create content and discuss in real time or over time. It is a war room, a huddle room, or briefing room that remembers where you left off and is always there for you to join. Just as simple as you need it to be."

For Cisco, the addition of the Acano technology is a bid to grab a large piece of the growing market and need for collaboration tools.

"People, companies and organizations are more geographically dispersed than ever before, and collaboration is essential to helping teams increase productivity and drive growth,” Rob Salvagno, vice president, Cisco Corporate Development, said in a statement. "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."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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