Cisco Spends $47.8 Million on Comm Startups


Cisco Systems agreed to acquire application development
startups Metreos Corp. and Audium Corp. in separate deals for a total of $47.8
million in cash.


The purchase bids are intended to add drag-and-drop application development
environments to Cisco’s Unified Communications system, which allows business
customers to combine their communications systems with their IT
infrastructure.


Cisco said in a statement it will pay $28 million for Austin, Texas-based
Metreos, which makes IP communication application development and management
environments.


The purchase will help Cisco’s technology partners, systems integrators,
resellers and customers build applications on Cisco’s Unified Communications
system.


The company will pay $19.8 million for New York’s Audium, which
develops VoiceXML speech self-service application development and management
environments.


Audium’s software helps companies build automated voice response
applications that are integrated with their converged IP networks and SOA.


Upon close of the transaction, Metreos and Audium products and staff will be
integrated into the Voice Technology Group, reporting to Don Proctor, senior
vice president of Cisco’s Voice Technology Group, according to the statement.


Based on Cisco’s service-oriented network architecture (SONA) for
integrating network infrastructure services, interactive services, and
applications across a business, the Cisco Unified Communications system is
essentially the embodiment of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS).


IMS (define), a kind of service-oriented architecture (SOA)
(define) for the communications world, is an increasingly popular
approach for making voice, video data and wireless products and applications
interoperate and work with any device on a computer network.

Communications experts believe IMS will
be a multi-billion-dollar market for years to come as corporations scramble
to meld their communications gear with IT infrastructure.


Embracing IMS is another way for Cisco to broaden its portfolio to stave off
stagnant, traditional networking gear sales and pace the competition.


Rivals Nortel, Alcatel and Juniper Networks
are all building or
acquiring their own IMS portfolios.


The proposed deals come a day after Cisco CEO John Chambers was tabbed to
succeed John P. Morgridge as chairman at the company’s annual shareholder
meeting on Nov. 15, 2006.


The appointment is a reward for growing the company from $1.2 billion in
annual sales from when he joined the company in 1991 to some $24.8 billion
in 2005, with market cap growth from $10.4 billion in 1995 to its current
$121 billion.


Chambers will remain CEO after taking the chair.

Article courtesy of internetnews.com

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