Cisco Systems (CSCO) has purchased collaboration infrastructure and conferencing software provider Acano Limited for $700 million in cash and assumed equity rewards, the company announced on Friday.
The acquisition of the London-based company is expected to help Cisco deliver more vendor-agnostic video conferencing solutions to customers as it looks to corner the enterprise video collaboration market.
Currently, Cisco sees a massive opportunity to grow its video collaboration efforts, as the company’s research shows that less than 10 percent of the world’s conference rooms are connected via video. By adding Acano’s gateways, video and audio bridging solutions to its portfolio, Cisco said it hopes to bring the number of connected conference rooms up to 25 percent within the next 10 years.
“We are at an inflection point in video adoption,” said Rob Salvagno, Cisco’s vice president of Corporate Business Development, in a blog post. “By combining Acano’s expertise with a Cisco team that has driven incredible growth of our collaboration business, we believe we can accelerate our collaboration momentum and bring new capabilities to market faster.”
By coupling its own technology with that of Acano, Cisco said it will focus on creating more opportunities for interoperability between the various collaboration vendors’ solutions and its own portfolio. This includes enhanced support for Microsoft’s proprietary protocols and mobile browsers via WebRTC support, according to the announcement.
Cisco is also working to develop new infrastructure capable of handling the increased number of active users by scaling its solutions. By utilizing Acano’s technology, Cisco said it now has access to dedicated hardware appliances and virtualized software options that will allow customers to connect “tens of thousands of users and meeting rooms without comprising on the audio and video experience.”
The Acano team will join the Cisco Collaboration Technology group, which is led by Rowan Trollope, Cisco’s senior vice president and general manager. The acquisition is expected to close during the third quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2016.
Cisco recently reported 17 percent year-over-year growth in the first quarter of the company’s fiscal year 2016 as customers continue to ask for the ability to connect and share video over any of their devices.
The Acano acquisition is the latest effort in a string of purchases aimed at helping Cisco flesh out its cloud development strategy, including the company’s recent procurement of Collaborate.com, Assemblage and Tropo, according to Salvagno.