Partners Hope Splunk Keeps 'Pace of Innovation' in Cisco Acquisition

All will be well if Cisco integrates Splunk the way it integrated Meraki, a partner told Channel Futures.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

September 22, 2023

5 Min Read
Cisco acquisition of Splunk gets partner reaction

Cisco and Splunk channel partners are expressing cautious optimism as the IT giant and observability provider come together in the $28 billion Cisco acquisition of Splunk.

Cisco on Thursday announced the mega deal, which will close by the end of the third quarter of 2024 if everything goes according to plan. The deal will bolster Cisco’s security information and event management (SIEM) capabilities, with Splunk’s SIEM platform reportedly merging with Cisco’s extended response and detection (XDR) platform.

But in the meantime, the transaction is awaiting regulatory approvals. With the final integration perhaps years away, partners are sharing their hopes for how the respective portfolios will combine. D.C. area-based MSP Orion Network Solutions partners with both vendors, partnering closely with Cisco on networking and Meraki solutions and leveraging Splunk for SIEM, log management and data analytics. Orion CEO Ashu Bhoot said he hopes Splunk’s pace innovation does not slow down.


Orion Solutions’ Ashu Bhoot

He compared Splunk to Meraki, which Cisco bought for $1.2 billion about 10 years ago. Orion had been partnering with both Cisco and Meraki at the time and watched the integration process. Bhoot said Orion has maintained a good experience with its Meraki rep since the acquisition. Moreover, he said Meraki benefited from adopting some of Cisco’s practices.

More importantly, technology kept improving, he said.

“Meraki has been pretty good at innovation since then, though the pace of innovation has obviously slowed up. It’s just difficult whenever a much larger company acquires a smaller one, but we’ve still been pretty happy.”

Bhoot said he imagines Splunk may experience a similar process.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

“I hope that the crushing of a butterfly doesn’t happen, essentially,” Bhoot told Channel Futures. “Cisco has been pretty good about it, at least with Meraki. I hope that they are able to pull same on the Splunk side as well.”

Cisco Acquisition of Splunk a Long-Expected Deal

Rumors of a Cisco acquisition of Splunk have swirled for more than a year-and-a-half. Cisco reportedly unsuccessfully offered to buy Splunk $20 billion early last year.

“It’s been clear for several years now that this acquisition was inevitable, so this doesn’t come as a surprise to most of the partners we work alongside in the broader Splunk ecosystem,” said Ryan Morris, president of Blackwood, which is a Splunk elite sell partner.

The Cisco acquisition brings together two companies that have built well-known observability platforms. Cisco already owned ThousandEyes and AppDynamics, and partners say they are interested in seeing how Splunk’s software will fit into the portfolio.

Morris pointed to the channel footprint Splunk will get from Cisco and the product Cisco will get from Splunk.


Blackwood’s Ryan Morris

“While Splunk has built strong public sector and North American channels, they will greatly benefit from the mature channel Cisco has developed here in the U.S. and abroad. It will be interesting to see how they reconcile overlap between Splunk and AppDynamics in the observability market, but Splunk’s technology and culture will have an immediate impact as Cisco continues to lean further into security,” Morris said.

Cisco has been making a big push on both …

software and cybersecurity in recent years, and Splunk fits into both categories. LogicalisUS chief revenue officer Jeff Wilms said the deal specifically gives Cisco a deeper portfolio in log management and security.

Wilms shared excitement for the Cisco acquisition of Splunk.

“Anytime two companies can join forces to strengthen an offering is a good opportunity for the channel and our customers, and at Logicalis, we certainly see this as an upside. We are eager to further accelerate our work with Cisco in the security space, and look forward to seeing how Cisco will leverage Splunk’s resources to amplify or enhance their existing offerings,” Wilms said.

Integration Opportunities


Logicalis US’ Jeff Wilms

Just like Cisco, Orion has increased its focus on cybersecurity in recent years. That’s due in part to the increased need for down-market customers to implement security.

“Previously, cybersecurity was more more focused on enterprise or medium-size businesses and not so much on the small or midmarket businesses. Obviously, post-COVID and just the way things are going, cybersecurity has become an increasing concern for small businesses and midsize businesses as well,” said Bhoot, whose company targets clients in the nonprofit, health care and government contracting industries.

Bhoot said SMB and midmarket companies need SIEM capabilities that help them identify threat factors, and Splunk has played a key role in that for the MSP. However, he said his team would benefit from a more “plug-and-play” interface to connect the Splunk platform with all of the data that goes into it, as well as the open-source ELK layer that sits in between the data and Splunk.

“Is Cisco going to be able to merge that together where it just becomes like, ‘Hey, Meraki, here’s an easy plug-and-play or click-and-deploy piece,'” Bhoot said. “Gosh, that would make things so much easier.”

Bhoot said he’s looking forward to more simplified deployment and monitoring that will give smaller businesses a better experience.

“I’m hoping that the integration between the devices that we monitor, and Splunk and ELK, becomes tighter and easier to deploy, thereby reducing the cost so that even those small businesses (which are easy targets for threat actors) can be able to leverage it,” he said.

For the original news coverage of the Cisco acquisition of Splunk, see Moshe Beauford’s article. In addition, several analysts weighed in on the deal for a story Edward Gately wrote.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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