Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire privately held Memoir Systems, a company that develops semiconductor memory intellectual property (IP) and tools that enable ASIC vendors to build programmable network switches with increasing speeds. This acquisition will enable the proliferation of affordable, fast memory for existing Cisco switch ASICs and will help advance Cisco’s ASIC innovations necessary to meet next-generation IT requirements.
Currently in the data center switching market, denser infrastructure and data-intensive workloads are driving demand for higher port density (feeds) and greater bitrates (speeds). At the same time, the accelerating growth of scale-out (non-virtualized) Big Data applications like Hadoop are driving increasing East-West data traffic – furthering the need for greater data center network density. Unfortunately, the physical memory in typical ASIC switch chips cannot cope with the design requirements for these more intense needs and as a result, can become the bottleneck that limits the density and performance of future data center switches.
To help solve the ASIC memory issue, Memoir currently licenses soft-logic IP, which speeds up memory access by up to 10 times. It also reduces the overall footprint this memory takes up in typical switch ASICs. As a result, this technology allows the development of switch and router ASICs with speeds, feeds, and costs typically not possible with traditional physical memory design techniques. This differentiation is critically important as port densities and port speeds move from 10G to 40/100G.
The acquisition of Memoir Systems is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2015. The Memoir team will report into Cisco’s Insieme Business Unit, under Senior Vice President, Mario Mazzola.
I look forward to seeing Memoir’s technology used across Cisco’s future ASIC projects. Memoir’s technology and strong team will allow Cisco to continue to innovate at the chip level and advance our ASIC and overall networking strategies.
Tags: ASIC, Big Data, Cisco acquisitions, datacenter, Hilton Romanski, Insieme, intellectual property, Mario Mazzola, Memoir Systems, Mergers and Acquisitions, programmable network switch, semiconductor memory
Innovation is the engine that powers Cisco. Its machinery was first assembled by an entrepreneurial husband and wife team with a great idea to connect the computers of two departments at Stanford University. It has since been turbo-charged by the simple notion that an open, standards-based communication protocol can be extended across the many ways of bringing together people, process, data and things to create networked connections. Now, that innovation engine is driving Cisco to become the world’s leading IT company with the power of capturing the next phase of the internet – the Internet of Everything – to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. Cisco will do this through building on in-house R&D and investing in employees, alongside acquiring great technologies, business models and talent during this time of massive industry change, when it matters most.
Our build, buy, partner approach is at the heart of Cisco’s innovation culture. It is an integrated toolkit that is critical to maintaining sustainable long-term differentiation, particularly as markets go through major transitions and disruption. Cisco first led innovation in the hugely disruptive routing arena by building incredibly relevant solutions during the infancy of the Internet. We then expanded into new disruptive markets, such as switching, with pivotal acquisitions of companies like Crescendo, Grand Junction and Granite. Later, Cisco extended into areas where major transitions continue to take place today, such as collaboration, mobility, data center and video with deals like WebEx, Starent, Meraki, Nuova, and NDS.
So where are we now and how did we get here?
In 2012, M&A deal volume in the industry dropped more than 15 percent while overall deal consideration dropped by a dramatic 30 percent. Despite this trend, 2012 represented the most active M&A year for Cisco in over a decade with 14 acquisitions and nearly $8 billion in transactions. After two of the quietest years for M&A at Cisco, why have we kicked our M&A motor into high gear? Well the answer can be found in the journey we have been on over the last couple of years. That journey started with a new Strategy. It has been fueled by Readiness. And, it has arrived through Actionability.
2010 and 2011 were challenging times for Cisco in which the company wrestled with driving growth across many priority areas—arguably difficult for any one company to handle. That, in combination with downward pressure on the business within Cisco’s market segments, resulted in sharpening the company strategy in 2011. We refined our focus from 30+ market adjacencies to 5 foundational priorities. This shift allowed for the development of a reinvigorated corporate strategy as well as individual market initiatives closely coupled with the priority areas.
In late 2011, with a solid strategy in place, management turned its attention back to what it had always done from its humble beginnings: lead in strategic categories and extend leadership to new markets. With a breadth of talented leadership, fresh ideas began to flow to key posts across Cisco’s engineering, sales and services ranks.
The combination of good strategy and exceptional leadership inside the business allowed Cisco to aggressively seek out opportunities in the market during a time when the tech M&A landscape seemed to be largely void of meaningful activity. As an example, the steady-step execution of a clear Cisco Mobility strategy has delivered for our customers in a big way. In the span of a quarter, Cisco acquired Cariden, Broadhop, and Intucell—all of which are part of an overall drive to bring more intelligence from the very ends of networks to the IP edge where Cisco can add value and solve customer problems. Other examples include leadership in Unified Access and Data Center where deals like Meraki and Cloupia enable Cisco to continue to stress next generation enterprise architectures and business models that are adjacent to Cisco’s core business. Finally, in the area of Video, Cisco delivered on its software-based Videoscape architectural strategy through a series of well-mapped acquisitions, culminating in the $5 billion acquisition of NDS, the largest tech deal of 2012.
As we drive a higher pace of M&A, we have kept a close eye on how to “save to invest”, ever-clarifying the portfolio through carefully selected divestitures such as the sale of Linksys to Belkin. These kinds of moves continue to help sharpen our focus in areas where Cisco can compete to win.
We continue to evaluate exciting new opportunities to lead the industry in a time of powerful market transitions and disruption. Cisco will be active, but disciplined, in our M&A approach—which has been, and always will be, built on a platform of solid strategy, operational readiness, and market actionability.
I look forward to sharing more about our moves as they unfold in 2013.
Tags: Cisco acquisitions, Corporate Development, Hilton Romanski, M&A
Cisco today announced its intent to acquire AXIOSS software assets that is designed to allow Cisco to Enable Service Providers to Generate New Revenue Opportunities.
SAN JOSE, Calif., READING, United Kingdom, HELSINKI, Finland – August 21, 2011 – Cisco today announced its intent to acquire service fulfillment software assets and associated employees from the UK subsidiary (formerly Axiom Systems) of parent company Comptel Corporation (NASDAQ OMX Helsinki: CTL1V). The acquisition will enable Cisco to extend network and service management technologies across its next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) network platforms and enable service providers to more quickly and efficiently launch new video, data, mobility and cloud services to their customers.
“As more users, connected mobile Internet devices and bandwidth intensive applications drive the explosive growth in IP-based networks, service providers continue to invest in their infrastructure to support customers’ needs,” said Jesper Andersen, senior vice president and general manager, Network Management Technology Group (NMTG), Cisco. “With the acquisition of AXIOSS software and talent, we will help enable service providers to generate greater profits using a single management architecture to drive quick monetization and optimization of their Cisco network investments.”
Cisco will acquire the AXIOSS software suite, a fulfillment platform that strengthens the Cisco service provider management offering by automating ordering and fulfillment. The software will provide management capabilities for network services across Cisco’s five company priorities, and it will enhance Cisco Prime, which enables service providers to better manage their networks and network services. By integrating service management and fulfillment capabilities into Cisco Prime, Cisco continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovate around the convergence of services and networks.
“Through the acquisition of AXIOSS software and talent we will be investing in a unique set of technology and skills in the UK that will be a valuable addition to Cisco’s network management portfolio,” said Jordi Ferrer, managing director, UK Service Provider and Media, Cisco. “Cisco will deliver network management technology and services that will help service providers significantly increase the speed and lower the costs of delivering a wide range of voice, video and data services to their customers.”
The AXIOSS software suite has already been integrated into the Cisco managed services solutions. The Cisco Advanced Services operational support systems practice will offer implementation, customization and integration services for the Cisco Prime fulfillment platform as a result of the acquisition.
The AXIOSS team will bring strong software development and professional services skills to support the Cisco Prime platform. Upon the close of the acquisition, the AXIOSS team will be integrated into the Cisco NMTG and Cisco Advanced Services Group.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $31 million in cash for the acquisition. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the third quarter of calendar year 2011.
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com
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Tags: Cisco acquisitions, cisco advanced services, Cisco Prime for Service Providers, prime network management