Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Acano

November 20, 2015 - 25 Comments

We are at an inflection point in video adoption. In the enterprise alone, less than 10 percent of the conference rooms in the world are connected via video and only 1 percent of users have video systems on their desktop today. The market is poised for dramatic growth, with IP video expected to represent 80 percent of all global Internet traffic by 2019, up from 67 percent in 2014.

Cisco believes that we can capture this massive market opportunity by delivering the best collaboration experience across every endpoint, every screen, every workspace, and to every user. Our vision is to dramatically increase the number of video-enabled conference rooms – moving from every one in 10 conference rooms connected with video, to every one in four within the next ten years. And we want people to be able to connect to those rooms easily from any device or system they have today. That’s why today we are announcing Cisco’s intent to acquire privately-held Acano Limited, a leading provider of collaboration infrastructure and conferencing software.

Acano’s portfolio includes video and audio bridging technology and gateways to enable customers to connect different collaboration solutions from disparate vendors across cloud and hybrid environments. Together, Acano will help Cisco expand the interoperability and scalability of our collaboration portfolio – allowing customers to connect from anywhere, from a browser on a mobile device to the corporate boardroom, and now scaling to easily connect thousands of users across an organization.

Over the last two years, Cisco’s collaboration business has provided a standout example of the strength of our build, buy, partner, invest and co-develop approach to innovation. Internally, Cisco’s collaboration team has achieved several significant milestones, refreshing the entire endpoint portfolio in the past 12 months and simplifying our offerings from 65 endpoints down to 17, and driving double-digit endpoint growth each quarter for the past year. We’ve introduced a new cloud collaboration platform and Cisco Spark, a new team collaboration service. Acquisitions also played a key role; over the past two years we’ve acquired three companies to help accelerate our development in cloud, Collaborate, Assemblage and Tropo. And we’ve introduced key partnerships such as one with Apple earlier this fall to integrate iPhones with Cisco environments and provide unique collaboration capabilities on iPhones and iPads.

Today’s acquisition builds upon this strategy. 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. The Cisco and Acano teams together will help make video dramatically more pervasive to the desktop and to conference rooms of all sizes.

*UPDATE: January 29, 2016: We are pleased to welcome the Acano team on board!  Watch the video.

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  1. Hi Folks I would like to add another piece to this jigsaw puzzle, it is called nuVa, simply it is the richest remote collaboration medium that we have seen, this is due to its deliberate emulation of a ‘natural meeting’.
    Due to millions of years of evolution a ‘natural meeting’ delivers optimum cognition, thus innovation and competitive advantage. It is all very clever, to do with people and how we work. Please watch this space as it may end up ‘over’ SPARK.BW Jocelyn

  2. Cisco’s collaboration is really standing out!

  3. Wait, you spent 700m to get Gier, Larry and Joel back? You re bought Tandberg. Well played guys, well played.

  4. how does that compete with MS owning skype now?

  5. Good move Cisco. Keep moving

  6. Great move Cisco. Keep going.

  7. Hi Rob
    VISTA is a high‐end global research and development company in the field of videoconferencing, technology enabled collaboration and unified communication space based out of India . Its unique software based videoconferencing product “VISTA ” is creating waves with features that ushers in the future of videoconferencing today.
    VISTA has been extensively working on and environment involving video codec of multiple standards such as H.264 / H.265(HEVC) and VP8 , an application which very tightly integrates and exploits multicast transmission protocol through an RTP and RTCP profile. (even H.264-SVC standard can be integrated for multi-casting). VISTA can provide video wrapper application and an RTP and RTCP profile for the current VP8 and the future VP9 multicasting on internet (IPv6 with interoperable parameters with IPv4). By using multicast the current Vp8 or the futureSVC VP9 can actually reach the desired “nth” level scalability . It is working for Digital India program as well as working with Singapore and Australai Govt for video programs

    Vista is keen for strategic investors to go overseas and solve the video scalability barrier

  8. What are the main differences between Acano and Pexip?

  9. Its a very interesting move
    If you combine it with John Chambers re-engineering of the company to create a more agile company there is hope.
    Like some I echo a lot to pay when listening to the guys from Tandberg would have been a tad easier and cheaper. An expensive mistake now realised one hopes.
    All will depend on the intent to “address customer interoperability issues” or frustrate by failing to listen to those Tandberg guys or the customer at least Pexip should keep them focused.
    Time will tell however the recent track record is to frustrate both. Everyone can learn though, after all the definition of stupidity is to repeat the same moves and expect a different result.

  10. Great move Cisco. Keep going. Scope to develop cloud, Collaborate, Assemblage and Tropo is much now.

  11. I’m sure this will spell the end of Acano and it’s close Lync/Skype integration – why would Cisco want for example, a feature which allows endpoints to connect via Acano to the Lync MCU. Acano was flawed tech too.. constant bugs as you’d expect in an interop product when none of the vendors (Google, Microsoft…etc.) want to interop!
    Hopefully Cisco will integrate it into Spark so it will be a proper collaboration solution which – let’s face it – Acano never was despite what it was sold as. $700m is a lot to pay though to get the Tandberg people back who Cisco allowed to leave in the first place!

  12. Working for a Microsoft and Acano partner this concerns me to be honest. Acano offers best in class Skype for Business integration with standards based VTC. Similar to the Tandberg acquisition, will Cisco now divert Microsoft interop efforts and dilute that capability….?

    I hope they can demonstrate to the partner community this not to be the case.

    • Based on the wording above, there is hope:

      “Acano will help Cisco expand the interoperability and scalability of our collaboration portfolio – allowing customers to connect from anywhere, from a browser on a mobile device to the corporate boardroom, and now scaling to easily connect thousands of users across an organization.”

    • More info specifically dealing with your question in today’s article on

    • James, thanks for your question. At Cisco, we undersatnd that customers require that any new collaboration solution work with their previous technology investments. We are committed to interoperability and Acano will help strengthen our focus there. They’ve focused on developing solutions that connect endpoints and systems from all the major collaboration vendors, including enhanced support for Microsoft’s proprietary protocols.

  13. Avaya only sold the TBU (Technology Business Unit) part of the Radvision business that did not include the enterprise MCU or codecs or gateways.

    Spirent acquired : Lab-based Test Tools, Protocol Stacks, Video Communications Client Framework – BEEHD, Voice and Video Services Monitoring – (the eVident solution).

    Avaya kept the bridges, room systems, gateways, Scopia and so on. Basically the stuff the small, medium and large enterprise customers, and some hosted video service providers buy.

    More here

    • Thanks – so is there anything about Radvision that provides the glue to allow Avaya, Cisco, Polycom, LifeSize, Vidyo, Lync/Skype, WebRTC, and more to interoperate with each other the way Acano does? Otherwise, I’m just not getting Finley’s “catch-up”reference.

  14. Cisco playing catch-up to Avaya (since their Radvision acquisition)? That’s a new one!

  15. Please roll their funcationlity into VCS to enhance the existing Lync Gateway/B2BUA.

  16. Good move Cisco.

    But will you still allow them to play with Microsoft (especially with their cascaded conference)? or do you not recognize that as interoperability?

  17. Good to have them back ( Acano is old Cisco(Tandberg) people – correct ) – why did we let them go ? – is the intent to leave them as a Meraki acquisition or will we fully integrate them ?