Cisco Systems took steps to expand its service-provider business with the announcement that it will acquire ClearAccess, a provider of wholesale network-management solutions. According to Cisco, the purchase will bolster its Prime network-management-software portfolio with a suite of home-networking solutions. This is part of a growing new market generically referred to as the “Connected Home,” which in this case includes monitoring and managing bandwidth usage, parental controls, diagnostics and analytics. The ClearAccess system provides the ability to manage devices using the Broadband Forum’s TR-069 specification.
The acquisition is expected to be completed this summer- in the fourth quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2012. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cisco is not acquiring the hardware portion of ClearAccess’ business, which comprises its Smart RG Gateways. That business will be spun off as SmartRG Inc. Upon the close of the buyout, the ClearAccess software products and 22 employees will be merged into the Cisco Network Management Technology Group. Fifteen employees from ClearAccess will be joining SmartRG.
ClearAccess, based in based in Vancouver, Washington, is a privately held company that provides software to cable operators and telcos for provisioning and managing residential gateways, cable modems and other devices. Its customers include Rogers Communications, Primus Telecommunications and Illinois-based Consolidated Communications. Investors in the company, founded in 2005, include Montlake Capital, DFJ Frontier, Blade Ventures and Oregon Angel Fund. The flagship product from ClearAccess is ClearVision. The company also provides content filtering, managed Wi-Fi and firewall services and time blocking.
“The ClearAccess acquisition reinforces Cisco’s commitment to service providers by accelerating software architectural advancements in mobility, cloud and managed devices, and video,” Jamie Lerner, vice president and general manager of service provider applications in the Cisco Network Management Technology Group. “ClearAccess provides a critical technology that will advance Cisco’s mission to offer service providers a complete set of tools to manage their networks, within the home and across any connected device, amid the ongoing proliferation in network traffic,” added Mr. Lerner.
This acquisition aligns with Cisco’s strategic initiatives to build software platforms and drive business and technology architecture, and it complements Cisco’s end-to-end portfolio and capabilities for service provider customers, especially those selling triple play services to residential subscribers.
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