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Cisco Signals Intent to Buy Cloud Networking Provider Meraki


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November 26, 2012

Cisco Signals Intent to Buy Cloud Networking Provider Meraki

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Cisco (News - Alert) is serious about cloud services and software solutions that simplify network management.

The recent announcement that Cisco plans to acquire cloud networking darling, Meraki, only underscores its commitment to simplifying network management, empowering mobile workers and generating extra revenue opportunities for partners.

Headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, London and Mexico, Meraki gives customers on-premises networking solutions centrally managed from the cloud that are easy to deploy and manage. It specifically targets the mid-sized business that has all the networking needs of a large enterprise but not a larger IT department’s budget.

The Meraki technology brings Wi-Fi, switching, security and mobile device management centrally managed from the cloud. Its solution supports BYOD, guest networking, application control, WAN optimization, application firewall and other advanced networking services, making it a potentially savvy play for the   networking giant.

The acquisition, if approved by regulators, will expand Cisco's network offerings by giving the firm better and much more scalable solutions for midmarket companies. The deal also will strengthen Cisco's Unified Access platform, which helps IT departments unite wired and wireless networks, policy and management into an integrated network infrastructure more tightly coupled than many competing offerings.

Cisco’s Unified Access is a one policy, one management, one network solution that offers new levels of visibility, control, and flexibility. It helps create the right solution for the right customer experience while lowering total cost of ownership, according to the company.

"The acquisition of Meraki enables Cisco to make simple, secure, cloud managed networks available to our global customer base of mid-sized businesses and enterprises,” said Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of Cisco Enterprise Networking Group, in a statement. “These companies have the same IT needs as larger organizations, but without the resources to integrate complex IT solutions. Meraki's solution was built from the ground up optimized for cloud, with tremendous scale, and is already in use by thousands of customers to manage hundreds of thousands of devices."

Meraki was founded by members of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science in 2006. Funded by Sequoia Capital (News - Alert) and Google, today it offers a complete cloud managed product family including wireless LAN, Ethernet switches, security appliances, and mobile device management.

According to the terms of the deal, Cisco will pay roughly $1.2 billion in cash and retention-based incentives to acquire the entire business and operations of Meraki. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2013

Want to learn more about cloud computing solutions geared specifically towards small to medium-sized businesses?  Don’t miss the Cloud4SMB Expo, collocated with ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud4SMB Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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