The recent spate of acquisitions in the networking market continued last week when Cisco snapped up Netsys Technologies.
Cisco has bought privately-held Netsys in a stock purchase deal worth $79 million (#49.3 million). It follows several larger deals in the sector
Netsys specialises in developing network modelling, planning and analysis tools which help managers control multimedia and multi-protocol networks on hybrid platforms. The tools are based on Internet protocols.
Under the deal, Netsys' 50 employees will be absorbed into Cisco's central engineering team. Cisco has held a minority equity interest in Netsys since February 1995, and was previously a reseller of the company's products.
Alison Taylor, an analyst at Dataquest, applauded Cisco's move. "Network management is becoming so critical that Cisco really needs it. Cisco is good at acquiring technologies - it's a company that has the ability to integrate new technology and carry on," she said.
It is Cisco's fourteenth acquisition in two years and marks a continuing trend in the networking market. The situation was suitably summed up by William Seifert, founder of Agile Networks, which was recently bought by Lucent: "In our business today, there isn't a place for small companies to play. We need to stand on broad shoulders."
WHO'S BOUGHT WHAT?
This autumn's big networking deals:
8 October - Lucent acquires Agile Networks, a VLAN specialist, for a sum rumoured to be around $100 million
7 October - 3Com buys OnStream, manufacturer of ATM and broadband WAN access products, for $245 million
27 September - Cabletron takes over Netlink, maker of WAN access products, for $160 million
27 September - Cisco completes acquisition of Granite, specialist in Gigabit Ethernet, for $220 million.
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