Cisco has announced it will acquire a British collaboration and conferencing firm called Acano for $700m.
Acano's technology allows different video and chat collaboration tools to be used together within a single environment, and it can be deployed in the cloud or on premise for hybrid deployments. This clearly caught Cisco’s eye.
Cisco recently reported that its Collaboration unit saw sales rise by a healthy 17 percent to $1.1bn for the first financial quarter of its 2016 fiscal year, underlining the trend for firms to embrace video, audio and text collaboration tools, such as Cisco’s WebEx platform.
However, as more services from a variety of vendors enter the enterprise market, such as Microsoft’s Skype for Business or Google Hangouts, there is an increasing need for tools that can bring these platforms together.
Rob Salvagno, vice president of Cisco corporate development, said the deal would help Cisco to meet this need.
“People, companies and organisations are more geographically dispersed than ever before, and collaboration is essential to helping teams increase productivity and drive growth,” he said.
“Acano’s innovations make it easier for customers to collaborate when, where and how they want. Together, we will help our customers to extend collaboration to every room, every screen and every user.”
Acano put a note on its website acknowledging the deal and said it was “proud” to become a part of Cisco.
“Cisco clearly understands the value of enabling customers to collaborate and connect from any endpoint or device, anywhere,” it said.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of fiscal year 2016, with all staff from Acano expected to join Cisco as part of the move.
Acano’s headquarters are on the outskirts of London in Uxbridge, but it also has offices in New York, Sydney, Silicon Valley and Norway.
The deal is a notable example of a young UK firm – Acano was founded in 2012 –being snapped up by an established US giant.
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