Cisco to acquire video conferencing software maker Acano for $700 mn

US networking equipment giant Cisco Systems Inc is set to buy UK-based Acano Ltd, a privately-held provider of collaboration infrastructure and conferencing software for approximately $700 million in cash, looking to expand its interoperability and scalability in the fast growing video conferencing market.

''This acquisition will accelerate Cisco's collaboration strategy to deliver video everywhere, providing the best collaboration experience across every endpoint, every screen, every workspace, and to every user,'' Cisco said in a statement on Friday.

London-based Acano, founded in 2012, is a provider of collaboration infrastructure and conferencing software with offices in the US, UK, Norway and Australia.

The company's hardware and software includes gateways, and video and audio bridging technology that allows customers to connect video systems from multiple vendors across both cloud and hybrid environments. The firm has around 170 employees.

Cisco vice president for corporate development  Rob Salvagno said, ''People, companies and organisations are more geographically dispersed than ever before, and collaboration is essential to helping teams increase productivity and drive growth.''

''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,'' he further stated.

San Jose, California-based Cisco is a $49-billion technology giant providing networking equipment and software, storage area networks, data center services and cyber security.

Cisco sees massive opportunities in collaboration, as only less than 10 per cent of conference rooms in the world are today connected via video.

Cisco's collaboration business has grown 17 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 and the company is eager to accelerate the growth momentum as businesses worldwide are looking for solutions that will work with their existing technology, connect any system, regardless of vendor at an ever increasing scale.

''Acano's technology and expertise will enable us to accelerate our development in the key areas of interoperability and scalability,'' Cisco said.

With the acquisition, Cisco will enhance its ability to deliver video from the cloud to any screen, whether dedicated hardware or mobile devices, and also at dramatically increased scale that allows to connect tens of thousands of users and meeting rooms without compromising on audio and video quality.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Upon closing, Acano will become part of Cisco's collaboration technology group.

Cisco, founded in 1984 has grown to its current stature through numerous acquisitions in the past two decades, beginning with the purchase of LAN switches maker Crescendo Communications in 1993.

Last month, Cisco struck a deal to buy privately-held cyber security firm Lancope (See: Cisco to buy privately-held cyber security provider Lancope for $452.2 mn).

It also bought Indian IT security company Pawaa Software, the firm's first acquisition in the country. (See: Cisco merges Pawaa Software in its first India acquisition).