Cisco staffs up Internet-of-Things team with Tail-f Systems acquisition

Summary:By merging Tail-f's network service orchestration tools with Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio, the plan is automate (and hopefully simplify) provisioning and management for physical and virtual networks.

Cisco's latest Internet-of-Things strategy move comes in the form of an acquisition that appears to be motivated by talent.

The target of the deal is Tail-f Systems, a Stockholm-based provider of multi-vendor network service orchestration solutions for traditional and virtualized networks.

The San Jose-headquartered tech giant plans to merge Tail-f’s network service orchestration technology with Cisco’s service provider cloud and virtualization portfolio. The plan is automate (and hopefully simplify) provisioning and management for physical and virtual networks.

However, Tail-f will still retain some autonomy being that its products will continue to be sold on a standalone basis. Current customers are being advised to contact respective account representatives for any future sales-related questions.

Hilton Romanski, senior vice president and head of business development at Cisco, remarked further in a blog post on Tuesday about the value of the brainpower at the Swedish company and why Tail-f appealed to Cisco's most prominent business strategy at the moment.

Tail-f’s innovative and talented team is also the thought leader around the development and implementation of the NETCONF protocol and YANG data modeling language, which is the leading industry approach to simplifying and automating networks. Tail-f also has an amazing team of talented engineers. Tail-f’s talent and technology, when added to our existing offerings, will enhance how Cisco addresses network orchestration and will help simplify and automate how physical and virtual networks are both provisioned and managed.

The Tail-f team followed up with a separate statement, adding that the Cisco deal will enable them to provide an "open, standards-based and model-driven service orchestration NCS software to more customers and partners" worldwide.

This acquisition demonstrates Cisco’s commitment to open standards including the NETCONF protocol and the YANG data modeling language, and provides an unprecedented opportunity for lasting change in the way our industry designs, builds and maintains programmable networks.

With the deal expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, Cisco agreed to pay approximately $175 million in cash and retention-based incentives in exchange for all shares of Tail-f.

Topics: Networking, Cisco, Data Management, Virtualization


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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