Cisco acquires Meraki for $1.2 billion to move in on mid market cloud customers

Cisco has announced the acquisition of privately held cloud infrastructure provider Meraki for $1.2 billion in cash to complement and expand its networking offerings across mid-market

Credit: Meraki

Cisco is adding some cool cloud management technology to its portfolio.

It has announced the acquisition of privately held cloud infrastructure provider Meraki for $1.2 billion in cash and revenue based initiatives, subject to regulatory review.

The 330 employee start-up provides Wi-Fi with cloud based management software to remotely control and manage the hardware, security, wired and wireless infrastructure.

This acquisition makes sense for Cisco.

We feel it's about choice. And, it's ultimately about providing exceptional end user experiences, regardless of the deployment model.

It complements and expands Cisco’s networking offerings.

Meraki’s management software enables Cisco to position its offering to mid-market customers that might want to move their offering to become cloud based and more scalable.

Meraki positions itself as providing a ‘high-velocity software-centric approach to engineering and market strategy’.

And Cisco want to move into this market alongside vendors such as Aruba networks.

Meraki technology offers: ‘Wi-Fi, switching, security and mobile device management centrally managed from the cloud. Meraki solutions support BYOD, guest networking, application control, WAN optimization, application firewall and other advanced networking services’.

Cisco is moving towards the cloud as part of its overall strategy. Its Cloud networking group will be led by the Meraki founders. Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of the Cisco Enterprise Networking Group said:

“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. These companies have the same IT needs as larger organizations, but without the resources to integrate complex IT solutions.”

This ensures Cisco’s dominance over mid-market cloud offerings. Further down the line the offering will probably be used to manage other products in Cisco’s Data Centre and network product lines.

Cisco is positioning itself to become THE Cloud management solution across both its Data Centre and Network offerings and is sweeping up companies to complement its strategy.

In the last six months it has purchased privately held Virtuata and vCider. Last month it acquired Coupiia which ‘complements Cisco’s Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) solution’.

OJ Winge, senior vice president and general manager of the Cisco Collaboration Technology group announced the new cloud collaboration initiatives at the collaboration summit.

"At Cisco, we're seeing exceptional growth and adoption across our collaboration cloud offerings. Case in point: More than half of the world's leading service providers have adopted Cisco's HCS (Hosted Collaboration) solution.

OJ Winge however is leaving the Cisco collaboration team, a move signalling that Cisco is poised to refocus that architecture and concentrate on its cloud business.

Whinge will be replaced by Rowan Trollope, recently at Symantec and responsible for expanding ‘Symantec’s cloud-based offerings to encompass the majority of its enterprise technology portfolio’ according to Henry Dewing at Forrester.

To stop its competitors moving in on the Meraki platform Cisco announced its acquisition only a few weeks after its initial approach to the start up.

Network providers operating in mid-market might now want to watch out for Cisco – its the large cloud looming on the horizon.