Cisco buys conferencing software maker Acano for $700 million

Cisco said Acano's technology and expertise will bolster Cisco's development in the key collaboration areas of interoperability and scalability.

Cisco said Friday it plans to acquire Acano, a London-based tech firm that makes collaboration infrastructure and conferencing software, for around $700 million.

The networking giant said the deal would help the company grow its collaboration business, which has already risen 17 percent year-over-year in just the first quarter, and bring products to market faster.

More specifically, Cisco said Acano's technology and expertise will bolster Cisco's development in the key areas of interoperability and scalability.

In the case of collaboration, interoperability means delivering video from the cloud to any screen. Cisco said Acano's products connect a wide variety of endpoints and systems from all the major collaboration vendors.

Acano also addresses scalability, Cisco said, because it has built dedicated hardware appliances and virtualized software options that allow businesses to connect as many as tens of thousands of users and meeting rooms while still maintaining the integrity of the audio and video experience.

"People, companies and organizations are more geographically dispersed than ever before, and collaboration is essential to helping teams increase productivity and drive growth," said Rob Salvagno, VP of Cisco Corporate Development, in a statement. "Acano's innovations make it easier for customers to collaborate when, where and how they want."

Acano's team will merge with Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group led by Rowan Trollope. The deal is expected to close in Cisco's third quarter for fiscal 2016.

Cisco is also closing a handful of acquisitions during the current quarter -- most of which have focused on the company's video, data analytics and security services. Among them are U.K.-based consultancy firm Portcullis and ParStream, a German company with a database for analyzing and storing large data sets in real-time.