Cisco to buy Splunk in $28B bid to secure enterprises in AI era

Estimated to be worth $28 billion, Cisco's planned acquisition of Splunk will form one of the world's largest software vendors that will look to help enterprises better safeguard themselves as AI becomes pervasive.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor
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Cisco has announced plans to acquire data analytics vendor, Splunk, as it looks to offer enterprises deeper visibility and threat detection capabilities amid the growing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI). 

Estimated to be worth $28 billion in equity value, at $157 per share in cash, the acquisition will form one of the world's largest software companies, Cisco said in a statement Thursday. The networking equipment vendor added that the deal also will boost its recurring revenue. 

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The union will fuel "the next generation of AI-enabled security and observability," pushing companies from threat detection and response to threat prediction and prevention, said Cisco's CEO and chair Chuck Robbins said in a post

The IT landscape will continue to evolve as organizations digitize their business and the adoption of AI accelerates, Robbins said, noting that these new technologies bring along new opportunities as well as greater complexity.

"Data is one of the most powerful resources in business, with every organization relying on it to help stay securely connected, run their business, and make mission-critical decisions," he said. "However, customers need a better way to manage, protect, and unlock data's true value, while staying resilient and secure in a world that is constantly changing."

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To help companies do this, he pitched the need for Cisco Security Cloud, which offers visibility into various forms of security data, including network data, identifies, email, web traffic, endpoint devices, and processes. 

The addition of Splunk's data analytics platforms will further bolster Cisco's security offerings, providing coverage across applications, devices, and clouds, the vendor said.

This will be crucial in today's hyperconnected world, Cisco said, where data is everywhere and organizations are relying on it to run their business. "Factoring in the acceleration and adoption of generative AI, expanding threat surfaces, and multiple cloud environments, it creates a level of complexity that is unlike anything organizations have faced," Cisco said.

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"On top of the data and security challenges, generative AI is rapidly transforming industries and creating new opportunities," Robbins noted. "Together, Cisco and Splunk see a broad range of data across applications, security, and the network."

The two vendors will look to help enterprise customers tap these AI opportunities and gain visibility to their data, he said. 

The acquisition is expected to be finalized by the end of the third quarter of next year, subject to regulatory approval, following which, Splunk President and CEO Gary Steele will be part of Cisco's executive leadership team reporting to Robbins.

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