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Cisco Buys A Net Management Bargain

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Cisco Systems Inc. http://www.cisco.com may have picked up quite a bargain with its acquisition of Atlantech Technologies Ltd. http://www.atlan-tech.com, a Scottish vendor of network management software.

Under the deal, announced yesterday (March 1), Cisco is only paying $180 million in stock for Atlantech, but what it's getting in return could be an enormous asset.

Atlantech has some state-of-the-art element management software that Cisco plans to use throughout its service provider product line, replacing existing OpenView technology from Hewlett-Packard Co, http://www.hp.com, according to Rob Brading, vice president of sales and market development at Atlantech.

Atlantech's software promises to be far more scalable than OpenView, and to facilitate the development of net management applications by third parties.

It's clear that Atlantech's software -- which was called "Access Vision" and is now being renamed "Cisco Element Management Framework" or CEMF - will also play a key role in Cisco's optical networking developments. It's already been integrated into Cisco's GSR12000 top-of-the-range router. And next week, engineers from Pirelli Optical Systems - acquired by Cisco for $2.15 billion last December - are flying to Scotland to begin discussions on how to integrate Atlantech's software in its optical networking gear, according to Brading.

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