Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent

Today's the big day for news on whether Procket will be acquired, say several sources.

Two sources close to Procket Networks Inc. have told Light Reading that the company's fate will be made today. As ever, there's intrigue here because only one of the two sources would name the acquiring party -- and that source says its Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY) has also been mentioned as a suitor, but that now appears less likely -- and Cisco certainly has the deeper wallet to make the deal happen.

The deal, reportedly worth $80 million, has been expected this week since a flurry of reports detailing a potential deal dropped last week (see Cisco May Pocket Procket).

Cisco has since put forth that, while it would never buy a competing product, it doesn't mind acquiring the talent that built the competing product. "I'm not going to buy another router company for a router," Chambers told a Bear Stearns investment conference yesterday, according to reports by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. "I could not be more comfortable with our routing strategy...

"Fifty really sharp engineers can bring a product to market quicker than 500 can, so if ever there is a talent acquisition that makes sense to me in the market, I don't hesitate," Chambers added, according the Reuters report.

However it's sliced, Cisco is about to purchase one of the routing upstarts that, if nothing else, provided a catalyst for Cisco to get its own next-generation core router, the CRS-1, built and released after several years of fits and starts (see Cisco Unveils the HFR).

While it will be interesting to see what Cisco will do with the technology, it will be more interesting to watch the marketing story unfold. Never before has a routing market leader announced its own next-generation product, then purchased a competitor solely for staffing reasons.

Calls to Cisco were not returned in time for this article.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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tsat 12/5/2012 | 1:33:52 AM
re: Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent
You make it sound like all Cisco has to do is
wave a magic wand to integrate Procket technology
into Cisco's current products. Its not that
easy at all. In fact, it sounds downright
impossible to me.

My money is on Cisco letting Procket's technology

gotman 12/5/2012 | 1:33:41 AM
re: Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent >it sounds downright impossible to me.

Tony Li 12/5/2012 | 1:32:41 AM
re: Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent You make it sound like all Cisco has to do is
wave a magic wand to integrate Procket technology
into Cisco's current products. Its not that
easy at all. In fact, it sounds downright
impossible to me.

Definitely not impossible. We intentionally architected the Procket software with "platform independent" and "platform dependent" layers. It would not be unthinkably hard to take the platform dependent bits and merge them with ENA/CRS-1os/whatever assuming that they did likewise. Yes, there would be some sledgehammer work, but it could be done...

maximuscomehome 12/5/2012 | 1:32:37 AM
re: Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent Reading all the quarterbacker posts here - it is apparent there is a big group here that has already determined that -

a. the procket box works better than EVERYTHING Cisco and other companies built

b. the VCs involved in the deal were absolute shysters with no experience in building companies(past records notwithstanding)

c. the management team was worthless (past records notwithstanding)

So why is that not a single relevant customer bought the router? (beyond the Aussies and the Tillamooks?)

What am I missing?

I thought that the list of "friends and family" investors in Procket read like a who's-who of all the major service providers and was over 100 long. Don't tell me they stopped buying - just look at the Cisco, Junper and even Avici's shipments during the same period.

Oh well.

Mr. Li - how about writing a book? Shouldn't the rest of the world know the story?
This can be the modern version of "Soul of a new machine". Heck - I can almost imagine a Hollywood release - perhaps the LR readers will come up which actors can best portray the players...

-- Massimo

Tony Li 12/5/2012 | 1:32:34 AM
re: Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent
Basically, no one was willing to go first. Some major customer would have needed to actually buy some non-trivial number of machines and put them in production. However, before anyone would buy, the company had to be reasonably financially stable. The board couldn't manage to do that, so here we are.

While not everything is peaches and cream, Procket's products performed as advertised and were very technically competitive with C & J, with strengths in a number of areas (and weaknesses too). The real hurdle that we failed to cross was managing to rope in a key customer. Certainly the market was extremely challenging, with our customer base going bankrupt about as fast as we could involve them, but we failed to convert on our remaining opportunities.

Belzebutt 12/5/2012 | 1:32:32 AM
re: Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent Out of curiosity, how "ready" was the Procket software/hardware? Was it still in a beta stage, or was it rock solid?
Tony Li 12/5/2012 | 1:32:31 AM
re: Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent Before I answer that, you need to understand that I have the engineer's perspective on things:

- There is no software that has no bugs.
- There is no hardware that could not be better.
- All of the testing in the world cannot begin to replicate or prevent Murphy.

That said, I believe that the Procket products were more solid than any other new product that I've seen shipped in this space.

Truelight1 12/5/2012 | 1:32:28 AM
re: Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent Procket was a failure - big time - troll that Li
bobcat 12/5/2012 | 1:32:24 AM
re: Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent Oooops!, Astral Point was a success too. Wasn't it?
bobcat 12/5/2012 | 1:32:24 AM
re: Cisco/Procket Deal Imminent Give it a rest..
Compared to all the companies that tried and failed (Gotham, Celox, Coriolis, Beacon, Ironbridge, Astral Point, PhotonEx, Tachyon, Crescent, Cratos, Photuris, Nanovation, jasmine, Cyras, etc.)
I'd say they faired better than alot of us (majority of us) did. I'm not being callous but. Contract telecom/datacom jobs are far and few between meals. Hold on, I gotta nail down another course of shingles..
I din't think Cisco would buy them.
I was way wrong. Point is, it aint pretty but it is a success, given this market. Time to start thinking about the next big thing.
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