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Cisco's Spin-In Team Might Try SDN

The three Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) executives who specialize in spin-ins might be at it again, this time tackling software-defined networking (SDN).

Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain and Luca Cafiero are in talks with Cisco about a startup called Insiemi, The New York Times reported Friday morning.

Why this matters
Cisco takes software-defined networking very seriously. The company might not be evangelizing OpenFlow at every opportunity, but the larger SDN concept is very much going to be part of Cisco's long-term plans, officials have said.

What's more intriguing at the moment is the possibility of another spin-in -- a startup partly funded by Cisco with the expectation of being acquired by Cisco.

Cisco has been criticized for the practice, because it creates a sense of unfairness among employees. A spin-in gets the rewards of a startup buyout, whereas an ordinary internal R&D project gets a pat on the back.

It's not 100 percent clear that Insiemi is truly a spin-in. If it is, expect Cisco to face a lot of questions.

For more
The Nuovo/Andiamo history:

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

Flook 12/5/2012 | 5:39:02 PM
re: Cisco's Spin-In Team Might Try SDN

Regarding the unfairness issue regarding those working at a Cisco-funded startup versus regular Cisco employees, I'm guessing that those working at a potential spin-in are also taking some risk that things may not work out all that well. Still, I'd guess that by and large the start-up end up making serious money.

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