As of midday today, half of the 66 respondents say Cisco's next purchase is "very likely" to fall in that category. Just to add some controversy, another 29 percent say it's "not likely."
The remaining 21 percent are "not sure."
The Cisco buyout machine has been particularly busy for the past couple of months, tapping some esoteric, unknown, and possibly Cisco-sponsored startups (see Cisco Sniffs Out NetSift and Cisco Buys Startup for $1.2M per Employee). So, besides security, where might Cisco look next? Here's where the results get blurrier.
- Other (19% of the vote) leads the pack. Swell. What kind of phoney-baloney news analysis are we supposed to make out of that? Maybe respondents read the question too fast and looked for "security" under the choices. Maybe they expect Cisco to out-Qwest and make a surprise bid for
- Storage (17%). Cisco already picked up Topspin Communications Inc. for $250 million, but other storage candidates are in ample supply (see Cisco Takes On Topspin). In NAS virtualization, Acopia Networks Inc., NuView Inc., ONStor Inc., and Rainfinity are possibilities. (See the Byte and Switch analysis of startup options: One Way Out.)
- Session Border Controllers (13%). Jasomi Networks and Kagoor Networks were recently snatched up, the latter by Cisco rival Juniper. Plenty of others are in the wings hoping for IPOs or a Cisco phone call: , Netrake Corp., and Newport Networks Ltd. (London: NNG) -- and, if you include IP Centrex, and . (See Ditech's Itsy Bitsy Jasomi Deal, Juniper to Acquire Kagoor, and Session Controllers Stir IPO Interest.)
- XML/Web Services(10%). Cisco's latest fascination, an area spearheaded by the company's Application Oriented Networking (AON) initiative. Again, Juniper has been a busy buyer here with its Peribit Networks and Redline Networks pickups -- as has Cisco, grabbing FineGround Networks for $70 million. If Cisco decides it needs more help, F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV) is probably too expensive; Packeteer Inc. (Nasdaq: PKTR) and Radware Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR) might make good approximations. (See Cisco Prowling WAN Optimization?, Cisco Set to Detail XML Strategy, Juniper Takes Two: Peribit & Redline, and Cisco Chomps FineGround.)
Don't like the results? Chime in here; the poll closes Monday, July 11.
Or, if you'd like to expound on what "Other" might mean, enlighten us on this article's message board.
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading