ninjaturtle 12/5/2012 | 5:40:59 PM
re: Should Cisco Buy NSN?

INFN would be a huge add to CSCO's optical business. Don't know if INFN is interested in being acquired. Any thoughts?

spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 5:40:58 PM
re: Should Cisco Buy NSN?

A Cisco-Ciena deal would make the most sense in that the former would acquire a huge installed base of optical switches.  Hopefully, Ciena's CEO is no longer in a powerful position to stop such a transaction.

Mark Lutkowitz

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:40:57 PM
re: Should Cisco Buy NSN?


I agree with you Mark that Cisco-Ciena makes sense.  Would a Cisco/Tellabs deal for their optical group makes sense?  Been thinking the best thing for Tellabs is to break it up and sell off the pieces.  E might be interested in the wireless backhaul stuff and the rest can (after that and optical) could go to PE to drive cash out until it dies completely.


spc_markl 12/5/2012 | 5:40:56 PM
re: Should Cisco Buy NSN?


For better or worse, I just do not see Tellabs selling out anytime soon.  At the end of the day, it is a family-run business and they will likely hang in there as long as possible.


Flook 12/5/2012 | 5:40:53 PM
re: Should Cisco Buy NSN?

Ditto. Would be better for Cisco to go with a US-based company because across the pond acquisitions are bound to be problematic due to differences in culture, in this case the distinct culture of the two vendors, not to mention culture from the broader national perspective.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:40:47 PM
re: Should Cisco Buy NSN?

I wonder if it's more likely Cisco would plomb the optical startups -- a few do exist -- before going after an established company.

It would be cheaper and smaller, more to Cisco's liking. And it would net a cutting-edge technology set and a high density of engineers.

Infinera would get them some good technology but also a fab. I don't think Cisco could deal with that.

Ciena seems too big, and I wonder how their whole packet-optical strategy would mesh (or not) with Cisco.  Tellabs...hm. A piece of Tellabs might be interesting, but would it have the level of innovation Cisco wants? (And as Mark says, it might not be doable.)

I like Flook's point about a US acquisition in general, but Cisco's dead-set on spending that overseas cash on overseas properties.

msinisca 12/5/2012 | 5:40:46 PM
re: Should Cisco Buy NSN?

To Gabriel Kerner's original point:  "that service providers seem to like the idea of a combined management system -- one set of software to control the optical and routed networks", yes everybody wants this but when has this ever happened?

Cisco bought Cerent (15454 line) and Pirelli (15800) in 1999 and later transferred technology (cannibalized) to the 15454 product line. To this day the Cisco router (IOS, NX-OS), switch (Catalyst) and optical (CPO, CTM, ONS) platforms still have separate EMS and NMS.

I am not singling out Cisco. ADVA did the same with the Movaz acquisition in 2006. Lucent acquired Ignitus, Chromatis and about 10 other networking vendors from 1997 to 2001, all were stripped of technology, down sized and introduced into existing product lines. Zhone has done this with a dozen companies. In the test equipment and component space JDSU is the serial acquirer bar none.

The reality is that corporations acquire companies to add technology and IP sans R&D time and cost, gain market share (eliminate competition) or enter into new markets. All of this is driven by profit. Full integration (HW and SW) of multiple product lines are usually cost prohibitive and more often technologically infeasible (differing form factors, SW schema, backward support). Continued development across several product lines is too expensive and eventually one line is scrapped (the acquired) and migrated. In my experience, most product integrations involve little more than a new powder coat in the acquiring company’s trademark color and shiny new stickers.

Integration of the hit7300 and 15454 will happen only at a rudimentary NMS monitoring level and eventually the hit7300 will be phased out (remember the 15540 ESP). I believe the biggest motivation for Cisco, as was the case with ADVA, is incorporating NSN's GMPLS control plane and packet switch fabric into the 15454 and secondarily gaining European market share.

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