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Cisco Digs Denmark's DiviTech

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) claims its pending deal to acquire DiviTech A/S of Denmark will help the tech giant forge a combined network management system that will give service providers of all shapes and sizes the tools needed to get a handle on increasingly complex video networks. (See Cisco to Buy DiviTech.)

Cisco already has a network management system, dubbed ROSA, on the roster, but believes the product can slap on a few layers of muscle with the addition of DiviTech's digital service management (DSM) software.

ROSA, obtained by Cisco through its acquisition of Scientific Atlanta in early 2006, enables operators to centrally manage, configure, and check the general health of headend gear and other devices and boxes hanging off the outside plant. Cisco has integrated ROSA with more than 3,000 third-party/competitive devices, including routers from Nortel Networks Ltd. , Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT) transmission equipment, and even Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s cable modem termination system (CMTS). Some marquee ROSA customers include AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), SAS Astra, and Virgin Media Inc. (Nasdaq: VMED).

DiviTech's software will bake in another layer of management that will enable ROSA to also monitor the situation at the service layer, according to Bart Spriester, managing director, EMEA, for Cisco's recently christened Service Provider Video Technology Group.

In the cable world, for example, DiviTech can check the health of every video channel, and report and summarize that information back to the network operator.

"It makes managing a complex video network even easier," Spriester says, noting that networks are becoming increasingly knotty as operators add high-definition services and support multiple codecs (MPEG-2 and MPEG-4) and audio standards simultaneously.

Cisco, he notes, expects to launch a 4.0 version of ROSA (current version is 3.0) in six to nine months that integrates DiviTech's capabilities.

And development may be sped along by the fact that Cisco is already familiar with DiviTech's technology. Cisco, Spriester says, has been reselling DiviTech product for about two years, so some customers, including SAS Astra and Virgin Media, already overlap.

"It's early and growing," Spriester says of the market opportunity for a ROSA-DiviTech combo.

Although Cisco is not disclosing the value of the deal, Spriester says DiviTech is profitable, and has installations with north of 50 service providers. About half of DiviTech's customers are cable operators, 30 percent are from the broadcast/uplink sector, with the remainder in IPTV.

DiviTech, founded in 1998, marks Cisco's 128th acquisition. DiviTech's 15 employees will be moving to Cisco's R&D facility in Copenhagen.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News




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