Cisco to Buy SPIT Specialist

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) will enhance its ability to help cable and telecom operators provision and manage in-home gateways and mobile devices with the planned acquisition of Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) vendor ClearAccess Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

Privately held ClearAccess develops software based on the TR-069 set of specifications developed to help service providers monitor and manage a range of consumer devices. The TR-069 specs were developed initially for DSL access network operators, but have been gaining traction at MSOs such as Cox Communications Inc. , Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) as they deploy increasingly complex gateway devices capable of handling voice, video and data services.

Cisco will pick up ClearAccess's software business and fold it into Cisco Prime, the company's network management software portfolio. An undisclosed number of ClearAccess employees will join Cisco's Network Management Technology Group. ClearAccess will spin off its hardware business and create a new independent company called SmartRG Inc., which will be based in Vancouver, Wash.

Cisco expects the deal to close in its fiscal fourth quarter.

Why this matters
The buy turns Cisco into a top supplier of TR-069 management tools and will enhance the company's SPIT portfolio. That appears to be a smart move as its wireline and wireless service provider customers look for ways to become more efficient, better manage and monitor the explosion of fixed and mobile end-points connected to their voice, data and video services and seek to improve customer experience metrics.

ClearAccess will also provide Cisco with tools that can help MSOs manage their bandwidth usage and network traffic.

And the deal is the latest in a long line of acquisitions by major vendors that have identified the need to have a broader range of SPIT capabilities to offer their service provider customers. In fact it was almost exactly a year ago that Cisco announced the acquisition of another SPIT vendor, newScale. (See Cisco Purchase Could Bring Self-Service to Telcos, NEC to Buy Convergys Unit for $449M and Ericsson to Buy Telcordia.)

For more

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:37:51 PM
re: Cisco to Buy SPIT Specialist

Cisco won't disclose the financial terms, but did say that it intends to hire 22 ClearAccess employees when the deal is done. ClearAccess plans to announce more details about the new hardware spin-off, and perhaps who will be running it,  later today. JB

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