RealTime IT News

Cisco Adds Actona

While Nortel was busy grabbing headlines with its outsourcing deal this morning, Cisco went ahead and made some of its own news today.

The network equipment giant will pay $82 million in cash for the 83 percent of Actona Technologies that it doesn't already own. Privately held Actona makes wide area network file services software to help large companies store and manage data at far-off locations.

Although it has been an investor, Cisco spokeswoman Elizabeth McNichols said none of Actona's technology has been used in Cisco's offerings to date.

Later this year, Cisco will fold Actona technology into its full-service branch offering, which gives workers in remote offices fast access to centrally deployed and managed file systems. In addition, Actona will extend Cisco's offerings for data-center storage consolidation to the branch office.

The deal is expected to close by October. When it does, Actona's 48 employees will report to George Kurian, vice president and general manager of Cisco's routing technology group.

Actona was founded in 2000 and recently raised $10 million in third-round financing with the intent to expand sales, marketing, customer service and business development. Overall, it raised $23 million in venture capital backing.

Investors and analysts (and evidently Cisco) believe that Actona's market is growing. The research firm Taneja Group estimates that the market for wide area file services will grow to $2 billion annually by 2005.

For Cisco, it's the second acquisition of a privately held firm this month. Earlier it paid $89 million for the assets of core router maker Procket Networks.