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.

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