Cisco Buys IP Platform Maker

Network equipment giant Cisco Systems is buying IP
platform specialist P-Cube for $200 million in cash and stock.

P-Cube’s technology helps telecom carriers, cable operators and ISPs manage Voice over Internet Protocol , interactive gaming, video-on-demand and music downloads.

For example, the programmable platform automates tasks like identifying subscribers and billing for the various applications. It’s customers include BellSouth , SingTel and Plala Networks.

“(The deal) further emphasizes our commitment to service providers and our on-going development efforts to bring service intelligence into IP data networks,” Mike Volpi, senior vice president and general manager, said in a statement.

When the deal closes later this year, P-Cube employees will report to Pankaj
Patel, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s broadband edge and midrange routing business unit.

P-Cube is privately held and has raised $70 million in three rounds from Accel Partners, Panasonic Ventures, Venrock and others. The 5-year-old firm is based in California and also has research and development lab in Israel. It has 118 employees.

The P-Cube buy is the latest in a series of acquisitions for Cisco, which has been employing its
sizeable cash reserves to bolster its technology in growth areas.

Cisco, which competes against networking hardware makers Juniper and Nortel , recently posted strong quarterly results but its cautious financial forecasts for the remainder of the year disappointed many industry-watchers.

A spokesman for the company declined comment, referring questions to Cisco. Cisco spokesman Robert Barlow said the company hopes to integrate some features of P-Cube’s software in nine to 12 months. Hardware-based offerings will take a bit longer, he said.

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