Cisco Picks Up Service Provider Network Management Player


Cisco the hunter has officially returned.

Coming on the heels of its acquisition of Lightwire and proposed acquisition of NDS Group, the networking titan on Wednesday said it will acquire ClearAccess, a privately held maker of software that enables service providers to more easily provision and manage residential and mobile devices.

Financial terms of the deal were not provided. The acquisition includes ClearAccess' software assets and employees; the hardware portion of ClearAccess' business, Smart RG Gateways, will remain as Smart RG Inc.

[Related: 10 Past Cisco Acquisitions Considered]

Vancouver, Wash.-based ClearAccess, which was founded in 2005, specializes in software based on the Broadband Forum's TR-069 protocol, which defines an application layer for managing various end-user devices remotely and provides the communication stream between customer premise equipment and configuration servers.

Cisco plans to leverage the software in Cisco Prime, its network management software platform, and will offer service providers advanced capabilities such as connected home management, diagnostics and analytics. Following the acquisition's close, ClearAccess employees will join Cisco's Network Management Technology Group.

Jamie Lerner, vice president and general manager, Cisco Network Management Technology Group, Service Provider Applications, said ClearAccess provides a critical technology for managing service provider networks.

"The ClearAccess acquisition reinforces Cisco's commitment to service providers by accelerating software architectural advancements in mobility, cloud and managed devices, and video," Lerner said in a statement.

All of Cisco's confirmed 2012 acquisitions thus far have focused on its service provider businesses, and its proposed $5 billion acquisition of U.K.-based NDS Group is by far the largest. During Cisco's second-quarter earnings call in February, Cisco CEO John Chambers said that Cisco would once again pick up the pace of M&A activity following a slowdown in 2011 as Cisco restructured.