Linksys Acquires VoIP Provider Sipura

The acquisition, the first for the Linksys division, will accelerate the development of new Linksys VoIP products and spur the expansion of the VoIP solutions channel, said Janie Tsao, senior vice president and co-founder of Linksys. "What VARs are going to see is faster time to market with [VoIP] products and more technology innovation," she said.

Sipura, a two-year-old, privately held company in San Jose, Calif., provides key VoIP hardware and provisioning software to some large telcos and several hundred ISPs, Tsao said. Linksys has begun to hammer out a plan to work with its key distribution partners to bring Sipura hardware and VoIP provisioning technology to many more solution providers, she said.

"We are absolutely committed to growing that base with our distribution partners," Tsao said. "Our idea is to scale the Sipura service and to attract more solution providers to VoIP."

That will create more opportunities for channel partners, Tsao added. "VoIP opens up the horizon for a lot of data VARs to get into the voice business," she said. "It is an IP packet, so it raises the question of the business model of VARs and solution providers who are looking at voice as an additional IP process. Certainly, they are in a position to get into small businesses supporting voice and communications, whereas in the past that was just for PBX VARs."

Sponsored post

The acquisition should enable Cisco to more quickly provide an end-to-end VoIP experience for the home, small office/home office (SOHO) and enterprise segments, said Greg Starr, president of See-Comm, a premier Cisco certified partner in New Boston, Texas.

"Cisco is offering the full gamut of VoIP products from the small business and consumer to the very high end," said Starr, whose VoIP solutions business accounted for 60 percent of his total sales last year. "Before Linksys, they just weren't competitive on the low end with VoIP products." Starr added that he's seeing a growing amount of sales to clients that want to access their corporate data from home offices.

The Sipura technology is used by some VoIP adapter providers and in a number of Linksys products, including analog telephone adapters and routers with phone ports. Sipura also makes a multiline IP phone for the consumer and SOHO markets.

Tsao said the Sipura acquisition brings critical VoIP research-and-development expertise to Linksys, opening the door for the division to bring more capabilities to the VoIP marketplace, such as additional video capabilities. "This is a technology acquisition for us, and it is a major milestone, since it is our first acquisition," she said.

The deal, which must still be approved by government regulators, is expected to close in Cisco's fiscal fourth quarter, which ends July 30.