10 Notable Recent Cisco Acquisitions

Cisco Systems has been on an acquisitions streak more or less unbroken since 1993. Early on, the company focused on companies that fit into its networking wheelhouse, but in recent years, it has moved decidedly into other territories, a move, according to CEO John Chambers, that's been all part of the plan.

Chambers recently suggested that new Cisco inroads into consumer electronics and other markets could eventually yield billion-dollar businesses for Cisco. Here's a look at notable Cisco acquisitions going back almost five years.

When: July 2005

Sheer Networks was in Cisco's backyard in San Jose, Calif., and made network and service management products. Its technologies helped Cisco further develop its own management product portfolio, especially for service provider businesses that rely on big operations and billing systems.

When: November 2005

Scientific-Atlanta was Cisco's largest-ever acquisition by transaction amount, in this case $6.9 billion. It constituted a major video-networking play for Cisco, one that helped expand its horizons toward video and other content over the Internet, as well as giving Cisco its first major foothold in consumer electronics and further its reach into home-integration networking.

When: March 2006

SyPixx Networks was a surveillance company specializing in H.264-standard video-camera encoders and decoders, transmission equipment, storage, recording and fiber-optic equipment for IP-based video monitoring. For Cisco, it meant advancing the networking giant's physical security-monitoring systems and related product lines.

When: August 2006

Primarily an entertainment-industry-focused vendor, Arroyo Video Solutions provided on-demand television, video and other consumer services, and Cisco proceeded to integrate Arroyo's platform into its Cisco IP-NGN (Next Generation Network) framework.

When: January 2007

IronPort's game was Internet threat protection in flagship products such as IronPort AntiSpam and SenderBase e-mail protection. The company later added SpamCop to its product arsenal -- a security play for Cisco.

When: February 2007

Cisco snapped up XML gateway and Web services company Reactivity, whose employees and operations were folded into Cisco's Data Center Switching and Security Technology Group. The move furthered an agenda by Cisco to create and offer application-aware networks to support key technologies like service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

When: March 2007

WebEx's suite of on-demand collaboration, Web-conferencing and videoconferencing applications include Meeting Center, WebEx Connect and WebEx WebOffice. Founded as a start-up in 1995, WebEx applications have since become key pieces of Cisco's collaboration portfolio.

When: October 2007

Cisco picked up mobile WiMax specialist Navini Networks in 2007 for about $330 million in cash to extend Cisco's Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi mesh portfolios. Navini's Ripwave MX product line at the time included modems, antenna arrays, base stations and element management systems.

When: March 2009

Principally a consumer product play for Cisco, Pure Digital is the maker of Flip Video, a simple camcorder whose variations include Flip Ultra, Flip Ultra HD, Flip Video Mino and Flip Video Mino HD.

When: October 2009

Tandberg makes a range of videoconferencing hardware and software products, and their lower-end devices are favored by SMB customers and don't require the type of full-scale, massive conference room deployments as does, say, TelePrescence. The Tandberg deal is expected to broaden Cisco's collaboration portfolio to reach smaller businesses.