The Top 10 Networking Company Acquisitions Of 2018 (So Far)

The networking industry's major vendors were in acquisition mode in the first six months of 2018, as both Cisco and HPE made major buys.

Deals On Deals

The networking market was a busy place of acquisitions, especially late in the first half of the year. The action was led by the industry's major players, with networking behemoth Cisco Systems snapping up three companies, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise's high-impact acquisition of Plexxi.

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For many of the players in the first half's acquisition market, the goal was to take steps to create more complete, core-to-edge, or fully integrated solutions that allow customers and partners to speed sales, simplify environments and take some pressure off IT budgets.

The unified communications space also saw some action, with Plantronics closing its $2 billion acquisition of Polycom, and setting itself up to offer one of the broadest portfolios in the industry.

Here are the top networking acquisitions this year, so far.

(For more on the biggest news of 2018, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review.").

10. FireMon Acquires Lumeta

Purchase Price: Not Disclosed

FireMon said in May it intends to acquire cyber situation awareness provider Lumeta to help security teams identify all the assets on their network and understand how they're connected. FireMon, Overland Park, Kan., said the acquisition of Somerset, N.J.-based Lumeta will help enterprises with discovering, mapping and analyzing their on-premises and cloud connections. By using Lumeta's technology to identify new devices, routers and cloud connections, customers can extend the capabilities of FireMon's platform to cover previously unknown areas of exposure.

9. 8X8 Acquires MarianaIQ

Purchase Price: Not Disclosed

8x8 in May acquired AI-powered marketing startup MarianaIQ to add new features powered by AI and machine learning to its cloud-based product portfolio. Unified-Communications-as-a-Service and contact center provider 8x8 said the acquisition would help give customers one system for employee communications and customer interactions. Adding AI to its new X Series, a platform that combines communications, collaboration and contact center solutions, will give businesses better insight into the data they are collecting every day from their own staff and end customers, the company said.

8. Live Action Acquires Savvius

Purchase Price: Not Disclosed

LiveAction took a major step toward building a fully integrated network management platform with the acquisition of network diagnostics specialist Savvius in June. Palo Alto, Calif.-based LiveAction, an enterprise network management and visibility player, intends to use the acquisition to build a complete network performance monitoring and diagnostics platform, the company said in a statement. The acquisition will allow Savvius – based in Walnut Creek, Calif. – to more quickly develop its Omnipliance, Omnipeek and Insight products while broadening LiveAction's presence in the enterprise market and in multivendor environments, the company said.

7. Cisco Acquires Skyport Systems

Purchase Price: Not Disclosed

Cisco had a busy start to the year, especially in hyper-convergence. In January, the company rolled out major enhancements to its HyperFlex platform, and also said it would acquire Skyport Systems, a privately held hyper-convergence startup that it had backed. Skyport markets cloud-managed, super-secure hyper-converged systems. The acquisition allows Cisco to tackle the security problem head on, and Skyport's intellectual property is likely to be used across Cisco's portfolio.

6. Cisco Acquires July Systems

Purchase Price: Not Disclosed

Cisco in June said that it would acquire privately held July Systems as a means to evolve its location services business. July's platform uses Wi-Fi analytics to allow retail stores, hotels, convention centers and other large facilities to gain insight into their customers. The July Systems solution is cloud-based and sold on a subscription basis. Cisco, and its Meraki unit, have partnered with July Systems for a number of years as an OEM for mobile experiences. July Systems will become part of Cisco's Enterprise Networking Group, led by Senior Vice President and General Manager Scott Harrell. Founded in 2001, July Systems has raised nearly $60 million in funding from top venture firms.

5. Windstream Acquires MASS Communications

Purchase Price: $37.5 million

Windstream in March acquired privately held telecom network management provider MASS Communications for $37.5 million, giving partners and customers access to a broad range of custom voice, networking and global cloud solutions. The acquisition brings Windstream a "customer-first" company with a strong track record of revenue growth. MASS Communications, based in New York City, is a 100 percent channel-focused provider that offers custom voice and networking solutions, as well as managed SD-WAN and security services to small and midsize businesses.

4. Ribbon Acquires Edgewater Networks

Purchase Price: $ 110 million

Ribbon Communications said its $110 million acquisition of Edgewater Networks would create a complete core-to-edge portfolio as well as a fully integrated software-defined WAN service. Ribbon, a cloud communications specialist, said it would leverage Edgewater's portfolio to enhance multiple offerings including its Kandy Unified-Communications-as-a-Service solution. Edgewater will provide Kandy with new capabilities around analytics and service assurance across the network edge, the company said.

3. HPE Acquires Plexxi

Purchase Price: Not Disclosed

Hewlett Packard Enterprise added a critical piece to its next-generation hybrid IT platform in May by inking a deal to acquire Nashua, N.H., startup Plexxi, a provider of software-defined data fabric networking technology. The acquisition gives HPE additional software-defined muscle as it moves to position itself as the leading provider of next-generation compute, networking and storage infrastructure. Plexxi will power HPE's SimpliVity hyper-converged infrastructure offering and its Synergy composable infrastructure with a next-generation data network fabric that can automatically create or rebalance bandwidth to workload needs.

2. Cisco Acquires Accompany

Purchase Price: $270 million

Cisco in May acquired Accompany, a privately held developer of an AI-driven relationship intelligence platform used by sales teams to find new prospects, navigate the sales cycle and strengthen relationships. Cisco acquired the Los Altos, Calif., startup for $270 million in cash and equity awards, and made its CEO, Amy Chang, senior vice president of its Collaboration Technology Group, a position that was vacated by superstar executive Rowan Trollope, who left to become CEO of Five9.

1. Plantronics Acquires Polycom

Purchase Price: $2 billion

Plantronics closed its $2 billion acquisition of unified communications and collaboration provider Polycom midyear, setting the company up to offer one of the broadest portfolios in the UCC industry. By joining forces, Plantronics moves out of the peripherals business and squarely into the unified communications systems market, giving the company the gravitas and scale it needs to work with UC competitors to increase interoperability, reduce complexity, and in turn, boost customer retention. The company said individual channel programs, strategies and leadership would be unchanged for the time being.