Cisco reveals service management strategy with statement of intent to buy Broadhop

Consolidation continues apace in the worlds of service and traffic management with the news that Cisco intends to acquire its long-time partner Broadhop. The acquisition would be a significant development for Cisco which has something of a history in network management, but has until now been a relative bit-part player in service management, working mainly through partnerships with the likes of Broadhop and others.

Much has been made in the media of Cisco’s potential inclusion of a respected and widely-deployed PCRF as part of the deal, but equally significantly would be the addition of both on- and off-line charging systems, subscriber data management and application gateway capabilities which are incorporated within the Broadhop Quantum platform. Cisco says that the deal would complete the company’s closed loop strategy comprising network, analytics and policy, as well as extending its reach to some 70 customers across 40 countries in multiple verticals, including 3G/4G, Fixed, wifi and converged access.

Against a background of unconfirmed rumors that Cisco is thinking of selling some of its consumer-facing assets such as its Linksys division, it is tempting to speculate that perhaps the company is shifting its focus and is looking to get more deeply involved in the telecoms vertical. If the Broadhop acquisition goes ahead, a logical next step for a company with Cisco’s pedigree would be to acquire a network infrastructure business, were one to be on the market at the right price. Cisco’s response to such a suggestion was understandably vague but it didn’t rule out the possibility. It said in a written statement, “Cisco is always looking at a broader portfolio strategy in terms of capitalizing on market transitions to deliver more relevant solutions to customers.” Watch this space.

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