Cisco Thursday disclosed plans to acquire Composite Software, a San Mateo- Calif. based data virtualization software and services company. The acquisition, according to some VARs, is a move toward closing Cisco's software gap and getting one step closer to its ambitious vision of a broader Cisco future.
"This is exactly what I hoped to see from Cisco," said Phil Mogavero, vice president and regional CTO of PCM Inc., an El Segundo, Calif.-based solution provider.
Mogavero was one of over 2,000 partners present at Cisco's Partner Summit Conference in Boston earlier this month where Cisco executives walked partners step-by-step through the vision for Cisco and its ecosystem's future. A lot of Cisco's focus revolved around the "Internet of Everything" and a push toward cloud computing, according to Mogavero.
"To me, the missing piece from Cisco's story was software and acquisitions to make Cisco more relevant in the software space," said Mogavero. "My guess is [this acquisition] is something they had targeted to be able to take data and centralize it."
"It's not surprising," said Dave Casey, principal of Westron Communications, a Frisco, Texas-based solution provider. "They haven't played too much in the business intelligence space, so I think that's probably a good move for them."
Cisco executives have been outspoken about keeping up with where technology is headed.
"Big data and cloud are drastically changing today's IT landscape," Cisco said in a statement. "The proliferation of traditional and new data sources plus the movement of data to the cloud complicates the ability to access all data assets. This creates the need to complement traditional data warehousing with an agile business solution that provides a real-time, consolidated logical view of data."
Composite Software offers a product that collects various types of data from across the network and compiles the data in one, organized space. The point of the technology, according to Cisco's statement, is to allow customers to view the most up-to-the-minute data, allowing business executives to make the most informed decision possible.
According to Robyn Jenkins Blum, a Cisco spokesperson, the deal will close in first quarter of fiscal year 2014, which begins in August.
Composite Software did not respond to requests for comment as of press time.
NEXT: How Will The Acquisition Support Cisco's Partner Promise?Jay Kirby, vice president of Lumenate, a Dallas, Texas-based solution provider, said Cisco's step into software and virtualization will benefit channel partners as long as acquisitions stay strategic. "They key is to make good investments, not a lot of investments. It could get really confusing if we get too many technologies out there," Kirby said.
"By acquiring companies with expertise around big data, that helps Cisco be much more relevant in that space," PCM's Mogavero said. "I think this acquisition is a great thing for Cisco and for partners."
At Partner Summit, Cisco touted the "Today. Tomorrow. Together" theme. Cisco Executives made it clear at the conference that major growth could be expected of the company, but the intent was not to leave partners in the dust. Rather, Cisco claimed it wants to make the transition to cloud and beyond as an ecosystem, with partners being a large part of that ecosystem.
At Partner Summit, Cisco CEO Chambers summed up his vision of Cisco's future by alluding to changes partners could expect to begin seeing as the company moves toward a more connected ecosystem.
"Change makes most people really uncomfortable," he said, "and yet we are talking about a partner ecosystem that we have to navigate through very carefully, knowing that each move we make in services, or each move we make in Internet of Everything, we have to say, 'How do we do it together?' and trust each other that we are going to work through this transition."
Cisco's acquisition of Composite Software could, therefore, be seen as one aspect of change to which Chambers was referring at the conference.
PUBLISHED JUNE 20, 2013