Cisco buys Sheer

Cisco has acquired privately held network and service management vendor Sheer Networks for US$97 million. Cisco says Sheer's technology can adapt to network changes easily, scale to large networks, and help extend new technologies and services to simplify the difficult task of monitoring and maintaining complex networks.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  August 9, 2005

Cisco has acquired privately held network and service management vendor Sheer Networks for US$97 million. Cisco says Sheer's technology can adapt to network changes easily, scale to large networks, and help extend new technologies and services to simplify the difficult task of monitoring and maintaining complex networks. Although Cisco will pay US$97 million in cash and assumed options for Sheer Networks, the acquisition price may be increased by as much as US$25 million depending on the degree to which certain development and product milestones are met after close. The acquisition of Sheer is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2006. "We are continuously investing in our business to meet our customers' needs and the Sheer Networks acquisition will strengthen our ability to provide innovative and effective network management solutions," says Cliff Meltzer, senior vice president for Cisco's Network Management Technology Group. "Our blueprint for Cisco network management includes a common services platform on which applications are delivered and the ability to support management applications from Cisco and other vendors. Sheer has a similar philosophy and parallel architecture which will accelerate our delivery of Cisco's next generation management platform and advanced applications to our Service Provider customers,” he explains. Joel Conover, principal analyst research firm Current Analysis, says improving network management is central to the deal. Cisco has a wide and complex portfolio and management can be a headache. “Cisco is well known to have a poor and generally complex offering when it comes to network management,” Conover says. “It has also said publicly that it is going to invest heavily in network management to better address this deficiency. This would be one form of investing,” he explains.

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