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Cisco gives user content high five

Networking heavyweight Cisco is pushing into the social networking space with the acquisition of Five Across for an undisclosed sum.

Based in San Francisco, US, Five Across offers a platform designed to help companies add user-generated content such as audio, video and photo sharing, blogs, podcasts and profiles to their web sites.

“Cisco believes the network is the platform for organisations to connect with their constituents and for individuals to connect with each other,” stated Dan Scheinman, general manager of the Cisco Media Solutions Group (CMSG). “With the acquisition of Five Across, Cisco is taking an important step towards helping its customers evolve their web site experience into something more relevant and valuable to the end-user.”

Cisco said Five Across and its team of 11 employees would be absorbed into CMSG.

The acquisition comes just days after Cisco reported 2007 fiscal second quarter results, ended January 27, in which it posted a 40% increase in profit and 27% rise in revenue year-on-year.

Growth was fuelled in part by Cisco’s 2006 acquisition of set-top box maker and cable infrastructure provider Scientific-Atlanta, which grew more than 20% year-on-year, contributing US$639million in revenue during the quarter.

“It doesn’t get any stronger than the momentum at Scientific-Atlanta,” John Chambers, CEO of the company, commented during a conference call.

Five Across is Cisco’s second purchase this year after its acquisition of IronPort Systems in January.