Cisco to buy video surveillance company

Networking company will spend an undisclosed sum to buy BroadWare Technologies to bulk up its video surveillance business.

Cisco Systems is watching you.

The networking giant announced late Monday that it plans to buy privately held BroadWare Technologies in an effort to bulk up its video surveillance business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cisco said that it expects to close the acquisition in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends July 27.

Cisco's bread and butter for the past two decades has been providing companies and service providers infrastructure equipment, such as IP routers and Ethernet switches, to carry data and Internet traffic. But recently, the company has been expanding its business into other areas, including video.

Cisco believes that video surveillance, in particular, is a logical market for it to address. For one, Cisco is already likely the provider of networking equipment to companies using video surveillance. In addition, many of these companies have already begun consolidating their networks to carry voice and data over an IP infrastructure. So adding video to that consolidated network would make sense. And lastly, Cisco also provides storage area networking gear, which is essential for customers who must store all the video.

A year ago, Cisco spent $51 million in cash and options to buy a company called SyPixx, which developed software and hardware products to allow existing analog video systems to operate as part of a digital IP network. Now, with BroadWare's software, Cisco customers will be able to monitor, manage, record and store audio and video that can be accessed anywhere by authorized users through a Web-based interface, Cisco said. With these two acquisitions, Cisco is able to address customers with existing video surveillance systems in place, as well as accounts where no video infrastructure is in place.

"Cisco views the video surveillance infrastructure market as an immediate high-growth opportunity that requires the ability to support both IP and analog device installations," Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's Emerging Market Technologies Group, said in a statement. "Through the acquisition of BroadWare, Cisco will be able to address both existing and greenfield video surveillance opportunities."

BroadWare has 38 employees with offices in California and Virginia.

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