Cisco has acquired cloud rival Meraki. Meraki attracted much attention in around 2006, thanks to Google investing in the then-startup and its products that made it possible to dole out a few megabytes of free WiFi from its access points. That functionality was popular among early adopters who liked the idea of free WiFi and were …
Another interesting set of products soon to be dragged down to Cisco's mediocre levels. Shame.
Next on the shopping list...
... a Virtualisation hypervisor.
If EMC are rumoured to be in discussion with Juniper to bring their networking for VMWare more in house, it makes sense for Cisco to look for a Virtualisation "partner" to consume. Citrix is probably the best fit, and within budget.
strategic alliance director, EMEA at Enterasys Networks
Cisco has been extremely busy on the acquisition trail recently and it certainly has the cash reserves, but simply acquiring technology does not guarantee future success.
One of the major issues following any acquisition is the effective integration of the acquired company and its personnel into the purchasing company’s R&D and general business processes. With the Meraki acquisition there is absolutely some significant product overlap and it will be interesting to see how Cisco manages this, especially with the added disruption following four other recent acquisitions.
It will also be intriguing to see how this impacts existing Meraki customers, specifically from a customer support perspective. Meraki has a similarity with my own company Enterasys, in that it prides itself on its customer support and satisfaction, its ability to respond quickly to virtually any type of request, this is in stark contrast to the way Cisco works. Being such a behemoth of a company leads to a very laborious and process driven response mechanism to customer feature requests and resolution to problems, the complete opposite to what Meraki customers experience.
For Cisco this is obviously one step closer to providing cloud managed services, no doubt there will be others, its unlikely that the Meraki and Cisco WLAN solutions will both remain intact, but I guess only time will tell.