Cisco said on Friday it plans to acquire privately-held Acano, a London-based firm that provides video conferencing hardware and software, for around $700 million. Cisco said that the deal would enable the company to make a larger push in the collaboration space and help Cisco grow its collaboration business.

 Cisco believes that Acano will help the company in key areas such as interoperability and scalability. Acano has developed products that connect a wide variety of endpoints and systems from all the major collaboration vendors. The company also provides dedicated hardware appliances and virtualized software products for connecting tens of thousands of users and meeting rooms that can run in both cloud-based and hybrid computing environments. 

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Rob Salvagno, Vice President of Cisco Corporate Development, said in a statement: \”People, companies and organizations are more geographically dispersed than ever before, and collaboration is essential to helping teams increase productivity and drive growth\”, “Acano\’s innovations make it easier for customers to collaborate when, where and how they want.\”

\”Acano\’s portfolio includes video and audio bridging technology and gateways to enable customers to connect different collaboration solutions from disparate vendors across cloud and hybrid environments\”,  \”Together, Acano will help Cisco expand the interoperability and scalability of our collaboration portfolio—allowing customers to connect from anywhere, from a browser on a mobile device to the corporate boardroom, and now scaling to easily connect thousands of users across an organization\”, Rob Salvagno added

The networking stalwart has been aggressive in growing its collaboration business. Cisco has refreshed its entire endpoint products and reduced the number of endpoints from 65 to 17, simplifying the portfolio. The company is also pushing to grow the number of video-connected rooms to 25 percent, with people being able to connect easily to those meeting rooms from any device or system.

Cisco has bought several companies to bolster its collaboration efforts. Among them, are UK-based consultancy firm Portcullis, Tropo, Assemblage, Collaborate and German-based software analytics firm ParStream

Acano’s technology and team will merge with Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, which is led by Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President and General Manager. The transaction is expected to close in Cisco’s third quarter for fiscal year 2016. 

Image credit: MarketWatch and Cisco