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Cisco adds development muscle with Ensoft buy

Networking vendor moves to purchase UK firm to add talent and technology on the service provider support side

Cisco has made a move to acquire UK-based software player Ensoft to add some extra muscle to the support and technology it can offer service providers.

Ensoft has been going for 11 years, with a turnover in excess of £10m , and develops IOS XR features for Cisco and following the deal will become part of the vendor's Service Provider Networking Group.

Cisco is pitching the deal, for which the terms were not disclosed, as further evidence of its commitment to the service provider market.

In a blog post Rob Salvagno, vice president of corporate business development and head of Cisco’s M&A and venture investment team, said that the purchase fitted in with the ambition to, "simplify service partner networks through automation and programmability".

"Acquiring the Ensoft team accelerates this strategy and strengthens our commitment to our service provider customers. Cisco has developed the Cisco IOS XR operating system for service provider routing systems, which offers rich IP networking innovation across a variety of devices and form factors from a single code base," he stated.

The decision to acquire Ensoft also gives Cisco access to its staff of more than 60 engineers, which Salvagno described as a "strong talent pipeline" and noted that the firm was listed third overall in The Sunday Times 100 best small companies to work for this year.

The firm is expecting the deal to be complete in a few months by the second quarter of its fiscal 2019.

Last week Cisco revealed at its partner event it was stepping up its involvement in the SD-WAN market and was also releasing a fresh line of routers aimed squarely at the SME market, as it looked to encourage those customers to upgrade to some fresh technology.

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