Cisco looks to strengthen network assurance with intent to acquire SamKnows

Networking technology and services giant announces intent to acquire UK-based internet performance monitoring platform to extend its ThousandEyes network assessment stack to remote and hybrid workers

Hot on the heels of announcing its intent to acquire network performance monitoring technology provider Accedian, Cisco has now revealed a similar objective to acquire SamKnows, a broadband network monitoring company headquartered in London, to expand its ThousandEyes global internet health business.

The SamKnows internet performance platform is used by internet service providers (ISPs) and governments to measure and improve connectivity worldwide. By putting software into home routers and mobile devices, the company collects billions of performance measurements each month, finding faults in near real time to ensure consumers receive fast and reliable internet connectivity.

The company claims that over the past 10 years, its team has had an “outsized impact” on its industry, having helped design the standards used by regulators to create transparent and competitive markets to the benefit of consumers. The company has also worked with ISP customers to build tools that monitor their networks with the intention of keeping their customers online and well-connected.

“We believe that in a few years, every internet-enabled device will include a measurement agent, collecting data about internet performance,” said SamKnows CEO Alex Salter.

“We already have tens of million of homes actively testing using our global platform. We expect this number to grow 10-fold in the coming years. This month alone, we’ve added almost four million homes, and with the performance data we collect, we are building a never-before-seen picture of device, application and network performance. But there is still so much more that could be done,” he added.

The next step is agreeing to be part of the Cisco ThousandEyes team to integrate its technologies and take ThousandEyes’ view of global internet health to the next level. “Cisco ThousandEyes empowers leading organisations worldwide to see, understand and improve connected experiences everywhere, and joining an organisation like Cisco will enable us to scale to reach more devices and assure great digital experiences for any user over any network,” said Salter.

For its part, Cisco said network disruption was not just downtime, it was a disruption of critical user experiences and loss of productivity, financial health and brand reputation. It also believes the acquisition will bring ThousandEyes’ end-to-end network assurance to more broadband service providers, enabling them to isolate and troubleshoot issues faster to assure a differentiated customer experience that reduces churn, attracts users and enables them to better compete in today’s market.

It added that with SamKnows’s millions of vantage points into the last mile, enterprise customers will now have “a single source of truth” for how the internet is performing across their entire infrastructure, including home and mobile device networks, and that, whether for hybrid work or consumer application delivery, “optimising and improving internet performance for everyone was just a click away”.

“The internet has become an essential resource for billions of people around the world, connecting us to everything from critical services to collaboration applications,” said ThousandEyes CEO and co-founder Mohit Lad, explaining the context of the acquisition.

“In the past few years, hybrid work has dramatically expanded the role of broadband networks, and companies are increasingly dependent on these networks to connect customers and employees to applications and services. Ensuring end-to-end connectivity from home environments is now essential for enterprises supporting remote employees, application providers reaching users and broadband providers maintaining customer satisfaction.

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