Cisco acquires cloud Wi-Fi vendor Meraki for $1.2 billion
Cisco announced the acquisition of privately held Meraki for $1.2 billion on Sunday. Meraki is a maker of cloud-based wireless LAN equipment and security appliances that are targeted at mid-sized businesses. Having personally tested a Wi-Fi access point made by the company, I was impressed by its easy setup and ability to be completely managed from the cloud.
On that front, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is probably looking towards Meraki's modern stack of management software to help it move towards the cloud as part of its overall strategy. As reported by Network World, Mark Fabbi of Gartner was quoted as saying: "It's pretty clear Cisco bought Meraki because of their ability to manage cloud infrastructure and Meraki has proven that the model works and is robust."
Another aspect of the acquisition that makes sense would be Meraki's expertise in mobile device management to tackle the BYOD trend. Meraki's emphasis on device security will allow Cisco to compete on a more equal footing with top-placed Wi-Fi maker Aruba Networks, which has long positioned towards device management.
On a separate note, another major Wi-Fi equipment maker, Ruckus Wireless, held its IPO on Friday on an initial offering of $15 a share. However, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal to have fallen by 3.9 percent to $14.41 in recent trading.