Cisco buys BNI Video to boost Videoscape

Cisco has announced its intent to acquire privately-held BNI Video. Headquartered in Boxborough, Mass., BNI Video supplies service providers with two major video products that offer video back-office and content delivery network (CDN) analytic capabilities. The cash acquisition – rated at $99 million – will advance the capabilities of Cisco’s Videoscape TV platform, which allows service providers to deliver compelling video experiences to any device over any IP network.

“Cisco is committed to working with our service provider customers to deliver next-generation IP-based video experiences across devices,” commented Marthin De Beer, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Emerging Business Group. “Service providers globally are embracing our Videoscape vision, and today with the acquisition of BNI Video, we are augmenting our Videoscape platform and giving customers a clear migration path to Videoscape.”

Cisco says that BNI Video’s technology will also help its service provider customers reduce their operational costs and complexity, while expanding monetisation opportunities. Two industry-leading service providers, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, were early investors in BNI Video along with Cisco, and both commented on the acquisition.

“As a founding investor in BNI Video, Comcast Ventures recognised the potential for this technology to play a critical role in advancing video experiences for Comcast’s customers,” said Tony Werner, chief technology officer, Comcast. “With the combined expertise in IP video systems, Cisco and BNI Video offer service providers a compelling software and infrastructure platform to efficiently deliver video content to multiple devices.”

“Time Warner Cable invested early in BNI Video, as it brought a unique software platform to market that addresses the back-office complexities of delivering TV Everywhere services,” said Mike LaJoie, chief technology officer, Time Warner Cable. “Combining forces with Cisco presents an opportunity to take video service providers to the next level with Internet video, helping to manage networks more efficiently to deliver advanced TV entertainment experiences to consumers.”

Cisco notes that video, one of its five company priorities, is the biggest growth driver for IP traffic and, as a result, the company’s core networking business. The BNI Video acquisition follows the recent acquisitions of ExtendMedia and Inlet Technologies, which also strengthen Cisco’s Videoscape portfolio. In addition, with BNI Video headquarters in Boxborough, this acquisition builds upon Cisco’s already strong presence in the greater Boston area and follows past acquisitions in the region such as Starent Networks and LineSider.

Upon the close of the acquisition, BNI Video employees will be integrated into Cisco’s Service Provider Video Technology Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $99 million in cash and retention-based incentives in exchange for all shares of BNI Video. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2012.

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