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Cisco to acquire services management firm SolveDirect

First partially funds, then gobbles up management toolmaker

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Cisco has announced plans to acquire SolveDirect as the company looks at adding more management tools to make it easier for businesses to manage multiple IT systems.

The acquisition was announced by Cisco on Monday, and will see SolveDirect's executive team join the networking company's services division. The privately-held company makes software that lets firms chain together business processes across multiple partners' IT systems.

The acquisition follows Cisco taking Vienna-based SolveDirect for a whirl in December 2009 by investing an undisclosed sum of money into it through the 3TS Cisco Growth Fund – a fund operated by 3TS Capital Partners and financially backed in part by Cisco's cash.

SolveDirect's main product is a technology named ServiceGrid that provides a central platform from which to monitor service-level agreements (SLAs), browse service case management, and choose from a library of preconfigured information technology infrastructure library–compliant (ITIL) workflows for setting up incident reporting, service requests, problem listing, and change management.

Customers for the management tech include German industrial-equipment titan Siemens, plus solar-energy company Conergy and Cisco itself.

"SolveDirect's capabilities will enable Cisco to extend our portfolio of smart and connected IT services to our global ecosystem of customers, partners and resellers," Cisco's head of corporate business development Hilton Romanski wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

"SolveDirect’s cloud-based solutions offer enterprises and service providers a flexible way to integrate with service partners, and automate sharing of processes, data, and workflows in real-time by eliminating manual practices and bottlenecks, driving significant operational efficiencies," he wrote.

Mastering the art of monitoring and interfacing different services is a priority for Cisco as the networking giant foresees its networks administering a greater number of clients across a more diverse range of hardware as technologies such as machine-to-machine (M2M) proliferate.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of Cisco's fiscal year for 2013. ®

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