Cisco acquires Comptel's AXIOSS

Top M&As 2011Deal size:  $31 million in cash

Why it's relevant:  Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) has had a rough year as it shook down its product line, dropping non-core divisions like Flip and abandoning its home security product. But its acquisition of UK-based provider Comptel's AXIOSS software division adds a layer of service to its flagship platforms that it hopes will attract business customers.

The operations and support systems (OSS) software that AXIOSS provides allows Cisco to extend network and service management technologies to products like its CRS-3 core router. The software also features a fulfillment platform that will be a key part of Cisco's service provider management product, offering automated ordering and fulfillment services. Businesses, Cisco reported, can more quickly and efficiently launch new video, data, mobility and cloud services to their customers.

Like many of this year's service provider acquisitions, Comptel's assets were already a valued part of Cisco's service chain. Cisco had integrated the AXIOSS software into its managed services solutions portfolio, including its Cisco Prime offering, even before the deal was announced in August. The transition was relatively seamless, with Comptel CTO Gareth Senior shifting to the Cisco NMTG and Cisco Advanced Services Group. It's an acquisition that may well be one of the smartest moves Cisco has made this year.

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Cisco acquires Comptel's AXIOSS