02:40 PM
Connect Directly

Cisco Buys Into Social Networking

The networking company reaches an agreement to acquire Five Across, maker of white-label social networking software.

Continuing its embrace of consumer-oriented technology, Cisco Systems today said that it had reached an agreement to acquire Five Across, a maker of white-label social networking software.

Cisco has made two other notable acquisitions of companies with consumer-facing products: Scientific-Atlanta in 2005 and The Linksys Group in 2003. Cisco's interest in these companies reflects the IT industry's recognition that consumer-oriented technology has a place in today's business community. To put it another way, everything's connected, which works out well for a networking company like Cisco.

In an interview published on Cisco's Web site, Cisco senior VP and GM of media solutions Dan Scheinman explained these acquisitions as a response to the age of the empowered consumer. "Cisco's role in powering the Internet gives us a unique perspective to talk about how consumers and the media and entertainment industry can take advantage of the shift from centralized distribution to on-demand entertainment," he said. "Our acquisitions of Linksys and Scientific-Atlanta make the network relevant to entertainment all the way into the connected home of the future, in which consumers can easily choose the content they want, when and where they want it, on the device of their choice."

In a statement issued today, Scheinman described the network as a "platform for organizations to connect with their constituents and for individuals to connect with each other."

So it is that Cisco plans to use the Five Across social networking platform to help companies add community-oriented features to their Web sites, particularly organizations that want to build better relationships with their customers. An example of what Cisco hopes to offer its customers can be seen at the National Hockey League's community site, NHL Connect, which uses Five Across' software.

"Empowered consumers are not only reshaping the entertainment industry, they will profoundly impact the way the traditional IT industry operates," said Scheinman.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
While 68% say demand for WAN bandwidth will increase, just 15% are in the process of bringing new services or more capacity online now. For 26%, cost is the problem. Enter vendors from Aryaka to Cisco to Pertino, all looking to use cloud to transform how IT delivers wide-area connectivity.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Increasing IT Agility and Speed To Drive Business Growth
Learn about the steps you'll need to take to transform your IT operation and culture into an agile organization that supports business-driving initiatives.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.