Cisco seemingly reverted to its dotcom boom ways of expansion through acquisition today when it plunked down $3.2B for WebEx, the leader in Web conferencing. Scott Fulton at BetaNews reviews the state of play:
Throughout its history, Cisco has built its vast portfolio talents through mergers and acquisitions. Indeed, startups in the networking field intentionally developed business plans and product portfolios designed to attract a Cisco buyout. But with two new Cisco buyouts this week — storage appliance producer NeoPath Networks on Tuesday, and collaboration software developer WebEx this morning — Cisco appears not just to be building up but building out. And today, analysts believe Microsoft may be on notice.
It’s all part of Cisco’s Unified Communications push which has gotten a lot of notice lately and not coincidentally Unified Communications is the name of the Microsoft Business Division group charged with cornering the business communications market and whose Office Live Meeting Product (created from the 2003 acquisition of PlaceWare) is reported to be number 2 in the Web conferencing market and looks to be clearly in the path of the steamroller