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Networking and communications giant Cisco Systems is buying privately-held BNI Video. Headquartered in Boxborough, Mass., BNI Video supplies service providers with two video products that offer video back-office and content delivery network (CDN) analytic capabilities. The acquisition is designed to boost the capabilities of Cisco’s Videoscape communications platform, which allows service providers to deliver video experiences to a device over an Internet Protocol (IP) network.

Cisco announced Videoscape in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.

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 about $99 million in cash and retention-based incentives in exchange for all shares of BNI Video. Cisco noted the acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the second quarter of the company s fiscal year 2012.

BNI Video’s technology could also help Cisco’s service provider customers reduce their operational costs and complexity, while expanding monetization opportunities, according to two service providers, Comcast and Time Warner Cable–who along with were early investors in BNI Video. The two companies commented on the acquisition in separate statements.

"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, CTO at 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."

Comcast CTO Tony Werner said that 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. "As a founding investor in BNI Video, Comcast Ventures recognized the potential for this technology to play a critical role in advancing video experiences for Comcast’s customers," Werner said.

Video, one of Cisco’s five company priorities, is the biggest growth driver for IP traffic and, as a result, the company’s core networking business, according to the company. BNI Video is one in a line of strategic acquisitions to accelerate Cisco s growth and differentiation in video. Over the last year and a half, Cisco has acquired ExtendMedia and Inlet Technologies, which added video content management and adaptive bit rate capabilities to the company s portfolio.

"Cisco is committed to working with our service provider customers to deliver next-generation IP-based video experiences across devices," Marthin De Beer, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s emerging business group, said in a statement.  "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."

Earlier this week Cisco rolled out new network switches, including a new firewall product, to expand its data center portfolio with virtual security offerings. The company also unveiled the ASA 1000V, a virtual version of the current Adaptive Security Appliance. Deployed as a virtual machine on a server, the appliance would extend security protection to the edge of virtual environments, Cisco said. Intended for multi-tenant cloud environments, Cisco said organizations would be able to apply consistent policies across physical and virtual environments.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Cisco to Acquire BNI Video for $99 Million