Cisco To Acquire Connected-Home Management Vendor ClearAccess

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Cisco Systems plans to acquire ClearAccess, a privately held company that provides software to cable operators and telcos for provisioning and managing residential gateways, cable modems and other devices.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cisco is not acquiring the hardware portion of ClearAccess' business, which comprises its Smart RG Gateways. That business will be spun off as SmartRG Inc.

ClearAccess's customers include Rogers Communications, Primus Telecommunications and Illinois-based Consolidated Communications. Investors in the Vancouver, Wash.-based company, founded in 2005, include Montlake Capital, DFJ Frontier, Blade Ventures and Oregon Angel Fund.

According to Cisco, the ClearAccess management software will augment the Cisco Prime network management software portfolio with tools for managing the connected home, including monitoring and managing bandwidth usage, parental controls, diagnostics and analytics. The ClearAccess system provides the ability to manage devices using the Broadband Forum's TR-069 specification.

"The ClearAccess acquisition reinforces Cisco's commitment to service providers by accelerating software architectural advancements in mobility, cloud and managed devices, and video," Jamie Lerner, vice president and general manager of service provider applications in the Cisco Network Management Technology Group. "ClearAccess provides a critical technology that will advance Cisco's mission to offer service providers a complete set of tools to manage their networks, within the home and across any connected device, amid the ongoing proliferation in network traffic."

The acquisition of ClearAccess is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed by the end of Cisco's 2012 fiscal year in July.

Upon the close of the deal, the ClearAccess software products and 22 employees will be merged into the Cisco Network Management Technology Group. Fifteen employees from ClearAccess will be joining SmartRG.

SmartRG Inc., which will remain based in Vancouver, will sell its current residential gateway products and continue to offer the ClearVision management system through a formal licensing agreement with Cisco. Jeff McInnis, currently vice president of solution sales at ClearAccess, will become CEO of SmartRG.

Ken Hood, ClearAccess co-founder and senior VP of sales and marketing, will join Cisco as director of technology. ClearAccess chairman CEO Fred Lawrence will not be joining Cisco.

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