There is no question that the emerging market for the Internet of Things (IoT) is a massive opportunity, and there is also no question that it's an opportunity that Cisco takes very seriously. On February 3, Cisco demonstrated just how serious it is about IoT by paying $1.4 billion in cash to acquire privately held IoT vendor Jasper Technologies.
Jasper has a cloud-based IoT services platform that will complement Cisco's existing IoT hardware and software efforts.
"Many of our customers are looking to transition their business models from a static product to a connected service," Rowan Trollope, Cisco’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, IoT and Collaboration Technology Group, said on a call with press and analysts to discuss the deal.
Trollope commented that everyone has probably heard incredible projections about the size and scale of IoT and what it's going to mean for the world's economy and they usually have trillions of dollars in front of them.
"So whether it's $14 trillion or $10 trillion, the effect on the next generation of Internet and next generation of companies is profound," Trollope said. "This is a very important investment for us and represents a huge step for Cisco in delivering a complete platform for IoT connectivity for our customers."
According to Trollope, there is no overlap between Cisco's existing IoT product portfolio and what Jasper offers. He explained that Cisco has technologies at lower levels in the stack, including pure connectivity solutions for both wired and wireless devices and systems. Cisco also has services higher in the stack around data connectivity and analytics. There is also a service exchange infrastructure that Cisco has that enables IoT to be connected with existing infrastructure to help enable automation.
"There is a nice sandwich here, where we've got the bread and Jasper has got some of the meat," Trollope said. "We put it all together and you get an incredible meal as a customer."
For the combined Cisco/Jasper integrated portfolio, security is a key area of focus and core competence.
"The thing about security is that it doesn't reside in one spot, it's a chain," Jahangir Mohammed, Jasper Chief Executive Officer, said. "The opportunity this partnership represents is the ability to provide more of the chain."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.