Cisco announced last week that it will acquire Jasper Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based cloud-based Internet-of-Things service platform provider that calls itself the “on switch” for IoT.
The Jasper platform is used by many of the world’s largest enterprises and service providers, allowing them to connect devices ranging from cars to pacemakers to jet engines over cellular networks. It also provides a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform for managing devices.
The acquisition, in which Cisco will pay $1.4 billion in cash and assumed equity awards, and additional retention-based incentives, is Cisco’s biggest purchase since it bought cybersecurity company Sourcefire in 2013 for around $2.5 billion.
The acquisition is expected to close by April 2016.
Jasper CEO Jahangir Mohammed will run the new IoT Software Business Unit under Cisco’s IoT and Collaboration Technology Group.
Cisco expects the acquisition to enable it to provide a complete IoT solution that is interoperable across devices and works with IoT service providers, application developers and an ecosystem of partners.
It will add new features to the Jasper IoT service platform including enterprise Wi-Fi, security for connected devices, and advanced analytics to better manage device usage.
“IoT has become a business imperative across the globe. Enterprises in every industry need integrated solutions that give them complete visibility and control over their connected services, while also being simple to implement, manage and scale,” said Jahangir Mohammed, Jasper Chief Executive Officer. “By coming together, Jasper and Cisco will help mobile operators and enterprises accelerate their IoT success.”
IoT presents many new and unusual challenges especially around connectivity and M security because it represents a whole new target for malicious hackers. Some major tech companies are focusing their efforts on building platforms that make it easier and safer to connect devices. Many are also preparing their users and integrators to use their platforms for IoT. Amazon Web Services, for instance, recently added the Internet of Things (IoT) as one of its AWS Partner Network Competencies.
According to Cisco’s new Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, which covers 2015 to 2020, mobile data traffic will increase eight-fold over this period. Their research anticipates 5.5 billion mobile users – or 70 percent of the global population- by 2020, connecting more people in the developing world. And the opportunities for global development through IoT are enormous, according to a separate report from Cisco and the UN’s International Telecommunications Union.
Interest in IoT is strong and companies like Cisco are spending heavily to be at the forefront of this movement to connect the world’s devices.