Cisco-Jasper deal should make enterprise IoT safer

The $1.4 billion acquisition could bring a lot of the pieces into a one-stop shop

Cisco Systems' planned US$1.4 billion acquisition of Jasper Technologies could make it easier for enterprises to build businesses around services instead of products.

While the Internet of Things includes sensors and devices that enterprises can use to better run their operations and cut costs, it can also give them whole new business models.

Much of Jasper's business is connecting the products companies make to mobile networks. It sits between enterprises and mobile operators, doing the complicated work of tying IoT applications to network connections. Cisco builds a lot of the gear on the network side of that equation, plus higher-level smarts like analytics on the other end that can make IoT more effective and profitable.

Bringing their capabilities together will simplify deployments that currently involve lots of different companies and pieces of software, the companies say.

"It gives the customer everything they need, essentially, to build a connected business," said Rowan Trollope, Cisco senior vice president and general manager of the IoT and Collaboration Business Unit, on a conference call to discuss the deal.

Cisco plus Jasper doesn't necessarily cover it all, Machina Research analyst Isabel Chapman said.

"It does position Cisco strongly in the connectivity support and connectivity platforms space, but ... those platforms don't comprise the entire IoT platforms stack," Chapman said.

Still, Cisco and Jasper are ambitious to take on a transformation that could change whole industries. It's already happened in businesses like copiers, where some manufacturers don't sell hardware to the customer but instead charge them to use the machine. Jasper's cloud service makes it possible to monitor use of the machine and whether supplies need to be replenished.

The concept gets sexier with consumer products like cars: Connected cars are becoming platforms for multiple services that customers pay for throughout the life of the vehicle. General Motors said last year it expects to reap $350 million in profit over the next three years from an LTE connectivity deal with AT&T. The company is also exploring car-sharing services that could take the place of selling each vehicle to one customer.

The complexity of bringing together all the pieces to make this happen has slowed enterprises' progress toward an IoT future, Cisco's Trollope said. Cisco claims adding Jasper to its ranks will fill in a big piece of the puzzle.

The companies said there's essentially no overlap between what the two of them do and lots of room to turn it all into more than the sum of its parts. But there's one aspect of the deal that could become awkward.

Cisco announced a broad partnership with Ericsson late last year in which the companies will supply complementary parts of carrier and IoT networks. The Jasper acquisition looks likely to put Cisco in competition with Ericsson's Device Connection Platform, a product that does much the same things as Jasper's platform, analysts said.

"It's hard for me to imagine that Cisco and Ericsson will collaborate on IoT connectivity management if they have competing solutions now," MachNation analylst Steve Hilton said.

Cisco's Trollope seemed unfazed. No one vendor will be able to serve all types of customers through all service providers, he said. "This is a really big market."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?