Cisco buys software platform behind AT&T Drive and other IoT solutions
Cisco Systems said it’s acquiring “the industry’s leading IoT service platform” with its purchase of Silicon Valley’s Jasper Technologies for $1.4 billion. Jasper’s “Internet of Things” platform is designed to automate the management of IoT services across devices connected to cellular networks. The company works with 3,500 enterprises and 27 mobile network groups worldwide, according to Cisco.
Jasper Technologies counts AT&T, China Unicom, Claro, 02, KPN and NTT DoCoMo as customers, as well as many smaller operators. Last year AT&T tapped Jasper to provide software for its AT&T Drive connected car solution.
“AT&T is a significant customer and we believe the acquisition will help Cisco support more of AT&T’s Domain 2.0 vision,” said Raymond James analyst Simon Leopold.
New IoT services such as enterprise Wi-Fi, security for connected devices and advanced analytics to better manage device usage are among the capabilities Cisco says it can add to Jasper’s platform.
“Carriers will no longer have to worry about under-investment in IoT connectivity management,” said Steve Hilton, IoT analyst at MachNation. “Cisco, with its strong focus on IoT, will ensure that the Jasper solutions will receive proper investment and a good product roadmap.”
The acquisition is expected to close within the next few months. Cisco is funding the acquisition with cash on hand and assumed equity awards plus additional retention based incentives.
Jasper CEO Jahangir Mohammed will run Cisco’s new IoT software business unit under Cisco SVP and GM Rowan Trollope. Mohammed sees the IoT opportunity more in terms of the way it changes process than in terms of the things that can connect.
“It’s not about things, it’s about service. … We’ve pioneered a platform that enables companies around the world to transform from a product company to a service company,” Mohammed explains in a video on his company’s website. “It is easy to be imaginative when you’re talking about the ‘Internet of Things,’ and many people out there paint a pretty amazing picture of what the world is going to be after the ‘Internet of Things’ really takes off. The thing that’s different about us is we are in the trenches already doing this.”
Jasper’s experience and Cisco’s footprint will be a strong combination, according to Hilton. “The combination of Cisco and Jasper technologies will make it easier for businesses to connect,” he said. “Enterprises will no longer have to use multiple vendors to manage the IoT, LAN and WAN environments.”
Jasper Technologies went through six financing rounds before this sale. Investors included Sequoia Capital, Temasek Holdings, Benchmark and KPN Ventures.
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