Cisco confirms previous reports that it is funding Insieme Networks, a potential spin-in start-up developing products to help stock Cisco's nascent programmable networking lineup. Cisco invested $100 million in Insieme, which is led by three Cisco engineers: Mario Mazzola, Luca Cafiero and Prem Jain. The three led two other Cisco spin-in start-ups - Andiamo Systems, which made storage-area network switches, and Nuova Systems, which developed Cisco's Nexus 5000 series data center switches. Cisco said it has the option to buy Insieme for $750 million to $850 million, and the company is believed to be developing 100G programmable switches with a significant storage component, and a controller.
Cisco kills its Cius business tablet less than a year after it started shipping, citing an inability to compete with workers using their own personal devices for business - such as Apple's iPad -- and the cloud. Indeed, Cisco's own internal BYOD practices helped doom Cius. The company instead will focus on software offerings like its Jabber and WebEx products for more popular tablets and smartphones supporting a variety of operating systems. And Cisco's strategy for doing so will be led by its third collaboration head in less than a year after Cisco's collaboration business has been hampered by execution issues and declining sales. The business was flat in Cisco's 2012 third quarter with TelePresence hit by decreased spending in public sector and enterprise. In the fourth quarter, collaboration saw an 8% decline which was repeated in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.