Cisco Looking to Sell Video Software Unit: Report

Cisco Systems has put its video software unit on the block more than five years after the company bulked up in that area by acquiring NDS for $5 billion, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the situation.

Cisco said it doesn't comment on rumor or speculation. 

Cisco acquired NDS, a company focused on content protection/security and video software and user interfaces, in 2012. At the time, NDS fit strategically into a multiscreen platform/initiative called Videoscape at the time (Cisco no longer uses the Videoscape brand, as it now offers a suite of multiscreen video products under the “Infinite” brand).

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The NDS deal came about six years after Cisco took over Scientific Atlanta, a maker of set-top boxes, conditional access systems and other video and networking technologies, for $6.9 billion.

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If Cisco is looking to unload the unit that came way of NDS, it would continue its selling-off of products that are or were once tied to its service provider video unit, which saw revenues drop 10%, to $227 million, in Cisco’s fiscal Q4. Service provider video represented just 2% of Cisco’s revenue mix in that period. Switching, at 28%, is the largest contributor.

In 2015, for example, Cisco closed its sell-off of a connected devices unit that made set-tops, cable modems and other CPE, to Technicolor, for $600 million. Tied in, Technicolor and Cisco struck a “strategic collaboration agreement” in which they will develop next-gen video and broadband technologies and cooperate on initiatives around the Internet of Things.

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And NDS might not fit into Cisco’s software-focused network strategy, which included a recent $1.9 billion play for Broadsoft, which makes cloud-based calling and contact center products for business customers.