What is Cisco up to? Up your stack
Cisco announced the other day that they were buying Jabber. Jabber of course makes instant messaging and chat software. In and of itself this acquisition is simple enough, but when you look at some of the recent Cisco acquisitions you start to get the feeling that there is more here than just more network gear. Over the last two years Cisco has made several acquisitions in the social networking, web conferencing, email and now chat/messaging.
I think this points to Cisco moving up the stack from pure network or even intelligent networking. They clearly are moving into applications. I think it is about the quad play stuff for them. They realize that rich media communications is going to drive more network use. This time, not only do they want to own the pipes that this traffic moves in, they want to own the means of putting that traffic in the pipes as well. In doing so they are going to compete with a different set of companies than the Nortel, Foundry, Extreme, Brocade, etc. that they compete with now. These new sets of competitors could be named Microsoft, Adobe and Oracle. I say good more competition is a good thing!