Cisco Systems Buys Tidal Software

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Houston-based Tidal Software is now part of Cisco Systems. Venturebeat reports:

Networking giant Cisco has acquired Tidal Software, a Palo Alto, Calif. company that will enable Cisco’s customers to manage their key applications more seamlessly over Cisco’s network. The price was $105 million in cash and retention-based incentives.

Tidal, a company that raised at least $16.5 million beginning 11 years ago from investors like J.P. Morgan Partners, Novus Ventures and VantagePoint Venture Partners, focuses on letting companies efficiently manage and automate their applications. Cisco says it wants to integrate the Tidal offering into its Unified Computing System, announced last month, which brings together servers, storage, and networking into a single offering, with an emphasis on virtualization. (Not surprisingly, the company’s move into the data center market prompted some criticism from the incumbents, particularly around the idea that Cisco locks customers into an all-Cisco solution.)

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DealBook explains the strategy behind the move:

The deal is part of Cisco’s plan to boost its data center capabilities, putting it in direct competition with longtime partner IBM Corp. (NYSE:IBM) as well as Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ).

Tidal, which has office in Palo Alto, Calif., and Houston, counts Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) and even HP as a couple of its customers. It has been suggested that Cisco’s data center plan could trigger an M&A wave in the industry.

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