Machine-learning startup Perspica to be crushed into Cisco's analytics biz

Staff will be folded into January acquisition AppDynamics

Creaking hardware dinosaur Cisco is to gobble machine-learning upstart Perspica to beef up its analytical muscle at the performance management AppDynamics division.

Perspica has hooked $8.5m in funding since it was founded in 2014 and uses ML to analyse real-time operational data.

The idea behind the software is to alert companies to areas that need improvement and predict issues before they become a major headache.

Cisco wants to prove it has the chops to help enterprises deal with massive volumes of application-related data across multiple environments, and will contributes toward rebuilding its top and bottom line.

Rob Salvagno, head of M&A at Cisco, said slurping Perspica would "provide enterprises with a way to filter crucial signals from the noise".

The move will bring Cisco into the firing line of Splunk, a well-established business in the machine-to-machine data analytics market that recently announced plans to embed machine learning in all its packages.

Perspica staff will move over to the AppDynamics group – another performance management firm that Cisco acquired back in January.

AppDynamics CTO Bhaskar Sunkara said the new kids will bring "a lot to the table". Namely, the ability to ingest and process large volumes of data and apply machine learning as the information comes in – rather than waiting until it's stored.

"Couple these characteristics with AppDynamics' core data model for Business Transactions and it opens up a world of possibilities for the scale and speed of our product," Sunkara added.

Fiscal '16 wasn't exactly a vintage year for Cisco, as it failed to grow revenues, and the company fared worse in fiscal '17 as turnover dipped 2.5 per cent to $48bn and net profit slumped 10 per cent to $10.5bn.

Cisco expects the acquisition to close in Q2 of fiscal '18. ®

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