Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) is stepping up its efforts to capitalize on the growing demand for “cloud computing” services by acquiring newScale Inc., a self-help software firm.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

NewScale, which offers a variety of services through a web storefront, says it has more than 2 million users worldwide. Customers include 20 percent of the Fortune 500. The company launched in 1999.

“NewScale’s strategy is to enable IT as a Service for greater agility and efficiency – shortening IT cycle times from weeks to minutes, reducing costs by 50 percent or more, and improving user satisfaction with IT,” the company says on its website.

It is located in San Mateo, Calif.

The privately held firm provides a service catalog and a self-service portal for companies wanting to develop applications. Cisco said it intends to use newScale’s technology to assist companies that want to select and quickly deploy services in the shared computing environment known as the “cloud.”

“Cloud computing represents a major shift in the evolution of the Internet, and as more customers migrate from traditional IT infrastructures, the need for rapid self-provisioning and efficient management becomes increasingly critical,” said Parvesh Sethi, senior vice president of Cisco, in a statement. “With the acquisition of newScale, Cisco will be able to accelerate the deployment of cloud services through a service catalog and self-service portal that allows customers to easily manage their IT infrastructures.”

The newScale team will become part of Cisco’s Advanced Services group.

Cisco employs more than 4,000 people at its campus in RTP.

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