Just a month ago, Cisco Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Chambers made a threat,

“I’m a very loyal American citizen and company, but in terms of future growth, unless tax policy changes, you will see that occur outside the U.S…. Wherever we acquire is where our head count growth is going to be. If the majority of our money remains outside the U.S., and this depends on tax policies, that’s where you’ll see us acquire going forward.”

No threat, actually.


On Monday, the networking giant announced its third acquisition this year – and all have come outside of the good ol’ US of A.

The latest deal is for SolveDirect, a cloud computing technology firm based in Vienna.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed. And the deal reflects Chambers’ commitment to linking the Internet of “things” – from refrigerators to smartphones to water meters. But the important message to economic developers and people wanting to work for Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) in the U.S. is this:

Chambers means what he says. Until government tax policy changes, Cisco is growing overseas.

In January, Cisco, whose RTP operations make up its second largest corporate campus outside of the Silicon Valley headquarters, said it would buy Cognitive Security, which focuses on detecting cyber threats. Cognitive is based in Prague, Czech Republic.

Just a week earlier, Cisco said it was buying Israel-based Intucell for $475 million.

So what’s the deal in buying the Austrian firm?

“The network is emerging as the central nervous system for business in today’s hyper-connected world,” wrote Hilton Romanski,
vice president and head of Corporate Business Development for Cisco, in a blog. “As a result, it will be expected that people, things and sources of data are all connected and communicating with each other in real time. Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire SolveDirect, a privately held company headquartered in Vienna, Austria that provides innovative, cloud-delivered services management integration software and services.”

According to Romanski, SolveDirect simplifies and speeds up data sharing. 

“SolveDirect’s capabilities will enable Cisco to extend our portfolio of smart and connected IT services to our global ecosystem of customers, partners and resellers,” he added.

Cisco has recommitted to making acquisitions as part of its growth roadmap.

“Acquisitions and investments are a key part of Cisco’s build, buy and partner innovation strategy,” Romanski explained.

But apparently not in the U.S. 

[CISCO ARCHIVE: Check out more than a decade of Cisco stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire.]