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Cisco Seeking to Sell NDS Digital Video Content Business?

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Cisco Systems is seeking to sell NDS Group Ltd., a video software and content delivery platform for service providers, according to Bloomberg. Cisco acquired NDS for $5 billion in 2012, claiming the platform would enable "service providers and media companies to securely deliver and monetize new video entertainment experiences."

NDS has had big-name customers over the years -- including DirectTV. But the buyout apparently didn't live up to Cisco's ambitions.

Among the potential reasons: In recent years, the world has increasingly shifted from traditional cable and telco service providers toward on-demand video content specialists like NetFlix. Amid that reality, Cisco sold its Scientific Atlanta set top business in 2015 for $600 million -- far less than the $6.9 billion Cisco paid for that business in 2005.

Now, NDS could also be on the block. According to the Bloomberg report:

"Cisco Systems Inc. is seeking a buyer for its video-software unit, according to people familiar with the process, part of an effort to sharpen focus on the fast-changing network-infrastructure business."

Cisco did not comment for that report, which surfaces just as Cisco Partner Summit 2017 kicks off in Dallas. ChannelE2E has not independently confirmed the story.

Cisco's Evolving Service Provider Strategy

No doubt, Cisco remains committed to service providers -- as the recent BroadSoft acquisition affirms. But the company has largely backed away from an earlier effort to extend from data centers to living rooms and consumer devices.

The consumer-oriented failures under former CEO John Chambers included included a Umi video conferencing system (discontinued), the Flip video camera (discontinued), Linksys home WiFi (sold off), wireless home audio systems and more.

Chuck Robbins succeeded Chambers as CEO In 2015, and Robbins has spent recent years pushing the company toward growth-oriented markets.

Stay tuned for more updates from Cisco Partner Summit 2017 in Dallas.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.