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Cisco Buys Jasper to Empower IoT Service Providers

Jasper CEO Jahangir Mohammed
Jasper CEO Jahangir Mohammed

Cisco Systems is buying Jasper Technologies, an Internet of Things (IoT) startup, for $1.4 billion. The deal will potentially empower businesses and managed services providers (MSPs) with a cloud-based IoT platform that can connect to any type of device, and then manage that device over cellular networks.

Far more than a PC or server management system, Jasper's cloud-based system could allow MSPs and cloud service providers to remotely monitor and management (RMM) sensors in cars, medical devices, factory equipment and more. Roughly 27 service providers and 3,500 enterprises worldwide already leverage Jasper, Cisco says.

Extending to WiFi And More

Cisco plans to extend Jasper beyond cell connections, adding support for WiFi and analytics to better manage device usage. Jasper CEO Jahangir Mohammed will run Cisco's new IoT Software Business Unit under Rowan Trollope, Cisco senior vice president and general manager, IoT and Collaboration Technology Group. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of fiscal year 2016, subject to customary closing conditions.

In some ways, Jasper represents RMM (remote monitoring and management) software for all types of IP-enabled devices. Traditional RMM software -- mostly used by MSPs -- focused heavily on traditional server, PC and notebook management before extending toward tablets and smartphones.

So far, many RMM software providers have been slow to embrace IoT opportunities, mostly because SMB channel partners don't yet specialize in sensor-type endpoints.

IoT Service Providers: Enterprise First?

Generally speaking, Jasper sounds like it's designed for the high-end of the market -- where Global 2000 enterprises and massive service providers are striving to manage thousands and perhaps even millions of devices, or mission-critical systems involving power grids, transportation, healthcare, manufacturing and more. We're checking to see if or how Jasper will come down market into smaller businesses and perhaps the consumer sector.

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.