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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manion

Cisco acquires Splunk for $28B, biggest deal ever.

Cisco acquires Splunk for $28B, biggest deal ever.
Cisco acquires Splunk for $28B, biggest deal ever.

Cisco Systems Inc. has recently acquired Splunk Inc., a cybersecurity player, for $28 billion in an all-cash deal. The acquisition marks Cisco's largest-ever purchase and offers a 31% premium on Splunk's last closing share price. While Splunk's shares rose by over 21%, Cisco's stock fell by around 4%, and investors have mixed feelings about the announcement. The merger is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals, and will create one of the world's largest software companies, focused on cybersecurity and data analytics.

Cisco acquires Splunk for $28B, biggest deal ever. What Is Splunk and What Does It Do?

Splunk is a software company that specializes in cybersecurity and data analytics. With over 15,000 customers, including large corporations such as Coca-Cola, Intel, and Porsche, Splunk helps organizations analyze their machine data to gain insights into operations, performance, and security issues. Their core competency lies in observability, which encompasses various types of analytics that assist businesses in understanding their operational data. Cisco acquires Splunk for $28B, biggest deal ever. By transforming machine data into actionable insights, Splunk enables companies to respond more quickly to cybersecurity threats, troubleshoot problems, and enhance their services. Although Splunk experienced nearly 40% revenue growth last year, they have faced industry-wide challenges in 2023 due to increasing interest rates and inflationary pressures.

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What Splunk Brings to Cisco’s Cybersecurity Table

The question remains: why would a networking equipment giant like Cisco be interested in acquiring a data analytics and security firm?

The answer lies in several factors that are reshaping the landscape of cybersecurity and enterprise technology.

Firstly, Cisco has been facing challenges in its core business of networking equipment, worsened by supply chain issues and economic fluctuations following the pandemic. Acquiring Splunk will help diversify Cisco’s portfolio and reduce its reliance on hardware sales.

Secondly, as the world becomes more digitally interconnected, the cybersecurity landscape grows increasingly complex and lucrative. Splunk’s advanced analytics capabilities will significantly enhance Cisco’s existing cybersecurity solutions.

Cisco has been grappling with declining demand and supply chain problems for its networking hardware since the COVID-19 pandemic. The acquisition of Splunk appears to be an effort to shift focus towards software and cybersecurity, which offer more stable and recurring revenue streams.

Both companies have emphasized that the acquisition will "accelerate Cisco’s business transformation to a more recurring revenue model," which could be crucial for Cisco's long-term sustainability considering the volatility of hardware sales.

By integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies from Splunk, Cisco aims to transition from threat detection and response to a more proactive and preventive approach.

It is also worth noting that Cisco and Splunk already have an existing partnership in data security, which is likely to facilitate a smoother integration post-acquisition.

However, there are potential challenges ahead. One concern is the possibility of antitrust scrutiny due to the overlap in their security businesses. Additionally, some analysts have expressed reservations about Splunk's somewhat underwhelming transition to cloud-based services.

The Impact of the Cisco-Splunk Deal

The recent merger between Cisco and Splunk is a noteworthy development in the cybersecurity industry. By leveraging Cisco's networking and hardware expertise with Splunk's data analytics capabilities, the newly formed entity aims to establish itself as a global leader in the field of AI-enabled security solutions.

This merger is particularly significant in light of the rapidly evolving landscape of AI cybersecurity. As companies grapple with the growing complexity of threats posed by cloud computing, IoT devices, and remote work, a consolidated platform that offers robust networking and advanced analytics has become increasingly essential for major digital corporations.

It remains to be seen whether this merger will effectively address the high-stakes challenges posed by these developments. Nevertheless, it represents a significant strategic shift for Cisco and has the potential to reshape the cybersecurity solutions market in the years ahead.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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