Networks

Cisco, Ericsson Team On IoT, Enterprise

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The two companies said they plan to resell one another’s products and co-develop networking and connected-device technologies

Ericsson and Cisco have formed a strategic partnership that will see the two companies resell one another’s products and collaborate on technologies related to the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

The companies said they expect the collaboration to be worth at least $1bn (£660m) in added revenues to each company by 2018.

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“I am excited to work with Cisco on continuing to shape the Networked Society,” said Ericsson chief executive Hans Vestberg in a statement. “We share the same vision of the network’s strategic role at the center of every company’s and every industry’s digital transformation.”

He said the partnership would focus initially on service providers, then on the enterprise market and on developing cross-industry IoT services.

Ericsson is a leader in wireless infrastructure products, while Cisco leads in networking equipment. The two companies said they plan to work together to offer customers an end-to-end portfolio of products and services, while working together on a technology architecture that spans fixed and mobile networks.

“The multi-faceted relationship will offer customers the best of both companies: routing, data center, networking, cloud, mobility, management and control and global services capabilities,” the companies stated.

Ericsson and Cisco said they would sign a commitments to work together on reference architectures, with teams from both working on a joint initiative around software-defined networks, and would sign a reseller agreement.

Patent cross-licensing

The deal also involves a licensing agreement involving the two companies’ respective patent portfolios, under which Cisco will pay Ericsson licence fees.

Together the two companies said they hold more than 56,000 patents, have $11bn in research and development investments and employ more than 76,000 services professionals in more than 180 countries.

Ericsson and Cisco have both made the trend toward Internet-connected devices – giving rise to the expression the “Internet of Things” – central to recent product offerings.

In October Ericsson announced a power-saving software upgrade that it said allows for a battery life of ten years for IoT devices, while Cisco unveiled offerings aimed at helping the manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and oil and gas industries adopt the Internet of Things, as well as an IoT-specific security product.

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