After last week’s acquisition of machine learning startup Perspica, Cisco got another big acquisition this week. The networking giant’s latest target is Broadsoft, a global provider of UC solutions and services. Cisco sees the Broadsoft deal as a new way to grow its UC business.

According to TheVarGuy, the San Jose-based networking company spent around $1.9 billion in cash. The Broadsoft deal is the latest in Cisco’s long list of acquisitions this year and its part of the company’s strategy to move away from its core networking hardware business to more lucrative cloud-delivered software and services.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, the website said.

About the target company, Broadsoft

Founded in 1998 and based in Maryland, Broadsoft is a global communication software and service provider that offers cloud-based UC (unified communications) solutions, which include voice, video, messaging, file sharing, and conferencing solutions.

The Maryland-based company currently has two main flagship products, the first one is the BroadWorks, a VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) application platform that allows service providers to deliver basic and enhanced communication services to its customers. The other one is the BroadCloud, the company’s fully managed UC services.

In addition, the company also made a series of acquisitions in the past.

These include the UK-based company Hosted IP Communications (HIPCOM) and a German company, Finocom AG. Both companies provide cloud-based UC services. The company also acquired Intellinote, a Virginia-based enterprise focusing on messaging-based team communication, and a collaboration software platform, in May 2016.

What the deal will bring to the networking giant

According to CIO Today, the latest deal fit nicely with Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solutions services and also gives the networking giant a foothold in the fast-emerging UCaaS (Unified Communication-as-a-service) market. Additionally, the deal will also help Cisco add diversity to its core business, which currently faces increased competition in the market.

The company’s core hardware business, which once was considered Cisco’s growth engine, is now struggling and stagnating. This has forced the networking giant to seek a fresh market for growth. Thankfully, Cisco sees huge potential in the Maryland-based Broadsoft. The networking giant sees the latest deal with Broadsoft as a new way to expand its market reach and a way to enter into the fast-growing UC market.

The newly acquired company is currently the leader in cloud-delivered unified communication services, with Cisco as the second leading player in that market. Combining the two companies will give the tech giant a world-class UC portfolio, and, more importantly, access to a fast-growing new market, CIO Today reported.

In addition to the complementary line of software and services, the networking giant also gets a global network of partners, which reportedly includes more than 450 telecommunication companies operating in over 80 countries. Those telecom partners also serve an estimated 19 million subscribers, making this latest deal a big win for Cisco.