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Cisco's vision of enhanced capabilities 

The addition of Splunk is expected to make Cisco's full defense suite much stronger. "This merger will deliver a unified data platform, enhancing digital resilience," said Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, in a call with investors. Robbins thinks the deal will be finished in the third quarter of 2024, as long as all the necessary approvals are given. 

Industry responses have varied from those who find the acquisition surprising and very innovative to critics who feel the merger could cloud the future for both companies.  Irrespective of the critiques, the purchase could make Cisco a significant player in the next-generation SIEM market, which is expected to grow quickly to about $4 billion a year by 2027.  

Robbins talked about the vision for the new company, focusing on how the combined security insights and SIEM offerings of both businesses would help customers better predict and stop threats. Because Splunk's premium services and Cisco's global salesforce work well together, he thinks there will be opportunities immediately. 

Optimizing value and overcoming challenges 

This is a commendable move on Cisco's part and a step in the right direction of securing a stronger long-term position in the cybersecurity industry.  The combination of Cisco's robust security solutions and Splunk's cutting-edge logging capabilities can revolutionize security analytics and raise the bar for threat detection, prediction, and prevention. 

Although the most obvious fit for Splunk with Cisco is in the security ecosystem, Splunk has long been a stalwart in companies before cybersecurity was ever a focus.  Splunk has a long history of providing critical business decision-making information from massive data sets. Similar to Cisco certifications in data center and enterprise routing, Splunk became a defacto standard with a Splunk-certified community of power users.  At a time when hiring and maintaining qualified employees rates as a top three risk for most companies, the advantage of hiring and cross-training Splunk-certified users to the cyber community is also apparent. 

Another synergistic opportunity for Cisco and Splunk is AIOps and Full Stack Observability.  Cisco already has an existing portfolio of solutions in this space. Splunk's flexibility and familiarity with such a large installment base could also boost the adoption of cross-selling Cisco's solutions in this space. 

Integrating Splunk into Cisco's intricate ecosystem presents the greatest difficulty of merging these entities. Splunk has a long history of collaborating with various data sources and promises seamless integration. Combining their strengths will produce a symphony of heightened security insights if the integration is executed harmoniously. 

However, Cisco faces the challenge of integrating Splunk's rich feature set into its extensive ecosystem. Splunk's extensive history and experience collaborating with diverse data sources inspire optimism that integration obstacles can be effectively surmounted. To maximize value, Cisco must leverage its network of partners, such as World Wide Technology, that excel at integrating disparate systems. 

This substantial investment highlights a paradigm shift in the industry, indicating a convergence toward data-centric solutions instead of merely security-focused ones. Combining Splunk's cutting-edge, AI-driven solutions with Cisco's extensive technology portfolio and global reach creates limitless opportunities for innovation and customer service. 

Market dynamics and future prospects 

This acquisition also casts a spotlight on a more significant trend in the industry – a shift from solely security-centric companies to entities that value and harness the power of data. This consolidation clearly indicates a market in transition, where data is the new fulcrum, influencing every level of decision-making and strategy. The evolution and impending future of the cybersecurity industry will include data as the defining factor in security paradigms. 

The trajectory established by this union is destined to spur innovation and redefine industry standards, catalyzing a wave of changes in the cybersecurity landscape. The potential merger reflects the evolving industry ethos, in which the convergence of security and data is not merely a trend but a necessity, defining the narratives and norms of the digital age. 

Cisco's acquisition of Splunk has the potential to generate a comprehensive solution that combines Cisco XDR and Splunk's SIEM (ES) solution. The combination of Cisco's broad base of integrated sources to their new XDR offering with a best-of-breed log management and analytics platform would present fierce competition with stakeholders from the front-line operations security teams and leaders at the board room level. 

As Cisco's largest partner, WWT will continue to track the acquisition details. As the technical developments present, we will showcase all the new features and capabilities in our Advanced Technology Center (ATC).  

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