Briefs: Cisco Buys ArrowPoint for $5.7 Billion

SAN MATEO (05/05/2000) - Cisco Systems Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ArrowPoint Communications Inc., a supplier of switches that can speed up the delivery of Web content, in an all-stock deal valued at $5.7 billion, officials at the networking giant announced last week. Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by the board of directors at both companies, Cisco will exchange 2.1218 shares of Cisco stock for every outstanding share and option of Acton, Massachusetts-based ArrowPoint.

ArrowPoint, which recently held its IPO, has customers ranging from Excite@Home to Exodus Communications. ArrowPoint's products, in combination with Cisco's Internet infrastructure offerings, will be aimed at ISPs, Web-hosting companies, and others to improve the user experience of surfing the Web, officials at the companies said. ArrowPoint's software features also can be integrated into existing Cisco products.

Oracle, home builders plan exchange

Five U.S.-based home builders have joined forces to create a global online exchange in partnership with Oracle Corp. and venture capital firm Encore Venture Partners. Called HomebuildersXchange, thebusiness-to-business exchange is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of this year. It will be designed for the procurement of home-building labor and materials needed by home builders, trade contractors, distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturers, the companies said.

The founding companies are Centex Corp., D.R. Horton Inc., Kaufman, and Broad Home Corp., Lennar Corp., and Pulte Corp.. The companies want to streamline the supply chain in the home-building industry, which although valued at $200 billion is a highly fragmented market.

Oracle will provide the technology, functionality, and hosting platform for HomebuildersXchange. Oracle also is partnering with Chevron and Wal-Mart Stores subsidiary McLane to form an Internet purchasing exchange for convenience stores. RetailersMarketXchange.com will target the $200 billion convenience-store and small-business retail marketplace in the United States.

Cisco cache to monitor Internet use

Cisco Systems Inc. this week will release an updated version of its Cache Engine 500 that includes Internet-filtering software designed to monitor and control Internet use in enterprises. San Diego-based Websense Inc. said code for its Internet-monitoring technology will be embedded in Cisco's cache engine, giving companies additional control over bandwidth usage and network performance. The deal is an expansion of a 1998 licensing agreement struck between the two companies involving Cisco's firewall products. Websense's technol-ogy gathers information about Internet usage based on categories of sites, such as job search-related sites or sites that drain company bandwidth.

Websense said companies can use its technology to drill down to monitor individual IP addresses and users.

Sun: Reorganization will aid customers

Sun Microsystems Inc. has realigned pieces of its business units to streamline its interaction with customers. The realignment included the melding of its computer systems and microelectronics product groups into one division that will oversee all servers, workstations, enterprise appliances, and Sparc/MAJC microprocessors. Sun also created a Global Sales Operations group to oversee all sales forces and a Customer Advocacy function. It plans to establish an operations group to handle supply chain and purchasing within Sun.

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