Data and voice networks took two steps closer to integration last month with an acquisition and a strategic partnership announced by Cisco Systems.
The router giant purchased Ardent Communications, a developer of multimedia access concentrators, and also agreed to exchange technology with a maker of telecommunications equipment.
As the capacity and capabilities of data networks grow, enterprises are expected to seek a single infrastructure for voice, data, and video traffic.
Ardent is a start-up that has added voice support to Cisco's Internetwork Operating System (IOS) and developed voice compression tech- nology based on digital signal processor technology. These features will be added to Cisco's 3800 remote access platform to allow carriers to offer combined services to enterprises.