New York– Networking giant Cisco Systems has said that it has reached a deal to acquire US software company BroadSoft for $1.9 billion paying $55 per share in cash.

Shares of BroadSoft rose 1.41 per cent to $54.675 in early trading after the announcement, while Cisco’s stock gained 0.96 per cent to trade at $34.575 per share, Xinhua reported on Monday.

The acquisition was expected to close during the first quarter of 2018. Upon completion of the transaction, BroadSoft employees will join Cisco’s Unified Communications Technology Group.

Analysts said the deal allows Cisco to further diversify away from its stagnating switches and routers business by giving it a stronger foothold in selling unified communications software to big telecommunications firms, according to CNBC.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said on Monday the deal will help Cisco’s enterprise clients and small businesses connect better with consumers.

“Every customer, when they think about their digital strategies, they think about how they interact with their customers,” Robbins was quoted as saying.

“This acquisition of BroadSoft actually gives us the most comprehensive set of collaboration solutions for our customers,” he added. (IANS)