Acquisition and Strategic Alliance Put Cisco Systems at Front of Smart Grid Push

Through a strategic alliance and an acquisition on successive days last week, Cisco Systems, San Jose, Calif., further staked out its position in the pack of companies pushing to develop the market for intelligent control of electric power grids. At the same time, the company's move improves the likelihood that utilities can avoid being locked into proprietary communication protocols and will be able to make disparate networks work together — potentially creating a solution to one of the thor

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