Cisco Tuesday said it intends to acquire privately held SyPixx Networks for about $51 million as a steppingstone to expand products and services into the arena of video-based surveillance monitoring over IP networks.SyPixx, Waterbury, Conn., makes an array of H.264-standard video camera encoders\/decoders, transmission equipment, storage, management software, recording equipment and fiber-optic equipment for IP-based video monitoring, and offers a way to integrate legacy analog video monitoring systems.Marthin De Beer, vice president and general manager for Cisco\u2019s emerging market technologies group, said the SyPixx acquisition, expected to be completed in the next few months, will mark Cisco\u2019s entry into providing physical-security monitoring systems to its customers.The SyPixx products include software that can encode an analog video stream and put it onto an IP network. The reason that businesses might want to migrate from analog video monitoring to a digital system for physical security is for easier management, said De Beer.\u201cIn analog, everything is recorded on video tape and you can only access the tape in a control room,\u201d he said. A digital system would make it easier to remotely call up a history of recorded surveillance, he pointed out. \u201cThis would play a role in incident management across an IP network,\u201d De Beer added.Many businesses maintain multiple networks in their buildings for physical security purposes, but Cisco believes that video-monitoring traffic will be migrated to a converged IP network.The SyPixx equipment is expected to be re-branded under the Cisco label in the future. SyPixx was founded in March 2004 by Pete Jankowski. The three SyPixx employees now located in the Waterbury headquarters are expected to join an R&D team in Carlsbad, Calif.