Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) has its eye on Vienna, Austria-based SolveDirect and has announced its intention to acquire the privately held company, which specializes in cloud-delivered services management integration software and services. Cisco expects the acquisition to close during the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2013 year.

The intended acquisition was announced on the Cisco blog by Hilton Romanski, the company's head of corporate business development. As Romanski had noted in another recent blog entry, merger and acquisition activity is a key part of Cisco's strategy. In 2012, Cisco made 14 acquisitions valued at close to $8 billion—representing the company's most active M&A year in more than a decade.

As Cisco continues to build out its cloud strategy internally and with its partners, it's turning to M&A activity to fill gaps and complement its existing cloud products and services. With the pending SolveDirect acquisition, Cisco will align to its "goal of developing and delivering innovative solutions that streamline data and workflows across a unified network," Romanski wrote.

Assuming all the typical closing conditions are met, Cisco will be bringing SolveDirect into the fold and integrating it into the Cisco Services team, currently being led by Mala Anand, senior vice president of the Cisco Services Platform Group.

SolveDirect was founded in 2000 and has more than 220 customers around the world. It gained some attention because it was included in Gartner's "Cool Vendors in the Cloud Service Brokerage Enablers, 2012" report. With a growing service provider ecosystem, SolveDirect focuses on the support layer of the cloud and provides a "connect once, connect to all" value proposition, according to Gartner.

"SolveDirect's capabilities will enable Cisco to extend our portfolio of smart and connected IT services to our global ecosystem of customers, partners and resellers," Romanski wrote.

Comments from Cisco blog readers have been positive so far. This acquisition could bring some needed cloud service management capabilities to Cisco partners, particularly those involved in providing cloud services or acting as cloud brokers.