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Network pairings may spark trend.(Lucent Technologies' purchase of International Network Services, Cisco Systems' investment in KPMG LLP)(Company Business and Marketing)

New York - Back-to-back buyouts of integrators by two major network equipment vendors last week are likely to fuel alliances among other hardware and consulting firms.

Two separate deals brought together four of the IT industry's major networking and consulting companies. Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, N.J., bought International Network Services (INS), a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based networking services consultant; and Cisco Systems Inc., San Jose, Calif., invested $1 billion in KPMG LLP, a New York-based consulting and auditing firm.

All of the networking hardware vendors are interested in doing similar deals, said Ellen Carney, a networking analyst at Dataquest, a San Jose-based market-research firm. …

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