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Cisco Systems is among the leading multinational corporations in the world in terms of service provision in communications technology, networking and the sale of electronics to various consumers in the world. With its headquarters in American city of California at San Jose, the company brags of having employees numbering over 65, 000 and a United States revenue of about $40.0 billion of US dollars by the year 2010. This giant technology corporation with it name derived from the city of San Francisco began its operations in 1984 thanks to its co-founders who at that time were married; Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack.

Growth of Cisco Systems

With prior knowledge of existence of other companies that sold routers, Cisco initially decided to diversify their mode of operation by strategically developing routers that offered simultaneous support to various networking protocols. This strategy thus enabled Cisco to acquire more clients even at its inception stage. With decline in the use of routing via multi-protocols and adoption of IP protocol, Cisco became the largest producer of routers that are used for the delivery of Internet Protocol packets.

By 1990 Cisco had been listed on Nasdaq (Bunnell 19) and the same year Lerner got fired. Bosack decided to quit and got paid $200,000,000.00 of which most was donated to charities and unfortunately the couple divorced.

A variety of companies were acquired by Cisco in an effort of bringing new talents to the company. Such companies include Stratacom and Cerent Corporation which was acquired during the internet boom in 1999 (Paulson 3). This and other acquisitions did turn around and made Cisco the number 1 valuable company especially by late 2000 March. Having a market capitalization hitting into $1Billion dollars makes it one of the few success stories that have been voted as one with stock of the decade.

Success of Cisco Systems

With the first strategy of success being the incorporation of bright new ideas into the company through the purchase of other companies, Cisco has experienced immense growth (Young 21). The latest of such acquisitions has been the purchase of a company dealing in mobile technology i.e. Starent Networks and a group of Moto Development. The Moto Group eventually ended up developing a Flip camera for video recording which now bore the brand of Cisco Systems.

Through partnership agreement with other corporations, Cisco is seemed to have ensured a complementation of its function and thus becoming an even more force to reckon with (Stauffer 12). A practical example is the acquisition by Cisco of Linksys company and another company; Scientific Atlanta in2003. Eventually through Scientific Atlanta, the company now provided Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) equipments to providers of this service like Time Warner, UPC and many more. As these service providers target homes, Cisco’s presence is automatically felt in consumer’s homes. Further, the company is known to have integrated consumer VoIP rendered services with cordless phones and wireless through partnering with Yahoo Company and Skype.

Sustainability of Cisco’s Success

One of the most brilliant ways that Cisco has ensured its continual success is through introduction of various career certifications. With five certification levels and eight possible paths of choice, Cisco has ensured that its products are professionally studied and used. From its first inception in 1997, this learning program has become a provider of interactive hands-on activities to it’s over 900,000 student’s. With prior exposure to Cisco systems, these students eventually end up preferring to use Cisco products should they ever be faced with a decision between two vendor products. Further success sustainability is maintained through a high level of decentralization of its core functions. By granting the all too important role of making decisions to lower-levels, Cisco appears to have had effective delegation of duties.

Cisco and the Society

To ensure worldwide reception of its courses, Cisco offers its courses in multiple of languages. It supports both alumni and students to ensure the success of their endeavors whether entrepreneurial, educational or occupational. This is achieved majorly through partnering with International Non-Governmental Organizations, government agencies, and various businesses. The company tries to improve socioeconomic conditions for communities in the world through increase to opportunities both educational and career wise (Huang 45). It extents learning to student with disability and those in developing countries and thus help in bridging the digital divide. It is thus not a surprise that it received the Ron Brown Award due to its exemplary relation with employees and the communities.

Legally, Cisco has had its fair share of troubles. For starters, it has been accused of supplying telecommunication gadgets to the Chinese government to enable the government block information access. The company had to paid $91.75 million dollars to settle a lawsuit by its shareholders who claimed the company had omitted statements of stock relied by clients (Waters 34). A tax fraud since 2002 was again discovered in 2007 in Brazil which had exempted Cisco from paying more than $824 Million US dollars. Other lawsuits against the company include an antitrust lawsuit and a suit by foundation of free software in 2008.


By considering the interests of the community, and incorporation of other companies, Cisco continually becomes a company of choice by many. With this customer base and effective degree of decentralization and diversification, the company continues to grow.

Works Cited

Bunnell, David. Making the Cisco Connection: The Story Behind the Real Internet Superpower. Canada: Wiley, 2000.

Huang, Heng. Critical Success Factors of Inter-Organizational Information Systems: A Case Study of Cisco and Xiao Tong in China. Shanghai: Elsevier, 2006.

Paulson, Evans. Inside Cisco: The Real Story of Sustained M&A Growth. New York: Wiley, 2001.

Stauffer, David. Nothing but Net Business the Cisco Way. London: Wiley, 2000.

Waters, John. John Chambers and the Cisco Way: Navigating Through Volatility. Canada: Wiley, 2002.

Young, Jeffrey. Cisco Unauthorized: Inside the High-Stakes Race to Own the Future. London: Prima Lifestyles, 2001.

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