Cisco Systems - Networking Champion of the Internet?
Not wasting words, Cisco Systems, describes itself as "the world-wide leader in networking for the Internet." With revenues near $19 billion, profits of $2.7 billion, and an R&D spend of $2.68 billion last year, and now with over 43,000 employees, acquisitive Cisco Systems is self-evidently the networking champion of the Internet, and a key pillar of the New Era e-Infrastructure in enterprise networking. Its three main markets are: enterprises with complex networking needs; service providers; and commercial.

Cisco Systems sees its network solutions connecting people, computing devices and computer networks, and allowing people to access or transfer information, regardless of time differences, place, or type of computer system. Offering end-to-end networking solutions, Cisco Systems aims to help its customers build integrated networks of their own, and interconnect them to those of their partners. It claims that its common architecture supports this vision, and enables the delivery of consistent network services to all users. With probably the broadest range of networking hardware, and its IOS software, the firm provides not only the products, but network design and implementation, technical support and professional services, to create and optimise new networks both directly, and together with its roster of partners, such as Unisys. Cisco Systems also teams closely on R&D with many other leaders, including Microsoft.

The company uses the term 'Global Networked Business' for an enterprise of any size that strategically uses information and communications to build strong, interactive relationships with all its key constituencies. Cisco Systems itself is a foremost exponent of this model, and claims its own networked e-business applications on the Internet are already providing financial benefits in excess of $1.4 billion per year, experience it will share in its Roadshow participation.

Paris G. Arey, Managing Director of Channels EMEA, Cisco Systems said "Current market conditions have provided an opportunity for Cisco to breakaway from its competition and there is no better example than a collaboration that provides leading edge integrated business solutions delivered together with rich value add services."

Cisco Systems starts from the premise that customers expect value-add in a cost-effective way. The company claims it can show how networks have evolved from just a few cables to a sophisticated set of technologies to access information wherever it is needed. It asserts that, to shape the future of the Internet economy, these more complex solutions require strong partnerships, as illustrated by its partnership with Unisys, Intel, Microsoft, and EMC.

Comment
Networking is central to e-business, and the Internet and IP technologies are clearly the future of networking. Cisco Systems has carved a significant lead in this market, and continuously adds complementary products and technologies to extend its range through its frequent acquisitions. With Cisco Systems heavy emphasis on channels, where over 90% of it's revenue in EMEA is obtained through the channels, partnerships such as these are central to the firms strategy. Its strong market position makes the company a pillar of the New Era of E-Infrastructure, and thus a valuable contributor to this Roadshow series.

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