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Cisco Systems, Inc. (Cisco) is an American
multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a sovereign state that comprises two or more nat ...
technology
conglomerate Conglomerate or conglomeration may refer to: * Conglomerate (company) * Conglomerate (geology) * Conglomerate (mathematics) In popular culture: * The Conglomerate (American group), a production crew and musical group founded by Busta Rhymes ** Con ...
corporation headquartered in
San Jose, California San Jose, officially San José (; ; ), is the cultural, financial, and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California by both population and area. With an estimated 2019 population of 1,021,795, it is the List of ...
. Integral to the growth of
Silicon Valley Silicon Valley is a region in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area The San Francisco Bay Area, popularly referred to as the Bay Area or simply the Bay, is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco Bay, San Francisco, San Pa ...

Silicon Valley
, Cisco develops, manufactures, and sells
networking hardware Networking hardware, also known as network equipment or computer networking devices, are electronic devices which are required for communication and interaction between devices on a computer network A computer network is a group of computer ...
,
software Software is a collection of instructions that tell a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operatio ...

software
,
telecommunications equipmentTelecommunications equipment (also telecoms equipment or communications equipment) is a hardware which is used for the purposes of telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information Information can be thought of as the ...
and other
high-technology High technology (high tech) or frontier technology (frontier tech) is technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of Art techni ...
services and products. Cisco specializes in specific tech markets, such as the
Internet of Things The Internet of things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects—"things" or objects—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over ...

Internet of Things
(IoT), domain security,
videoconferencing Videotelephony comprises the technologies for the reception and transmission of audio- video signals by users in different locations, for communication between people in real time.McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of EngineeringVideotelephony McG ...
, and
energy managementEnergy management includes planning and operation of energy production Energy development is the field of activities focused on obtaining sources of energy from natural resources. These activities include production of conventional, alternative a ...
with leading products including
Webex Cisco Webex is an American company that develops and sells web conferencing and videoconferencing Videotelephony comprises the technologies for the reception and transmission of audio- video signals by users in different locations, for commu ...
,
OpenDNS OpenDNS is an American company providing Domain Name System (DNS) resolution services—with features such as phishing protection, optional content filtering, and DNS lookup in its DNS servers—and a cloud computing security product suite, Umbrel ...

OpenDNS
, Jabber, and
Jasper Jasper, an aggregate of microgranular quartz Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen Tetrahedral molecular geometry, tetrahedra, with ...
. Cisco is one of the largest information technology companies in the world ranking 63 on the
Fortune 100 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by '' Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a count ...

Fortune 100
with $49 billion in revenue and nearly 80,000 employees. Cisco Systems was founded in December 1984 by
Leonard Bosack Leonard X. Bosack (born 1952) is a co-founder of Cisco Systems Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, California, in the center of Silicon Valley. Cisco develops, manufactures a ...
and
Sandy Lerner Sandy Lerner, (born 1955) is an American businesswoman and philanthropist. She co-founded Cisco Systems Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, California, in the center of Sili ...
, two
Stanford University Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a Private university, private research university in Stanford, California. The campus occupies , among the largest in the United States, and enrolls over 17,000 students. Stan ...

Stanford University
computer scientists who had been instrumental in connecting computers at Stanford. They pioneered the concept of a local area network (LAN) being used to connect geographically disparate computers over a multiprotocol router system. By the time the company went public in 1990, Cisco had a market capitalization of $224 million; by the end of the
dot-com bubble The dot-com bubble (also known as the dot-com boom, the tech bubble, and the Internet bubble) was a stock market bubble caused by excessive speculation of Internet-related companies in the late 1990s, a period of massive growth in the use and a ...
in the year 2000, this had increased to $500 billion. As of December 2021, Cisco has a market cap of around $267 billion. Cisco stock (CSCO) was added to the
Dow Jones Industrial Average The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Dow Jones, or simply the Dow (), is a price-weighted measurement stock market index In finance, a stock index, or stock market index, is an Index (economics), index that measures a stock market, or a ...
on June 8, 2009, and is also included in the
S&P 500 The S&P 500, or simply the S&P, is a stock market index 300px, A comparison of three major U.S. stock indices: the NASDAQ Composite, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and S&P 500 Index. All three have the same height at March 2007. The NASDAQ sp ...

S&P 500
Index, the
Russell 1000 Index The Russell 1000 Index is a stock market index that tracks the highest-ranking 1,000 stocks in the Russell 3000 Index, which represent about 90% of the total market capitalization of that index. , the stocks of the Russell 1000 Index had a weighted ...
,
NASDAQ-100
NASDAQ-100
Index and the Russell 1000 Growth Stock Index. In 2021, ''
Fortune Fortune may refer to: General * Fortuna or Fortune, the Roman goddess of luck * Luck, a chance happening, or that which happens beyond a person's controls * Wealth, an abundance of items of economic value * Fortune, a prediction made in fortune-te ...
'' ranked Cisco number one for the second year on their annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For based on employee satisfaction surveying.
LinkedIn LinkedIn () is an American business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise ...
and
Glassdoor Glassdoor is a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies. Glassdoor also allows users to anonymously submit and view salaries as well as search and apply for jobs on its platform. In 2018, the company was acquired by ...
also ranked Cisco as a top place to work in 2021 and recent years.


History


1984–1995: Origins and initial growth

Cisco Systems was founded in December 1984 by
Sandy Lerner Sandy Lerner, (born 1955) is an American businesswoman and philanthropist. She co-founded Cisco Systems Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, California, in the center of Sili ...
along with her husband
Leonard Bosack Leonard X. Bosack (born 1952) is a co-founder of Cisco Systems Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, California, in the center of Silicon Valley. Cisco develops, manufactures a ...
. Lerner was the director of computer facilities for the
Stanford University Graduate School of Business The Stanford Graduate School of Business (also known as Stanford GSB or the GSB) is the graduate business school of Stanford University. Located in Stanford, California, it is widely regarded as one of the most selective business schools in the w ...
. Bosack was in charge of the
Stanford University Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a Private university, private research university in Stanford, California. The campus occupies , among the largest in the United States, and enrolls over 17,000 students. Stan ...

Stanford University
computer science department's computers. Cisco's initial product has roots in Stanford University's campus technology. In the early 1980s students and staff at Stanford, including Bosack, used technology on the campus to link all of the school's computer systems to talk to one another, creating a box that functioned as a multiprotocol router called the "Blue Box". The Blue Box used circuitry made by
Andy Bechtolsheim Andreas Maria Maximilian Freiherr (; male, abbreviated as ), (; his wife, abbreviated as , literally "free lord" or "free lady") and (, his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as title of nobility, titles of nobility ...
, and software that was originally written at Stanford by research engineer
William Yeager
William Yeager
. Due to the underlying architecture, and its ability to scale well, Yeager's well-designed invention became a key to Cisco's early success. In 1985, Bosack and Stanford employee Kirk Lougheed began a project to formally network Stanford's campus. They adapted Yeager's software into what became the foundation for
Cisco IOS Cisco Internetwork Operating System (IOS) is a family of network operating systems used on many Cisco Systems routers and current Cisco network switch A network switch (also called switching hub, bridging hub, and, by the IEEE, MAC bridge) ...
, despite Yeager's claims that he had been denied permission to sell the Blue Box commercially. On July 11, 1986, Bosack and Lougheed were forced to resign from Stanford and the university contemplated filing criminal complaints against Cisco and its founders for the theft of its software, hardware designs, and other intellectual properties. In 1987, Stanford licensed the router software and two computer boards to Cisco. In addition to Bosack, Lerner, Lougheed, Greg Satz (a programmer), and Richard Troiano (who handled sales), completed the early Cisco team. The company's first CEO was Bill Graves, who held the position from 1987 to 1988. In 1988,
John Morgridge John P. Morgridge (born 1933) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as th ...
was appointed CEO. The name "Cisco" was derived from the city name ''
San Francisco San Francisco (/Help:IPA/English, ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ/; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis"), officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and financial center in Northern Calif ...

San Francisco
'', which is why the company's engineers insisted on using the lower case "cisco" in its early years. The logo is intended to depict the two towers of the
Golden Gate Bridge The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the strait connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The structure links the U.S. city of San Francisco, California—the northern tip of the San Francisco Penin ...

Golden Gate Bridge
. On February 16, 1990, Cisco Systems went public with a market capitalization of $224 million, and was listed on the
NASDAQ The Nasdaq Stock Market () is an American stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), exchange where stockbrokers and stock trader, traders can buy and sell security (finance), secur ...
stock exchange. On August 28, 1990, Lerner was fired. Upon hearing the news, her husband Bosack resigned in protest. Although Cisco was not the first company to develop and sell dedicated network nodes, it was one of the first to sell commercially successful routers supporting multiple network protocols. Classical, CPU-based architecture of early Cisco devices coupled with flexibility of operating system
IOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that powers many of the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPod Touch; the t ...
allowed for keeping up with evolving technology needs by means of frequent software upgrades. Some popular models of that time (such as Cisco 2500) managed to stay in production for almost a decade virtually unchanged. The company was quick to capture the emerging service provider environment, entering the SP market with product lines such as Cisco 7000 and Cisco 8500. Between 1992 and 1994, Cisco acquired several companies in
Ethernet switch A network switch (also called switching hub, bridging hub, and, by the IEEE, MAC bridge) is networking hardware that connects devices on a computer network by using packet switching to receive and forward data to the destination device. A netwo ...

Ethernet switch
ing, such as Kalpana, Grand Junction and most notably, Mario Mazzola's Crescendo Communications, which together formed the
Catalyst that utilizes a low-temperature oxidation catalyst to convert carbon monoxide to less toxic carbon dioxide at room temperature. It can also remove formaldehyde from the air. Catalysis () is the process of increasing the reaction rate, rate of a ...
business unit. At the time, the company envisioned
layer 3 In the seven-layer OSI model of computer networking, the network layer is layer 3. The network layer is responsible for packet forwarding including routing through intermediate Router (computing), routers. Functions The network layer provides the ...
routing and layer 2 (
Ethernet Ethernet () is a family of wired computer network A computer network is a group of computers that use a set of common communication protocols over digital signal, digital interconnections for the purpose of sharing resources located on or ...

Ethernet
,
Token Ring Two examples of Token Ring networks: a) Using a single Media Access Unit, MAU b) Using several MAUs connected to each other image:TokenRingLogicalNetwork.svg, Token Ring network image:IBM hermaphroditic connector.JPG, IBM hermaphroditic connector ...

Token Ring
) switching as complementary functions of different intelligence and architecture—the former was slow and complex, the latter was fast but simple. This philosophy dominated the company's product lines throughout the 1990s. In 1995,
John Morgridge John P. Morgridge (born 1933) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as th ...
was succeeded by John T. Chambers.


1996–2005: Internet and silicon intelligence

The
Internet Protocol The Internet Protocol (IP) is the principal communications protocol in the Internet protocol suite for relaying datagrams across network boundaries. Its routing Routing is the process of selecting a path for traffic in a network or between ...
(IP) became widely adopted in the mid-to-late 1990s. Cisco introduced products ranging from modem access shelves (AS5200) to core GSR routers, making them a major player in the market. In late March 2000, at the height of the
dot-com bubble The dot-com bubble (also known as the dot-com boom, the tech bubble, and the Internet bubble) was a stock market bubble caused by excessive speculation of Internet-related companies in the late 1990s, a period of massive growth in the use and a ...
, Cisco became the most valuable company in the world, with a
market capitalization Market capitalization, commonly called market cap, is the market value of a publicly traded company A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company A public limited company ...
of more than $500 billion. As of July 2014, with a market cap of about US$129 billion, it was still one of the most valuable companies. The perceived complexity of programming routing functions in silicon led to the formation of several startups determined to find new ways to process IP and
MPLS Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a routing technique in telecommunications network A telecommunications network is a group of nodes interconnected by links that are used to exchange messages between the nodes. The links may use a variet ...
packets entirely in hardware and blur boundaries between routing and switching. One of them,
Juniper Networks Juniper Networks, Inc. is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate organization that owns or controls the production of goods or services in at least one country other than its home country. Black's ...
, shipped their first product in 1999 and by 2000 chipped away about 30% from Cisco SP Market share. In response, Cisco later developed homegrown
ASIC An application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC ) is an integrated circuit An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuit File:PExdcr01CJC.jpg, ...
s and fast processing cards for GSR routers and
Catalyst 6500{{multiple issues, {{primary sources, date=December 2012 {{context, date=February 2017 Cisco 6509 switch with four line cards and dual supervisors The Catalyst 6500 is a Modular computer network switch, modular chassis network switch manufacture ...
switches. In 2004, Cisco also started the migration to new high-end hardware CRS-1 and software architecture IOS-XR.


2006–2012: The Human Network

As part of a rebranding campaign in 2006, Cisco Systems adopted the shortened name "Cisco" and created "The Human Network" advertising campaign. These efforts were meant to make Cisco a "household" brand—a strategy designed to support the low-end Linksys products and future consumer products. On the more traditional business side, Cisco continued to develop its routing, switching and security portfolio. The quickly growing importance of
Ethernet Ethernet () is a family of wired computer network A computer network is a group of computers that use a set of common communication protocols over digital signal, digital interconnections for the purpose of sharing resources located on or ...

Ethernet
also influenced the company's product lines. Limits of
IOS iOS (formerly iPhone OS) is a mobile operating system created and developed by Apple Inc. exclusively for its hardware. It is the operating system that powers many of the company's mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPod Touch; the t ...
and aging Crescendo architecture also forced Cisco to look at merchant silicon in the carrier Ethernet segment. This resulted in a new ASR9000 product family intended to consolidate the company's carrier ethernet and subscriber management business around EZChip-based hardware and IOS-XR. Throughout the mid-2000s, Cisco also built a significant presence in India, establishing its Globalization Centre East in
Bangalore Bangalore (), List of renamed places in India, officially known as Bengaluru (), is the Capital city, capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of more than and a metropolitan area, metropolitan popu ...
for $1 billion. Cisco also expanded into new markets by acquisition—one example being a 2009 purchase of mobile specialist Starent Networks. Cisco continued to be challenged by both domestic competitors
Alcatel-Lucent Alcatel-Lucent S.A. () was a French/American global telecommunications equipment company, headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. It was formed in 2006 by the merger of France-based Alcatel and U.S.-based Lucent, the latter being a successo ...
,
Juniper Networks Juniper Networks, Inc. is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate organization that owns or controls the production of goods or services in at least one country other than its home country. Black's ...
, and an overseas competitor
Huawei Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. ( ; ) is a Chinese multinational technology company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong. It designs, develops, and sells telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics. The company was founded in 19 ...
. Due to lower-than-expected profit in 2011, Cisco reduced annual expenses by $1 billion. The company cut around 3,000 employees with an early-retirement program who accepted a buyout and planned to eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs (around 14 percent of the 73,400 total employees before curtailment). During the 2011 analyst call, Cisco's CEO John Chambers called out several competitors by name, including Juniper and HP. On July 24, 2012, Cisco received approval from the to acquire NDS (a TV software developer) for US$5 billion. In 2013, Cisco sold its Linksys home-router unit to Belkin International Inc., signaling a shift to sales to businesses rather than consumers.


Present day

On July 23, 2013, Cisco Systems announced a definitive agreement to acquire
Sourcefire Sourcefire, Inc was a technology company that developed network security hardware and software. The company's Firepower network security appliances were based on Snort, an open-source intrusion detection system (IDS). Sourcefire was acquired ...
for $2.7 billion. On August 14, 2013, Cisco Systems announced it would cut 4,000 jobs from its workforce, which was roughly 6%, starting in 2014. At the end of 2013, Cisco announced poor revenue due to depressed sales in emerging markets, caused by economic uncertainty and by fears of the
National Security Agency The National Security Agency (NSA) is a national-level intelligence agency An intelligence agency is a government agency responsible for the collection, Intelligence analysis, analysis, and exploitation of information in support of law enforce ...

National Security Agency
planting backdoors in its products. In April 2014, Cisco announced funding for early-stage firms to focus on the Internet of Things. The investment fund was allocated to investments in IoT accelerators and startups such as The Alchemist Accelerator, Ayla Networks and EVRYTHNG. Later that year, the company announced it was laying off another 6,000 workers or 8% of its global workforce, as part of a second restructuring. On November 4, 2014, Cisco announced an investment in Stratoscale. On May 4, 2015, Cisco announced
CEO A chief executive officer (CEO), chief administrator, or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of corporate executives in charge of managing an organization especially an independent legal entity such as a company A company, abbre ...
and Chairman John Chambers would step down as CEO on July 26, 2015, but remain chairman.
Chuck Robbins Charles H. Robbins (born 1965/1966) is an American businessman, and the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Cisco Systems Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational technology conglomerate headquartered in San Jose, Californ ...
, senior vice president of worldwide sales & operations and 17-year Cisco veteran, was announced as the next CEO. On July 23, 2015, Cisco announced the divestiture of its television set-top-box and
cable modem A cable modem is a type of network bridge A network bridge is a Networking hardware, computer networking device that creates a single, aggregate network from multiple communication networks or network segments. This function is called netwo ...
business to
Technicolor SA Technicolor S.A. (corporation), SA, formerly Thomson SARL and Thomson Multimedia, is an France, French multinational corporation that provides services and products for the communication, media and entertainment industries. Technicolor's headqua ...
for $600 million, a division originally formed by Cisco's $6.9 billion purchase of
Scientific Atlanta Scientific Atlanta, Inc. was a Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia, United States-based manufacturer of cable television, telecommunications, and broadband equipment. Scientific Atlanta was founded in 1951 by a group of engineers from the Georgia Instit ...
. The deal came as part of Cisco's gradual exit from the consumer market, and as part of an effort by Cisco's new leadership to focus on cloud-based products in enterprise segments. Cisco indicated that it would still collaborate with Technicolor on video products. On November 19, 2015, Cisco, alongside
ARM Holdings Arm Ltd. (stylized as arm) is a Great Britain, British semiconductor and Computer software, software design company based in Cambridge, England. Its primary business is in the design of ARM architecture, ARM Central processing unit, processors ( ...
,
Dell Dell is an American company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objecti ...
,
Intel Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Santa Clara, California. It is the world's largest semiconductor chip manufacturer by revenue, and is the developer of ...

Intel
,
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells Software, computer software, consumer electroni ...

Microsoft
and
Princeton University Princeton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...

Princeton University
, founded the
OpenFog Consortium The OpenFog Consortium (sometimes stylized as Open Fog Consortium) is a consortium A consortium (plural: consortia) is an Voluntary association, association of two or more individuals, companies, organizations or governments (or any combination o ...

OpenFog Consortium
, to promote interests and development in
fog computing Fog computing or fog networking, also known as fogging, is an architecture that uses edge devices to carry out a substantial amount of computation, storage, and communication locally and routed over the Internet backbone. Concept Fog computing, ...
. In January 2016, Cisco invested in VeloCloud, a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) start-up with a cloud offering for configuring and optimizing branch office networks. Cisco contributed to VeloCloud's $27 million Series C round, led by March Capital Partners. In February 2017, Cisco launched a cloud-based secure internet gateway, called Cisco Umbrella, to provide safe internet access to users who do not use their corporate networks or VPNs to connect to remote data centers. Immediately after reporting their fourth-quarter earnings for 2017, Cisco's price-per-share value jumped by over 7%, while its
Earnings per share Earnings per share (EPS) is the monetary value of earningsEarnings are the net benefits of a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single ...
ratio increased from 60 to 61 cents per share, due in part to Cisco's outperformance of analyst expectations. In September 2017, Chambers announced that he would step down from the executive chairman role at the end of his term on the board in December 2017. On December 11, 2017, Robbins was elected to succeed Chambers as executive chairman while retaining his role as CEO, and Chambers was given the title of "Chairman Emeritus". Reuters reported that "Cisco Systems Inc’s (CSCO.O) product revenue in
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russia
grew 20 percent in 2017, ahead of Cisco’s technology product revenue growth in the other so-called BRIC countries of
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
,
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...
and
India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous country, the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest ...

India
." On May 1, 2018, Cisco Systems agreed to buy AI-driven business intelligence startup Accompany for $270 million. As of June 2018, Cisco Systems ranked 444th on Forbes Global 2000 list, with $221.3 billion market cap. In 2019, Cisco acquired CloudCherry, a customer experience management company, and Voicea, an artificial intelligence company. In March 2020, SVP and GM of Enterprise Networking David Goeckeler left to become CEO of Western Digital Corp. and was replaced by Todd Nightingale, head of Cisco Meraki.


Finance

For the fiscal year 2018, Cisco reported earnings of US$0.1 billion, with an annual revenue of US$49.3 billion, an increase of 2.8% over the previous fiscal cycle. Cisco's shares traded at over $43 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at US$213.2 billion in September 2018. Low Net Income for fiscal year 2018 was attributed to a one-time tax charge, that allowed Cisco to bring back capital from overseas. Cisco used this money it was able to bring back at a lower tax rate to fund share buybacks and acquisitions.


Carbon footprint

Cisco reported Total CO2e emissions (Direct + Indirect) for the twelve months ending 30 June 2020 at 647 Kt (-45 /-6.5% y-o-y) and plans to reduce total emissions 60% by 2022 from a 2007 base year. At the same time as of November 2020, the company has not announced any science-based targets aligned with the
Paris Agreement The Paris Agreement (french: l'accord de Paris) is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), on climate change mitigation, Climate change adaptation, adaptation, and Climate finance, finance, signed i ...
ambition to limit global warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.


Corporate structure


Acquisitions and subsidiaries

Cisco acquired a variety of companies to spin products and talent into the company. In 1995–1996 the company completed 11 acquisitions. Several acquisitions, such as
Stratacom StrataCom, Inc. was a supplier of Asynchronous Transfer Mode Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a telecommunications standard defined by ANSI and ITU (formerly CCITT) for digital transmission of multiple types of traffic, including telephony (v ...
,Lawrence M. Fisher
"Cisco Agrees to Acquire Stratacom In a Stock Swap Worth $4 Billion,"
''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' (''NYT'' or ''NY Times'') is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 130 Pulit ...

The New York Times
'', April 23, 1996.
were one of the biggest deals in the industry when they occurred. During the Internet boom in 1999, the company acquired Cerent Corporation, a start-up company located in
Petaluma, California Petaluma (; Coast Miwok language, Coast Miwok: ''Péta Lúuma'') is a city in Sonoma County, California, Sonoma County, part of the North Bay (San Francisco Bay Area), North Bay sub-region of the San Francisco Bay Area, located north of San Fran ...
, for about US$7 billion. It was the most expensive acquisition made by Cisco to that date, and only the acquisition of
Scientific Atlanta Scientific Atlanta, Inc. was a Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia, United States-based manufacturer of cable television, telecommunications, and broadband equipment. Scientific Atlanta was founded in 1951 by a group of engineers from the Georgia Instit ...
has been larger. In 1999 Cisco also acquired stake for $1 Billion in KPMG Consulting to enable establishing Internet firm Metrius founded by Keyur Patel of Fuse. Several acquired companies have grown into $1Bn+ business units for Cisco, including LAN switching, Enterprise
Voice over Internet Protocol Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), also called IP telephony, is a method and group of technologies for the delivery of speech, voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. The terms Int ...
(VOIP) platform
Webex Cisco Webex is an American company that develops and sells web conferencing and videoconferencing Videotelephony comprises the technologies for the reception and transmission of audio- video signals by users in different locations, for commu ...
and
home networking A home network or home area network (HAN) is a type of computer network that facilitates communication among devices within the close vicinity of a home. Devices capable of participating in this network, for example, smart devices such as network ...
. The latter came as result of Cisco acquiring
Linksys Linksys is an American brand of data networking hardware products mainly sold to home users and small businesses. It was founded in 1988 by the couple Victor Tsao, Victor and Janie Tsao, both Taiwanese immigrants to the United States. Linksys p ...

Linksys
in 2003 and in 2010 was supplemented with new product line dubbed Cisco Valet. Cisco announced on January 12, 2005, that it would acquire Airespace for US$450 million to reinforce the wireless controller product lines. Cisco announced on January 4, 2007, that it would buy
IronPort IronPort Systems, Inc., headquartered in San Bruno, California San Bruno is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States, incorporated in 1914. The population was 41,114 at the 2010 United States Census. The city is between South San Fr ...
in a deal valued at US$830 million and completed the acquisition on June 25, 2007.
IronPort IronPort Systems, Inc., headquartered in San Bruno, California San Bruno is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States, incorporated in 1914. The population was 41,114 at the 2010 United States Census. The city is between South San Fr ...
was best known for its IronPort AntiSpam, its SenderBase email reputation service and its email security appliances. Accordingly,
IronPort IronPort Systems, Inc., headquartered in San Bruno, California San Bruno is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States, incorporated in 1914. The population was 41,114 at the 2010 United States Census. The city is between South San Fr ...
was integrated into the Cisco Security business unit. Ironport's Senderbase was renamed as Sensorbase to take account of the input into this database that other Cisco devices provide. SensorBase allows these devices to build a risk profile on IP addresses, therefore allowing risk profiles to be dynamically created on http sites and SMTP email sources. Cisco announced on March 15, 2012, that it would acquire
NDS Group Cisco Videoscape (formerly NDS Group and currently known as Synamedia) was a majority owned subsidiary of News Corp, which develops software for the pay TV industry (including cable, satellite and others). NDS Group was established in 1988 as an ...
for $5bn. The transaction was completed on July 30, 2012. In more recent merger deals, Cisco bought Starent Networks (a mobile packet core company) and Moto Development Group, a product design consulting firm that helped develop Cisco's Flip video camera.By Jim Duffy, NetworkWorld.
Cisco Buys Moto—no, not that Moto
." May 18, 2010.
Also in 2010, Cisco became a key stakeholder in ''e-Skills Week''. In March 2011, Cisco completed the acquisition of privately held network configuration and change management software company Pari Networks. Although many buy-ins (such as Crescendo Networks in 1993,
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Tandberg
in 2010) resulted in acquisition of flagship technology to Cisco, many others have failed—partially or completely. For instance, in 2010 Cisco occupied a meaningful share of the packet-optical market, revenues were still not on par with US$7 billion price tag paid in 1999 for Cerent. Some of acquired technologies (such as Flip from Pure Digital) saw their product lines terminated. In January 2013, Cisco Systems acquired Israeli software maker Intucell for around $475 million in cash, a move to expand its mobile network management offerings. In the same month, Cisco Systems acquired Cognitive Security, a company focused on Cyber Threat Protection. Cisco also acquired SolveDirect (cloud services) in March 2013 and Ubiquisys (mobile software) in April 2013. Cisco acquired cyber-security firm
Sourcefire Sourcefire, Inc was a technology company that developed network security hardware and software. The company's Firepower network security appliances were based on Snort, an open-source intrusion detection system (IDS). Sourcefire was acquired ...
, in October 2013. On June 16, 2014, Cisco announced that it has completed the acquisition of ThreatGRID, a company that provided dynamic malware analysis and threat intelligence technology. June 17, 2014, Cisco announced its intent to acquire privately held Tail-f Systems, a leader in multi-vendor network service orchestration solutions for traditional and virtualized networks. April 2, 2015, Cisco announced plans to buy Embrane, a software-defined networking startup. The deal will give Cisco Embrane's software platform, which provides layer 3–7 network services for things such as firewalls, VPN termination, server load balancers and SSL offload. May 7, 2015 Cisco announced plans to buy Tropo, a cloud API platform that simplifies the addition of real-time communications and collaboration capabilities within applications. June 30, 2015, Cisco acquired privately held
OpenDNS OpenDNS is an American company providing Domain Name System (DNS) resolution services—with features such as phishing protection, optional content filtering, and DNS lookup in its DNS servers—and a cloud computing security product suite, Umbrel ...

OpenDNS
, the company best known for its DNS service that adds a level of security by monitoring domain name requests. August 6, 2015, Cisco announced that it has completed the acquisition of privately held MaintenanceNet, the US-based company best known for its cloud-based contract management platform ServiceExchange. On the same month, Cisco acquired Pawaa, a privately held company in Bangalore, India that provides secure on-premises and cloud-based file-sharing software. September 30, 2015, Cisco announced its intent to acquire privately held Portcullis Computer Security, a UK-based company that provides cybersecurity services to enterprise clients and the government sectors. October 26, 2015, Cisco announced its intent to acquire ParStream, a privately held company based in Cologne, Germany, that provides an analytics database that allows companies to analyze large amounts of data and store it in near real-time anywhere in the network. October 27, 2015, Cisco announced that it would acquire Lancope, a company that focuses on detecting threat activity, for $452.5 million in a cash-and-equity deal. June 28, 2016, Cisco announced its intent to acquire CloudLock, a privately held cloud security company founded in 2011 by three
Israeli military The Israel Defense Forces (IDF; he, צְבָא הַהֲגָנָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל , ''lit.'' "The Army of Defense for Israel"; ar, جيش الدفاع الإسرائيلي), commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym An acron ...
veterans, for $293 million. The deal was expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. In August 2016, Cisco announced it is getting closer to making a deal to acquire Springpath, the startup whose technology is used in Cisco's HyperFlex Systems. Cisco already owns an undisclosed stake in the hyper-converged provider. January 2017, Cisco announced they would acquire
AppDynamics AppDynamics is an application performance management (APM) and IT operations analytics (ITOA) company based in San Francisco San Francisco (/Help:IPA/English, ˌsæn fɹənˈsɪskoʊ/; Spanish language, Spanish for "Francis of Assisi, Sa ...
, a company that monitors application performance, for $3.7 billion. The acquisition came just one day before AppDynamics was set to IPO. January 26, 2017, Cisco founded the Innovation Alliance in Germany with eleven other companies bringing together 40 sites and 2,000 staff to provide small businesses in Germany with expertise. August 1, 2017, Cisco completed the acquisition of Viptela Inc. for $610 million in cash and assumed equity awards. Viptela was a privately held software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) company based in San Jose, Ca. October 23, 2017, Cisco Systems announced it would be acquiring Broadsoft for $1.9 Billion to further entrench itself in the cloud communication and collaboration area. August 7, 2020, Cisco completed its acquisition of network intelligence company ThousandEyes. October 1, 2020, Cisco announced that it would be acquiring Israeli startup Portshift for a reported $100 million. December 7, 2020, Cisco announced that it would be acquiring Slido to improve Q&A, polls and engagement in WebEx videoconferencing December 7, 2020, Cisco announced the acquisition of U.K based IMImobile in a $730M deal.


Ownership

As of 2017 Cisco Systems shares are mainly held by institutional investors (The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, State Street Corporation and others).


Products and services

Cisco's products and services focus on three market segments—enterprise, service provider, midsize and small business. Cisco provides IT products and services across five major technology areas: Networking (including Ethernet, optical, wireless and mobility), Security, Collaboration (including voice, video, and data), Data Center, and the Internet of Things. Cisco has grown increasingly popular in the Asia-Pacific region over the last three decades and is the dominant vendor in the Australian market with leadership across all market segments. It uses its Australian office as one of the main headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region.


VoIP services

Cisco became a major provider of Voice over IP to enterprises and is now moving into the home user market through its acquisitions of Scientific Atlanta and Linksys. Scientific Atlanta provides VoIP equipment to cable service providers such as Time Warner, Cablevision, Rogers Communications, UPC and others; Linksys has partnered with companies such as Skype,
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells Software, computer software, consumer electroni ...

Microsoft
and Yahoo! to integrate consumer VoIP services with wireless and cordless phones.


Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS)

Cisco partners can offer cloud-based services based on Cisco's virtualized Cisco Unified Computing System, Unified Computing System (UCS). A part of the Cisco Unified Services Delivery Solution that includes hosted versions of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM), Cisco Unified Contact Center, Cisco Unified Mobility, Cisco Unified Presence, Cisco Unity Connection (unified messaging) and Cisco Webex Meeting Center.


Network Emergency Response

As part of its Tactical Operations initiative, Cisco maintains several Network Emergency Response Vehicles (NERV)s. The vehicles are maintained and deployed by Cisco employees during natural disasters and other public crises. The vehicles are self-contained and provide wired and wireless services including voice and radio interoperability, voice over IP, network-based video surveillance and secured high-definition video-conferencing for leaders and first responders in crisis areas with up to 3 Mbit/s of bandwidth (up and down) via a 1.8-meter satellite antenna. NERVs are based at Cisco headquarters sites in
San Jose, California San Jose, officially San José (; ; ), is the cultural, financial, and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California by both population and area. With an estimated 2019 population of 1,021,795, it is the List of ...
, and at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, allowing strategic deployment in North America. They can become fully operational within 15 minutes of arrival. High-capacity diesel fuel-tanks allow the largest vehicles to run for up to 72 hours continuously. The NERV has been deployed to incidents such as the October 2007 California wildfires; hurricanes Hurricane Gustav, Gustav, Hurricane Ike, Ike and Hurricane Katrina, Katrina; the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion, 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion, tornado outbreaks in Tornado outbreak of April 14–16, 2011, North Carolina and 2011 Super Outbreak, Alabama in 2011; and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The Tactical Operations team maintains and deploys smaller, more portable communication kits to emergencies outside of North America. In 2010, the team deployed to assist in earthquake recovery in Haiti and Christchurch (New Zealand). In 2011, they deployed to flooding in Brazil, as well as in response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In 2011, Cisco received the Innovation Preparedness award from the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter for its development and use of these vehicles in disasters.


Certifications

Cisco Systems also sponsors a line of Professional certification (computer technology), IT professional certifications for Cisco products. There are four or five (path to network planning and design, network designers) levels of certification: Entry (CCENT), Associate (Cisco CCNA, CCNA/CCDA), Professional (CCNP/CCDP), Expert (CCIE/CCDE) and recently Architect (CCAr: CCDE previous), as well as nine different paths, Routing & Switching, Design, Industrial Network, Network Security, Service Provider, Service Provider Operations, Storage Networking, Voice, Datacenter and Wireless. A number of specialist technicians, sales, and datacenter certifications are also available. Cisco also provides training for these certifications via a portal called the Cisco Networking Academy. Qualifying schools can become members of the Cisco Networking Academy and then provide CCNA level or other level courses. Cisco Academy Instructors must be CCNA certified to be a CCAI certified instructor. Cisco is involved with technical education in 180 countries with its Cisco Academy program. In March 2013, Cisco announced its interest in Myanmar by investing in two Cisco Networking Academies in Yangon and Mandalay and a channel partner network.


Corporate affairs


Awards and accolades

Cisco products, including IP phones and Telepresence, have been seen in movies and TV series. The company was featured in the documentary film ''Something Ventured'' which premiered in 2011. Cisco was a 2002–03 recipient of the Ron Brown Award, a U.S. presidential honor to recognize companies "for the exemplary quality of their relationships with employees and communities". Cisco ranked number one in Great Place to Work's World's Best Workplaces 2019. In 2020, ''
Fortune Fortune may refer to: General * Fortuna or Fortune, the Roman goddess of luck * Luck, a chance happening, or that which happens beyond a person's controls * Wealth, an abundance of items of economic value * Fortune, a prediction made in fortune-te ...
'' magazine ranked Cisco Systems at number four on their Fortune List of the Top 100 Companies to Work For in 2020 based on an employee survey of satisfaction. According to a report by technology consulting firm LexInnova Technologies, LexInnova, Cisco was one of the leading recipients of network security-related patents with the largest portfolio within other companies (6,442 security-related patents) in 2015.


Controversies


Shareholder relations

A class action lawsuit filed on April 20, 2001, accused Cisco of making misleading statements that "were relied on by purchasers of Cisco stock" and of insider trading. While Cisco denied all allegations in the suit, on August 18, 2006, Cisco's liability insurers, its directors and officers paid the plaintiffs US$91.75 million to settle the suit.


Intellectual property disputes

On December 11, 2008, the Free Software Foundation FSF vs. Cisco, filed suit against Cisco regarding Cisco's failure to comply with the GPL and LGPL license models and make the applicable source code publicly available. On May 20, 2009, Cisco settled this lawsuit by complying with FSF licensing terms and making a monetary contribution to the FSF. In October 2020, Cisco was ordered to pay US$1.9 billion to Centripetal Networks for infringement on four cybersecurity patents.


Censorship in China

Cisco has been criticized for its involvement in censorship in the People's Republic of China. According to author Ethan Gutmann, Cisco and other telecommunications equipment providers supplied the People's Republic of China, Chinese government with surveillance and Internet infrastructure equipment that is used to block Internet websites and track online activities in China. Cisco has stated that it does not customize or develop specialized or unique filtering capabilities to enable governments to block access to information and that it sells the same equipment in China as it sells worldwide. Wired News had uncovered a leaked, confidential Cisco PowerPoint presentation that detailed the commercial opportunities of the Golden Shield Project of Internet control. In May 2011, a group of Falun Gong practitioners filed a lawsuit under the Alien Tort Statute alleging that Cisco knowingly developed and customized its product to assist the Chinese government in prosecution and abuse of Falun Gong practitioners. The lawsuit was dismissed in September 2014 by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, which decision was appealed to United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in September 2015.


Tax fraud investigation

In October 2007, employees of Cisco's Brazilian unit were arrested on charges that they had imported equipment without paying import duties. In response, Cisco stated that they do not import directly into Brazil, and instead use middlemen.


Antitrust lawsuit

On December 1, 2008, Multiven filed an antitrust lawsuit against Cisco Systems, Inc. Multiven's complaint alleges that Cisco harmed Multiven and consumers by bundling and Tying (commerce), tying Software bug, bug fixes/Patch (computing), patches and updates for its operating system software to its maintenance services (SMARTnet). In May 2010, Cisco accused the person who filed the antitrust suit, British-Nigerian technology entrepreneur Peter Alfred-Adekeye, with hacking and pressured the US government to extradite him from Canada. Cisco settled the antitrust lawsuit two months after Alfred-Adekeye's arrest by making its software updates available to all Multiven customers.


Remotely monitoring users' connections

Cisco's Linksys E2700, E3500, E4500 devices have been reported to be remotely updated to a firmware version that forces users to register for a cloud service, allows Cisco to monitor their network use and ultimately shut down the cloud service account and thus render the affected router unusable.


Firewall backdoor developed by NSA

According to the German magazine ''Der Spiegel'' the NSA has developed JETPLOW for gaining access to ASA (series 5505, 5510, 5520, 5540 and 5550) and 500-series PIX Firewalls. Cisco's Chief Security Officer addressed the allegations publicly and denied working with any government to weaken Cisco products for exploitation or to implement security back doors. A document included in the trove of National Security Agency files released with Glenn Greenwald's book ''No Place to Hide'' details how the agency's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit and other NSA employees intercept servers, routers and other network gear being shipped to organizations targeted for surveillance and install covert firmware onto them before they are delivered. These Trojan horse systems were described by an NSA manager as being "some of the most productive operations in TAO because they pre-position access points into hard target networks around the world." Cisco denied the allegations in a customer document saying that no information was included about specific Cisco products, supply chain intervention or implant techniques, or new security vulnerabilities. Cisco's general counsel also said that Cisco does not work with any government, including the United States government, to weaken its products. The allegations are reported to have prompted the company's CEO to express concern to the President of the United States.


Spherix patent suit

In March 2014 Cisco Systems was sued for patent infringement. Spherix says that over $43 billion of Cisco's sales infringe on old Nortel patents owned by Spherix. Officials with Spherix are saying that a wide range of Cisco products, from switches to routers, infringe on 11 former Nortel patents that the company now owns.


India Net censorship role

Cisco Systems is alleged to be helping the Indian Jammu and Kashmir administration build a firewall that will prevent Internet users in Kashmir from accessing blacklisted websites, including social media portals, through fixed-line connections. Cisco denies the allegations.


Caste discrimination lawsuit

In 2020 a lawsuit was initiated against Cisco and two of its employees by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing for alleged discrimination against an Indian engineer on account of him being from a lower caste than them.


See also

* Mass surveillance in the United States * Cisco Certifications *
Cisco IOS Cisco Internetwork Operating System (IOS) is a family of network operating systems used on many Cisco Systems routers and current Cisco network switch A network switch (also called switching hub, bridging hub, and, by the IEEE, MAC bridge) ...
* Cisco Catalyst * Cisco DevNet * Cisco Express Forwarding * Cisco Discovery Protocol * Cisco Security Agent * Cisco Systems VPN Client * Cisco WebEx * Cisco Field


References


Further reading

* Bunnell, D. (2000). ''Making the Cisco Connection: The Story Behind the Real Internet Superpower''. Wiley. . * Bunnell, D. & Brate, A. (2001). ''Die Cisco Story'' (in German). Moderne Industrie. . * Paulson, E. (2001). ''Inside Cisco: The Real Story of Sustained M&A Growth''. Wiley. . * Slater, R. (2003). ''The Eye of the Storm: How John Chambers Steered Cisco Through the Technology Collapse''. HarperCollins. . * Stauffer, D. (2001). ''Nothing but Net Business the Cisco Way''. Wiley. . * Waters, J. K. (2002). ''John Chambers and the Cisco Way: Navigating Through Volatility''. Wiley. . * Young, J. S. (2001). ''Cisco Unauthorized: Inside the High-Stakes Race to Own the Future''. Prima Lifestyles. .


External links

* {{Authority control Cisco Systems, 1984 establishments in California American companies established in 1984 Manufacturing companies based in San Jose, California Companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average Companies in the NASDAQ-100 Companies listed on the Nasdaq Computer companies established in 1984 Deep packet inspection Electronics companies established in 1984 Multinational companies headquartered in the United States Networking companies of the United States Networking hardware companies Technology companies based in the San Francisco Bay Area Technology companies established in 1984 Telecommunications equipment vendors Videotelephony Companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange 1990 initial public offerings