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The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of Cisco Systems primary business strategies and its utilization of information technologies to achieve a competitive advantage in the network equipment industry.

Extracts from this document...


Cisco Systems


    Networking the Internet Revolution

Brandi Martin


Table of Contents

Paper Objective

Section 1: The Network Equipment Industry

  1. Industry Profile
  2. Competitive Strategies within the Industry
  3. Porter Model Evaluation of Industry Forces
  4. Globalization of the Industry
  5. Importance of Information Technology to the Industry

Section II: Company Perspective: An Analysis of Cisco Systemsimage01.png

  1. Cisco Company Profile
  2. Market and Financial Performance
  3. The Competitive Strategy
  4. Significance of Information Technologies
  5. Strengths and Weaknesses of Cisco

Section III:

A. Strategic Option Generator

B. Roles, Roles and Relationships

C. Redefine/Define

D. Significance of Telecommunications

E. Success Factor Profile

Section IV: A Final Analysis of the Success of Cisco Systems

  1. Success of Business Strategy and Information Technology Use to Date
  2. The Effective Position of Cisco for the Future

Objective of Paper

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of Cisco System’s primary business strategies and its utilization of information technologies to achieve a competitive advantage in the network equipment industry. The paper is divided into four sections, starting with a broad industry analysis, then narrowing to concentrate on Cisco Systems Inc., followed by an analysis of their use of information technology. The conclusion is a final analysis of Cisco System’s success.

The first section defines the structure of the network equipment industry. This complex industry can be defined with the help of detailed industry trends, universal strategies, effects of globalization and the significance of information technologies within this fast paced industry. The second section will provide an analysis confined to Cisco. Included in this in-depth examination is a company profile discussing Cisco business, the business leaders, specific strategies, financial performance, use of information systems and a summary of strengths and weaknesses. Section III concentrates on the use of information technologies for this company. The role of information systems within Cisco is analyzed using a “strategic option generator” and a “value to customer model”.

...read more.


Chambers helped Cisco to grow from annual revenue of $1.2 billion to their peak of over $22 billion in 2001. Chamber’s has nurtured a friendly workplace environment with a positive culture that makes Cisco one of the “Best Companies to Work For”. He has won dozens of awards while at Cisco including “The Most Powerful Man in Networking”, “CEO of the Year” “Best Boss in America” and “Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement Award”. Part of the reason this culture is so strong is because of Chamber’s team-building skills and primary focus on the customer. This was unique at the when other companies were focusing on technology. "At Cisco, we make customers our No. 1 priority, not only by delivering innovative technology and good service but also by listening to their needs and responding appropriately." Chambers spends a great portion of time meeting with customers and has developed an ability to foresee which technologies businesses will need in the future.

It was Chambers steadfast vision that the Internet would revolutionize the way all companies conducted business that rocketed Cisco to the forefront of the tech boom. Chambers has been nicknamed the poster child of the Internet. Chambers is a name that is almost as well known as Cisco! John Chambers is revered as a visionary, a charismatic leader who preaches the Internet revolution. Chambers speeches are legendary; oozing optimism he states the Internet can make the world a better place by improving education and the standard of living. This Internet evangelist sees the value in technologies but more importantly understands the impact of technologies on business results, governments and the educational system. As Senior Vice President, Rick Justice states, "John's greatest contribution is the vision he has for the Internet, not the technology, but

Hooper, Larry. “The Internet Evangelist.” 2002 Industry Hall of Fame.

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Direction Competitor Comparison. Yahoo! Finance. February 2004.                            

< http://finance.yahoo.com/q/co?s=CSCO>

Heskett, Ben. “Cisco dukes it out with Juniper.” January 30, 2001. CNET News.com.

        < http://news.com.com/2100-1033-251814.html?legacy=cnet>

Network Router Showdown: Cisco vs. Juniper. LinuxInsider. October 6, 2003.

< http://www.linuxinsider.com/perl/story/31759.html>

NetworkWorldFusion: NW200 Compare-O-Matic. Network World Inc.                                  <http://www.nwfusion.com/nw200/2003/compare.jsp>

Partners & Suppliers

Cirillo, Richard. “Cisco's Customer Satisfaction Tool: A Partner's Best 'PAL'.”                         VARBusiness. April 4, 2001. CMP Media LLC.


“Cisco Systems Shows its Appreciation.” September 22, 2003. Finistar Corp.


Hartsock, Netty. “IBM, Cisco partner for corporate streaming.” eBusinessIQ.  Connexus Media Network



Blackwell, Gerry. “Cisco's Wi-Fi Challenges.” September 10, 2003. Wi-Fi Planet                

< http://www.wi-fiplanet.com/columns/article.php/3075681>

Chugh, Manoj. “Putting the IT in productivity.” January 2003. Network Magazine.                 < http://www.networkmagazineindia.com/200301/cover8.shtml>

“Gaining Competitive Advantage through Internet Business Solutions.” February, 2004        

< http://faculty.darden.edu/gbus885-00/Documents/Cisco_ppts.pdf>

Top Three Sources!

The absolute most informative source was Cisco.com. There is an unbelievable amount of accessible information. I watched short speeches given by senior executives and their most recent commercials. They may be a bit harder to find but there are a lot of great PowerPoint presentations and referenced articles.  

Slater’s book, “The Eye of the Storm” was also a helpful reference because it written recently and discusses Cisco’s comeback with the help of John Chambers.

I also liked the Dartmouth article, “Cisco System Evolution to E-Business” as an introduction to Cisco. The article gives a brief overview of Cisco’s beginning, major systems and successes.

For financial information and comparisons www.nwfusion.com and Hoovers’ are useful.

...read more.

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