Cisco Systems

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Type: Publicly held
Industry: Internet
Founded: 1984
Founder(s): Len Bosack
Sandy Lerner
Richard Troiano
Headquarters: 170 West Tasman Dr. San Jose CA 95134
Country: USA
Employees: 73,408 as of 2011 [1]
Revenue: $ 40.040 billion (FY 2010) [2]
Facebook: Cisco
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Systems @Cisco Systems
Key People
John T. Chambers, Chairman & CEO
Frank Calderoni, EVP and CFO
Gary Moore, EVP & COO
Robert Lloyd, EVP World Opertions
Wim Elfrink, EVP & Chief Globalization Officer

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is an American multinational company involved in designing, manufacturing and selling Internet Protocol (IP) based networking such as routers used to interconnect public and IP networks for mobile, data, voice, and video applications; switching products, security products, servers, modems and many other products and services used by the Information and Communications Technology industry. The company has more than 73 thousand employees with 460 offices in 160 countries worldwide.[3] Cisco is based in San Jose, California.


Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner, a couple working at Stanford University, built the Advanced Gateway Server, a multi-protocol router and an improvement of the routing program built by William Yeager and Andy Bechtolshein. Bosack and Lerner experimented and designed the router in their living room.[4] They experimented the capability of their newly designed router using the two detached networks at Stanford. After proving that their design was effective and marketable they made a proposal to Stanford to build and sell the routers however, the University rejected the idea. In 1984, the couple co-founded "Cisco", which means city to the north.[5]

Lerner and Bosack borrowed money from their credit cards to start up the business and they used their house as their business headquarter to build, test and sell their routers. When the business started to grow, they decided to incorporate the company with the help of venture capitalists. During that time, Cisco was already making around quarter million USD without a professional sales and marketing staff. Don Valentin, a venture capitalist agreed that his company, Sequoia, would invest in Cisco with certain conditions which including that they provide the management team and strategy on how to run the business. John Morgridge was the first President and CEO of Cisco. Bosack and Lerner never get along with Morgridge and in 1990 when the company was already worth a billion dollars, the upper management of the company approached Valentin to remove Lerner from the company or accept their resignation.Lerner and Bosack left Cisco and they received $170 million dollars as settlement.[6]

Since its establishment, Cisco continued to grow and its net profit for the fiscal year 2010 was more than 40 billion dollars. John T. Chambers is the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company.

Products and Services

Cisco Systems' product and service offerings are divided into three market categories such as Enterprise and Service Provider, Small Business and Home.[7]

  • Enterprise Provider
  1. Border Networks- Routers, Switches, Security, Physical Security and Building Systems, Optical Networking, Network Management and Automation, Cisco IOS and NX-OS Software, Interfaces and Modules Network Management and Automation Services Carrier Ethernet Services
  2. Collaboration- WebEx, TelePresence, Video and Content Deliver, Voice and Unified Communications, Service Exchange,WebEx Collaboration Services Broadband Cable Services, Interoperability Systems Services
  3. Data Center and Virtualization- Unified Computing and Servers, Application Networking Services, Storage Networking, Data Center Management and Automation, Data Center Switches, NX-OS Software etc.
  • Small Business
  1. Routers and Switches
  2. Security and Surveillance
  3. Voice and Conferencing
  4. Wireless
  5. Network Storage etc.
  • Home
  1. ūmi telepresence
  2. Home Networking (Valet and Linksys)
  3. Flip Video
  4. Cable TV Set-Tops


The company's latest acquisitions include:[8]

  • New Scale Inc.,- acquired March 29, 2011, a company that provides software for IT organizations, facilitating fast deployment cloud services [9]
  • Inlet Technologies- acquired February 4, 2011, a company from North Carolina that provides Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) digital media processing platforms
  • Pari Networks, Inc- cquired on January 26, 2011, is a provider of network configuration and change management (NCCM) and compliance management solutions, it was acquired to complete and improve Cisco's smart service capabilities
  • Line Sider Technologies, Inc.- a network management software provider acquired on December 1, 2010
  • Arch Rock Corporation - an Internet Protocol-based wireless network technology provider for smart-grid applications acquired September 2, 2010
  • Extend Media- acquired August 26, 2010 is a Software-based Content Management Systems (CMS) provider
  • CoreOptics Inc.- acquired May 20, 2010 designs Digital Signal Processing (DSP) solutions for high speed optical networking applications


In 1999, Cisco Systems was one of the companies which provided financial support of $150,000 to the ICANN while the newly formed internet governing body was in the process of transforming the technical management of the [[DNS|Domain Name System (DNS) as a private non-profit organization and waiting for a permanent source of funding to perform its functions.[10]

In 2000, Karl Auerbach, a researcher from Cisco Systems, was elected by the North American internet stakeholders as representative to the ICANN Board.[11]