Cisco Systems, Inc.
Cisco Systems, Inc. is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Jose, California, that designs, manufactures, and sells networking equipment. The company was founded in December 1984 by Sandy Lerner, Len Bosack, who were both directors of computer facilities for the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California. Cisco has made numerous acquisitions over the years, including Starent Networks, Moto Development, Gates Communications, and Scientific Atlanta. As of 2019, Cisco ranked #10 on the Fortune 500 list with a total revenue of $51.2 billion.
2. The company
Cisco was founded in 1984 by two Stanford University computer scientists, Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack. The name “Cisco” was derived from the city name, San Francisco. The company’s first product was a multiplexer that was followed by a router designed to support digital traffic on the Internet. In 1990, Cisco became the first company to offers Network Address Translation (NAT) technology which allows multiple devices on a private network to share a single public IP address. In 1995, Cisco introduced the first commercial firewall and in 1998, the company introduced the first VPN concentrator. In 2000, Cisco acquired Crescendo Communications and launched the Catalyst 6500 Series switch. In 2003, Cisco introduced the IP/ telephony system and in 2006, the company acquired Scientific Atlanta for $6.9 billion. Today, Cisco offers a wide range of products and services including routers, switches, security systems, storage area networks (SANs), and wireless LANs (WLANs).
3. The products
Cisco’s product line includes routers, switches, firewalls, VoIP phones, wireless access points (APs), WLAN controllers and IP cameras. Cisco’s flagship product line is the Catalyst 6500 Series switch which offers up to 960 gigabits per second (Gbps) of non-blocking switching capacity with up to 80 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 160 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Other popular Cisco products include the ASA 5500 Series firewall which offers up to 1 Gbps of firewall performance with up to 250 IPsec VPN peers and the Aironet 1240AG wireless LAN access point which supports 802.11a/b/g standards with data rates up to 54 Mbps.
4. The market
The global enterprise networking market is expected to grow from $37 billion in 2018 to $47 billion by 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets. The growth of the enterprise networking market is being driven by the increase in cloud computing deployments and the need for faster networking speeds to support bandwidth-intensive applications such as video conferencing and streaming media. Cisco holds the largest market share in the enterprise networking market with approximately 60% of the total market share. Other major vendors in the enterprise networking market include Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE), Juniper Networks Inc., and Arista Networks Inc..
5. The competition
Cisco faces intense competition from Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (HPE), Juniper Networks Inc., and Arista Networks Inc.. All of these vendors offer similar products and services as Cisco and are constantly innovating to stay ahead of the competition. Cisco has been able to maintain its market share lead through continuous innovation and acquisition of new technologies. For example, in 2017, Cisco acquired Duo Security for $2.35 billion to bolster its security offerings. In 2018, the company acquired software-defined networking (SDN) startup, Viptela for $610 million.
6. The future
Cisco’s future looks bright as the demand for networking equipment is expected to grow at a healthy pace in the coming years. The company is continuously innovating and expanding its product portfolio to meet the changing needs of its customers. Cisco is also actively involved in developing new technologies such as software-defined networking (SDN), which is expected to be a major growth driver for the company in the future.