In 1993, Cisco's management team realized that the market was changing rapidly. A business strategy built on a 4 point plan was established: •Assemble a broad product line
•Set industry standards for networking
•Pick the Right Strategic Partners
If this growth strategy was executed, Management believed that Cisco could be the lead architect and provider of technologies for new internet-based architecture.
These growth strategies were aligned with business objectives as well as the ultimate focus being on the Customer. If the customer is successful then business success will ultimately follow. The key to any growth strategy is to connect every employee to the business and to have consistency of strategy, goals, organization and management. One way this was accomplished was by maintaining a centralized functional organization. This was done to leverage off the proven ability of these organization and meant one less potential pitfall of setting-up unproven organizations.
With the advent of faster and more intelligent "internetworking" devices like switches and hubs, and the growth of the Internet and Intranets, Cisco needed expertise beyond its current capabilities. Cisco sensed an opportunity to become a major telecommunications player and plotted a strategy to take the company into LAN switches and the broader telecom market. Cisco decided to play very aggressively in an attempt to accomplish in the networking industry what Microsoft did with PCs and what IBM did with mainframes.
If Cisco hoped to execute the strategy and dominate the fast-growing market of "internetworking", Cisco knew that internal development could not produce the range of technology in the time-frame that customers would require. Management knew that...