Cisco System Analysis

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Cisco Systems
Networking the Internet Revolution

Brandi Martin
Table of Contents

Paper Objective

Section 1: The Network Equipment Industry
A. Industry Profile
B. Competitive Strategies within the Industry
C. Porter Model Evaluation of Industry Forces
D. Globalization of the Industry
E. Importance of Information Technology to the Industry Section II: Company Perspective: An Analysis of Cisco Systems A. Cisco Company Profile
B. Market and Financial Performance
C. The Competitive Strategy
D. Significance of Information Technologies
E. 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 A. Success of Business Strategy and Information Technology Use to Date B. 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”. The paper concludes with a final analysis of the success of Cisco Systems, including strategies and information technology that gave Cisco a competitive advantage. Cisco’s current position in the industry for continued future success will also be addressed.


A. Industry Profile

The network equipment industry, although still in its infancy, is a booming industry made possible by the Internet revolution. Broad acceptance of the Internet has created new models for business, new means to motivate, organize and inform the public, and new thinking about how humans communicate. Successful companies within this industry have shown record growth in a world where everyone wants to be connected and speed is everything. To connect the planet, network equipment companies design and manufacture routing and switching equipment, communication and network access devices, security hardware and wireless networking products. These networking products are used to connect both WANs, wide area networks, and LANs, local area networks. Large scale product solutions exist for corporations, governments, and universities while smaller solutions are available for individual consumers.

Two main markets exist for network equipment industries, a telecommunications or service provider market and an enterprise or datacommunications market. Both markets buy networking equipment but the telco market is defined by customers like PacBell, Verizon and China Telecom whereas the datacom market consists of mid to large corporations in banking,...
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