Company background (Cisco Systems):
Cisco Systems is a world leading company in the switches and router market. Established in 1984 by a Stanford University couple, IT administrators Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner. Ina short period after founding, it became one of the most successful companies in high technology industry. In Cisco, manufacturing of its switches and router was outsourced, the company focused on core competencies: product design and development. Indirect sales and distribution through resellers became the major sales channel in the end of 1990’s; its “Value-Added Reseller” (VAR) was the most successful indirect sales channel strategy at that time. In later 1990s, Cisco had ever been the world’s most valuable company, its market capitalization exceeded $500 billion in 2000, and sales reached $18 billion. With the telecom and dot-com crash in 2001, Cisco’s business was hugely affected; $1 billion loss was reported in 2001. The shrunken market made Cisco’s management completely review and revamp its go-to market strategy.
Market and Products:
Cisco’s major products are switches and routers. A switch is used to connect workstations within a local-area network (LAN). The switch directs data only to the destination for which it is intended, and increases the efficiency of networks by reducing traffic and the number of “collisions” of data headed in opposite directions. Routers are the devices that connect networks to other networks in a wide-area network (WAN). Switches and routers are classified along a layer 1 to layer 7 continuums in technical point of view. Cisco competes on layer 2 onwards in the switches and routers market. With the explosion of the Internet in 1990s, Cisco achieved great success in the high tech industry, from basic connectivity to high-end, multilayer intelligent service switching solutions