In 2003, Cisco selected six key emerging markets on which to focus to drive growth and new revenue streams. Recently, it has increased that number to a huge 30, all unified by the common theme that they are driven by the explosion of data traffic over wired and wireless IP networks. Cisco’s new markets Last week Cisco CEO John …
I used to have a very tight-fisted CFO (yes, he was from Yorkshire, actually!), and he used to approach purchases along the lines of: "Do we need it, and if we don't really need it then it's fluff, and if we do need it do we really need it or is it just fluff?" For him, anything where you couldn't show a benefit to the core company operations, even if you could show a saving in a peripheral area, was "fluff", i.e. an unnneccessary luxury. Another of his guides which used to scupper many a salesbod's attempts to undercut their way into our company was: "It's not a bargain if you don't need it in the first place." Though he was a monumental pain (sorry, I tried to type "delight to work with", honest), he guided the company through the dot-bomb and subsequent mini recessions and kept the books in the black.
One of his victims was the manager that signed up for CISCO's video-conferencing service. He correctly deduced that it was just "fluff", would be underutilised and not recoup the operational savings nor the other benefits of immediate remote meetings CISCO predicted. The trial proved his point and back went the CISCO kit. That was in an upturn. The problem I see for CISCO is that it trying to grow in a lot of fluff areas, and in a rather nasty recession. The Wifi arena in particular is subject to a glut of competitors that seem able to do the basics just as well as CISCO and a lot cheaper, and what CISCO is offering on top looks to be mainly fluff.
Where is the Security???
Being a Security Engineer and with my main products for Firewalls and VPNs being Cisco ASAs it disturbs me to see how much they are putting into these technologies but not coming out with any new technologies in the IT Security Field. I guess they will keep making purchase of companies and not developing anything in house any more. I have grown up on the PIX platform and have been a huge adopter of the ASAs but I can really see myself looking to other Firewall Technologies like Palo Alto Network or Tipping Point in the next couple of years to provide my security in the cloud.