Feature Article

December 08, 2010

The Packeteer: Cisco

When it comes to networking Cisco has been at the core of the network. If Google can play with apps as long as they increase the value of their search business, Cisco can support a variety of devices as long as they generate packets.

However, Wall Street is looking for the explosive growth. Like Oracle growth strategies have had to include acquiring the growth of others.

Cisco has a strange history of acquisitions when it comes to wireless. Navini and Starent both have found the marketing machismo others benefited from with Cisco lacking. 

It may be a timing issue. 

Cisco had some hard meetings with cable operators where they shared they were no longer supporting their BTS softswitch business.

The decision prompted calls to Juniper, but primarily opened the door for Huawei.

The decision may have answered the question of how many softswitches were needed?

Not enough to make it a thriving business for the likes of Cisco.

But when one door closes another opens, or in this case expands.

Cisco started in the Enterprise solving the making the problems of corporate networking their core strength.

The bigger market is in ability to take the packets of the Enterprise and deliver a unified communication strategy.

Wireless is just a piece of the puzzle of Unified Communications, and Cisco has focused on their collaborative experience to suggest best practices.

However, hardware is their suite spot and according to the annual report “Sales of wireless LAN products increased by $169 million, primarily due to the customer adoption of and migration to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network architecture.”

Still the desire to diversify pushed Cisco into the consumer market.

The 2003 purchase of Linksys has been successful so Pure Digital FLIP was logical to acquire.

A question we always have to ask is what could Cisco acquire to ignite the interest of Wall Street.

Another possibility is that Cisco finds its success at the core of the network.

Cisco is pointing out the Video traffic is going to be at the core of all our communication.

Per Cisco, video traffic is projected to grow more than 500 percent to almost half a zettabyte over the next five years. This represents more than half of all IP traffic and by 2014 an estimated $250 billion in revenue.

The Cisco IP-NGN Video Optimized Transport solution has a zero-loss video architecture that ensures high-quality video experience. The solution applies to Metro Ethernet, which means that for Wireless we would only see it in the backhaul for now.

Service Providers may find the zero loss video quality SLAs a marketable solution.

However, for today its just about the packets.

Carl Ford is a partner at Crossfire Media.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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