Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader in IP networking solutions. Its two principal products are routers and switches, the devices which between them form the bedrock of the internet. In fact, without Cisco there would arguably be no such thing as the internet as we know it today. The group remains a key player in this sector, but has also expanded aggressively into developing IT services sectors, such as video streaming and conferencing, internet security and cloud computing through a string of acquisitions. There were no fewer than 12 separate deal during 2016 alone; another eight closed in fiscal 2018 including several in cloud computing services. Although traditionally a business-to-business supplier, Cisco has also dipped its toe into the consumer market through home networking supplier Linksys. It was not a productive relationship and that business was sold on in 2013 to Belkin. Group revenues for the year ending Jul 2018 hit a record $49.3bn. A huge one-off tax write-off effectively wiped out net income for the year, but pretax income rose 6% to $13.0bn. Switches and routers still account for almost half group sales, but this business is in slow decline, while the contribution from services is growing steadily. Long-time leader John Chambers named Chuck Robbins as his successor in 2015. Cisco was founded in the early 1980s at Stanford University by husband and wife team Leonard Bosack and Sandra Lerner, who wanted to find a way of sending private computer messages to each other despite being on separate networks. This prompted their invention of the first router to bridge different network protocols, a key building block of what was then the newly created internet. The business was acquired by outside investors in 1987 and later floated. Chambers joined the business in 1991, becoming CEO four years later, and overseeing its extraordinary growth over the following two decades.
Capsule checked 14th February 2019
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Account assignments & selected decisionmakers
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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 23rd May 2017: The biggest account assignment so far this week was Goodby Silverstein's resignation of the Cisco Systems account after Ogilvy - from whom Goodby originally won the business in 2012 - was reappointed to handle a one-off project. The entire account will now be assumed by Ogilvy. “We decided to part ways with Cisco due to differences in strategy and creative work," said Goodby president Derek Robson. "It was a mutual decision, and we wish them the best."
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th May 2016: Ads of the Week "There's Never Been A Better Time". Great new spot for network infrastructure giant Cisco from Goodby Silverstein, offering fast-cut image clips and tantalising glimpses of exactly what technology can do to save the world; not tomorrow, not in five years time but right here right now. Very nice. And good to see GS delivering the goods for more clients than just Adobe...
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Nov 2015: Swedish technology giant Ericsson and Cisco of the US unveiled a wide-ranging commercial alliance whereby they will coordinate sales and consultancy activities as well as hardware standards, and may ultimately begin jointly developing new products. Cisco specialises in internet equipment, while Ericsson is among the leaders in wireless infrastructure. The partnership is designed to defend both businesses against growing competition from China's Huawei, which already offers both technologies, and the impending merger of Nokia with Alcatel-Lucent, which will have a similar set of skills. "Neither Ericsson or Cisco really believe that these large mergers typically work," said Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins in an interview with the WSJ. "This is a much more agile and efficient choice," added Ericsson's leader Hans Vestberg. "We can start already tomorrow."
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