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Cisco Overview

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Essay title: Cisco Overview

Corporate Overview

Cisco Systems, Inc. is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Today, networks are an essential part of business, education, government and home communications, and Cisco's Internet Protocol-based (IP) networking solutions are the foundation of these networks.

Cisco was founded in 1984 by a small group of computer scientists from Stanford University. Since the company's inception, Cisco engineers have been leaders in the development of Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking technologies. Today, with more than 47,000 employees worldwide, this tradition of innovation continues with industry-leading products and solutions in the company's core development areas of routing and switching, as well as in advanced technologies such as:

* IP Communications

* Network Security

* Wireless LAN

* Storage Area Networking

* Home Networking

* Video Systems

* Application Networking Services

Cisco has been at the heart of many historic changes in technology, and that continues to be true today. Now, at a time when the technology industry is going through a period of dramatic change, Cisco is the market leader in multiple areas, such as routing and switching, unified communications, wireless and security. The company helped catalyze the industry's move toward IP and, now that it is fully underway, the company is at the center of fundamental changes in the way the world communicates.

The Network is the Platform

The emergence of the network as a platform is changing the entire value chain of technology and placing the network squarely at the center of innovation: as many as 14 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2010. The explosion of devices will be fueled by more and more services and tasks being handled online, from phone calls to personalized searches to downloading videos, games and other forms of entertainment.

The role of the network is evolving beyond that of infrastructure. It is emerging as a secure platform for delivering the customized and personalized experience that 21st century users expect - whether that means delivering new services as a carrier, boosting productivity for businesses of any size or consumers looking for real-time, personalized entertainment and services.

As an increasingly intelligent network evolves into a platform, users will be able to communicate from any device and in whatever mode they choose.

Cisco is leading the transition to a network-centric technology environment. By combining its core strength (IP) with intelligence, the company is creating a powerful communications platform that will serve as the basis for the convergence of data, voice, video and mobile communications in a secure, integrated architecture.

Below are three examples of how the transition to a network-centric architecture is having profound and dramatic effect on entire industries:

1. IP Communications and IP Video

Communications networks are going through a transformation empowered by the Internet and networking technology. When the Internet was at its earliest stages as a business and consumer tool, Cisco had a vision for how IP technology would transform voice and video communications. In 1998, Cisco acquired a small Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) company and began developing this technology. Today Cisco is the global leader in IP communications equipment, selling over 7.5 million IP phones worldwide, including to more than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Now Cisco is building on that leadership to develop IP-based video technologies to transform the way video content is delivered to the home and within companies. We are aggressively moving into a new realm of IP, with the promise of IPTV on the horizon, and pervasive video on the Internet.

2. Emergency Responder Communications

As 9-11, Hurricane Katrina and other national emergencies have demonstrated, our federal, state and local emergency first responders need the means to communicate effectively in times of crisis. Cisco has developed IP-based technology that addresses today's voice communications interoperability requirement, enabling communications across any type of device, whether push-to-talk (radio) systems, cell phones or landline phones.

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