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Helping Cisco Partners Help Small Businesses”¦and Themselves

There isn’t a technology customer in the world right now not focused on ROI but small businesses care more than most about getting a quick, tangible benefit to their business from a technology investment. Cisco small and medium business partners are who many small businesses are turning to for advice right now to help them make the right technology decisions to weather the currrent economic downturn and strengthen their business to prepare for the recovery.In the video blog below, Andrew Sage, vice president of Cisco’s small business channel partner program, discusses how yesterday’s launch of a slew of new small business products from Cisco can lend partners a hand in helping small businesses save money, increase sales opportunities and overcome challenges related to data security and regulatory compliance.As today’s economic environment is no different for our partners than it is for their customers, Sage also offers some advice to partners on how best to position themselves for success now and when the upturn comes.

Cisco Acquires Richards-Zeta Building Intelligence

Today, Cisco announced it has acquired Richards-Zeta Building Intelligence. Richards-Zeta’s middleware enables businesses to simplify the integration of building and IT systems over a common IP network. In this first video, Rob Salvagno, Senior Director, Corporate Development, discusses the acquisition and how the technology complements Cisco’s strategy. In the second video, Rob does a white-board session on how this technology helps manage building systems. Read More »

LAN switching market: It’s about more than numbers

Some vendors in the LAN switching market posted press releases citing Dell’Oro Group 3QCY08 report data, which showed growth rates that are much higher than the industry rate, and also stated that they are leaders in the market. What they don’t tell you is that according to that same Dell’Oro data, Cisco continued to contribute to the vast majority of the market and generated 15 times the revenue of the next closest vendor for the third calendar quarter of 2008. Cisco enjoys market share many times greater than the competition. But we seldom bring up the topic of our market share. We prefer to focus on how we partner with our customers to bring value to their businesses. How do we solve the problems that our customers encounter on a daily basis? How can we enable them to make faster and better decisions, and yet save money in the process? These are the questions that we ask.Our collaboration tools ride on our switching platform to connect our customers’ employees together by voice or video, worldwide. Our wireless products also use the same switch infrastructure to enable mobile users, whether in universities, hospitals, or even oil rigs. Our security products work together to keep our customers’ information highly secure across their entire networks, not just the wired portions or the wireless portions. Read More »

Does it take caution or courage to manage through a downturn?

Tiger Woods and Accenture have been urging us business folks to “Be a Tiger” for a few years now, but when it comes down to the crunch, isn’t that easier said than done? I’d venture many managers would instinctively prefer to head for shelter than face a crisis head-on, but of course the actions executives take in situations like those (and times like these) are what distinguish leaders from followers. No doubt America’s new President would not have been taking the oath yesterday if he had avoided addressing the tough issues on the campaign trail.”It takes courage to make the decisions that good economic times allow us to postpone,” says Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s head of North America and Japan, in a podcast posted today to the Cisco newsroom. In it, he reflects on the bold moves Cisco made in the downturns of 2001 and 2003 to become pioneers and then leaders in VoIP and Next Generation Networks.So, what did we learn from those bold moves and how did they influence the way we manage through this downturn? And how are we applying those lessons to our engagements with customers today? You can hear the answers and the whole podcast here. And if you happen to be a customer who’s interested in applying those learnings to your own business, you might like to take a look at our “Five Ways to Thrive” program pages (and very funny new ‘Survive’ commercial) at

Fortune Magazine: Cisco “Best Place to Work”

We are honored and humbled to be on Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” for the 12th straight year. We have been on the list every year since its inception in 1998 and have been in the top 10 four of those years.What makes Cisco a great place to work? For me, in a word: trust. We are trusted to do our jobs. We go through a gauntlet of interviews to get a job at Cisco. Sure, we have to the appropriate educational background and/or work experiences, but we also have to be a cultural fit into the company and the teams that we’ll be working with. What is Cisco’s culture? I work hard and trust my colleagues to work hard…I haven’t been let down. I work with creative, innovative professionals and we all know that a collaborative work environment creates a better product. It is as simple as “two heads are better than one.” Our exectives trust their teams to vet ideas and come to them with appropriate recommendations so that good decisions can be made. We are treated as professionals…and we act the same. We collaborate on projects and share any glory or any blame. Quality of life and work/life balance is also very important. We do work hard, but we are also given the flexibility to complete our work when (or where) we need to. Again, trust.Additionally, our competition drives us to make better products for our customers and focus on their needs. We exist for customers and never forget that. Read More »