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Cisco Systems: Web-enablement Essay

Cisco’s mission is to solve their customer’s most important business challenges by delivering intelligent networks and technology architectures built on integrated products, services, and software platforms. They accomplish this by making everything thing do about the customer.

John Chambers was hired in 1991 and quickly became CEO of the company in 1995. He came up with a plan that would help the company work more efficiently and effectively. This plan consisted of four steps: First, he assembled a broad product line so that Cisco could serve as one-stop shopping for business networks. This would help make purchasing products and receiving needed information much easier for customers. Second, he systematized acquisitions as an efficient business process. Since 1993, when this plan was implemented, Cisco has made over 70 acquisitions and key strategic alliances that helped fill out its products line. Third, industry wide software standards for networking were set.

They issued an IOS and gave licenses to many different companies. Fourth, they picked the right strategic partners to aid in their success. After working with Microsoft, Cisco was able to create an industry standard for security over the network while working with other companies to boost Internet services and manufacture computing systems using their products.

It is stated that Chamber’s ultimate focus was on the customers. He made it so every employee had the words, “Dedication to Customer Success” written on their name tags. This let everyone know that their main focus was giving their customers everything they needed to be successful. Having this in mind, Cisco developed Cisco.com so that customers could answer questions and diagnose their own problems. Doing this allows Cisco to help their customers more efficiently.

Orders can be placed from anywhere in the world by using the Internet and visiting their website. It allows customers to check the status of their pending transactions and also check the shipping status of their purchases. Also, Cisco implemented a way for their customers to acquire software updates without having to leave their homes. By visiting their website, customers can find the updates needed and download them right to their computer.

Salient Information
Cisco’s success comes from many different aspects but the main one is that Don Valentine was the main venture capitalist who invested in the company. He believed that Cisco would be a successful business so he took a chance on investing in the company when many other capitalists were over cautious. Cisco’s core technology began with routers. Routers are used in making the Internet work and are behind tying all the computer networks together. Also, Cisco is at the forefront of challenging a world of three independent proprietary networks: the phone networks for voice, the local area and wide area networks for data, and the broadcast networks for video.

More than 75% of all Internet traffic travels over Cisco products. This is due to the fact that Cisco has one of the most efficient supply chain models. All this is possible because they are better equipped to address performance and security issues due to their constant influx of venture capital and talent. This helps them implement projects that keeps them on top of what every customer wants and needs.

Customer, partner, and supplier interaction with the company is a key success factor for Cisco. Users can access the Cisco Connection Online, which allows them to navigate to the information needed for the interaction work. This means that the user can directly input information that is required to do business, which in turn allows other companies to do business more efficiently and effectively with Cisco.

Another important success factor for Cisco is that they set up a way for all employees to interact with each other through their intranet. Real time video was made available which allowed the employees to watch speeches given by managers, executives, etc. The number of employees that heard speeches in the past was doubled when this was made available. This helped keep employees up to date on goals that the company was trying to accomplish and helped them communicate problems and find solutions much easier.

Cisco implement a customer self-service which allowed customers to basically help themselves with their problems. By making it so that they could input data into the database, they were able to diagnose their own problems and fix them from home. Doing this contributed a lot to Cisco’s success because customers new that if they needed a problem solved, they wouldn’t have to wait around for days and sometimes even weeks to get help.

Peter Solvik joined the Cisco team in January 1993 as their new CIO. He saw that there were two challenges that needed to be addressed in the company. First, Cisco’s Information Technology department was too traditional in the sense that it was viewed as a cost center that reported through the Finance department, and it was too internally oriented. There were three ways that he approached this: The IT-reporting relationship was changed from Accounting to Customer Advocacy, the IT budget pertaining to the functions were returned to the functions leaving just a small portion left in General and Administrative expense, and the central IT steering committee was disbanded and replaced with a structure where IT investment decisions on application projects were pushed out to the line organization but still executed by central IT.

The second challenge that he faced was that the current systems could not scale to support Cisco’s growth, nor were they flexible and robust enough to meet management requirements. To fix this, Solvik proposed a $15 million Enterprise Resource Planning system project to completely replace all Order/Entry, Manufacturing and Financial systems worldwide in an aggressive nine-month effort. Recommendations

The best way for Cisco to continue being a competitor in the world of technology is to initiate a real-time Information System into their corporation. “One important factor will characterize the successful companies of the future: the ability to provide real-time information to decision makers at all levels, anywhere, any time” (Derynck & Hutchinson). Without doing so, Cisco exposes themselves to competitions that will succeed them in the long run due to this real-time information. Also, if Cisco does this it will allow them to profit greater and become a more successful and efficient company. MD. Salah Rajib says, “Efficient use of information can sharply reduce the cost of production as well as required capital.”

Without this integration, Cisco is bound to fail. Yes, they are a successful company now but if they do not implement this real-time information system, they will be destined to fail. “Upgrading your business information system is a necessary process that every successful organization should implement” (Summers).

Works Cited

Derynck, R., & Hutchinson, T. (1998, November 01).Integrating real-time systems with corporate information systems. Retrieved from http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/98nov/nov98a4.pdf

Rajib, S. U., Alam, S., & Arefin, S. (n.d.). A case study on integrating logistics information systems with the corporate resources. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/1213764/A_Case_Study_on_Integrating_Logistics_Information_Systems_with_the_Corporate_Resources

Summers, I. (n.d.). Guide to upgrading your business information systems. Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?Guide-to-Upgrading-Your-Business-Information-Systems&id=3720773

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