For the two decades that Cisco Systems, Inc. has been in existence, the company has successfully cut its own niche as a world leader in the field of networking and communications technology. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Cisco’s impressive financial performance in a tightly contested business environment have seen its stakes rise in the world arena.
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From its humble beginnings in 1984, the company has successfully negotiated all the pitfalls and challenges presented by the global economic environment to become a multinational corporation with an estimated 65,000 workers and an annual revenue turnover of US$36 billion as of July 2009 (“Cisco Corporate Overview,” 2009, para. 1).
Despite its rather uneventful beginning, Cisco has grown to become one of the most valuable organizations globally, with a market capitalization of over US$500 billion as of July 2009.
In the first quarter of 2000, Cisco was the most valuable organization globally, with a market capitalization of over US$500 billion (Flannogan et al, 2003, p. 8). According to industry experts, these accomplishments have been necessitated by Cisco’s stringent management strategies, an eye for quality and customer satisfaction.
While it is true that Cisco was not the first corporation to design, develop and sell a router, the company was inarguably the first to trade in commercially successful routers that had the capacity to support multiple network protocols (Flannogan et al, 2003, p. 46).
Presently, the corporation has increasingly diversified its operations outside is known traditional market to deal with other network equipments such as Ethernet switching, ATM networking applications, security applications, and IP telephony. The company is overly committed to the creation of long-lasting customer relationships due to the realization that its growing fortunes are fuelled by its wide base of customers (“Cisco Corporate Overview,”2009, para. 1).
In essence, the corporation has been in the frontline in determining the future of internet through the creation of unparalleled value and opportunity for its expanding customer base, workers, shareholders and other ecosystem partners. This, coupled with an elaborate corporate culture, comprehensive social responsibility program and an unparalleled quest for research and development have enabled Cisco to capture new market frontiers for its products and services.
Cisco’s Quality Standards
According to Stiffler (2004, p. 32), Cisco Systems is at the forefront of developing an assortment of certified training programs to help individuals and corporations use their advanced technologies, specifically in IP telephony, storage applications and wireless technology.
Bort (2004, p. 18) argued that Cisco has more often than not received accolades from its customers due to its standards efforts and for its reliability in offering high-quality products and services.
Analysts believe that Cisco has invested heavily in its quality standards in addition to prioritizing the need for its partners and customers to train and receive focussed certifications for a wide range of technological applications offered by the company.
Indeed, these types of testing and certifications enhance the quality standards set by the company by making sure that individuals are able to use the company’s products and services in ways that will benefit them and keep their projects running smoothly (Stiffler, 2004, p. 32).
Cisco systems have intensively invested in research and development to ensure that its products, processes, services and systems are constantly improved to meet the needs and requirements of its partners and customers (Flannogan et al, 2003, p.12).
Its configuration management standard has worked favourably for the company as well as its customers in lowering support and network costs in addition to improving network availability. This quality management standard facilitates the corporation to realize greater consistency in a multiplicity of activities involved in the provision of quality products and services to end-user customers.
Cisco has invested heavily in programs that enable the company to reduce expensive mistakes while increasing efficiency by improving its strategies on time and resources management. This has enhanced customer satisfaction levels.
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In addition, the company offers high quality and diversified support services for its customers and partners at a global level (“Used Equipment,” 2002, p. 2). Cisco also maintains its quality standards by engaging in sustainable business practices.
The corporation is dedicated to operate in an environmentally-conscious manner, develop and evaluate energy-efficient products, offer solutions to its customers that greatly assist them to meet their business and environmental goals, and stimulate its workers to get involved in assisting the company meet the highest standards of quality (“Cisco Corporate Overview,” 2009, para. 8).
Cisco’s Quality Techniques
As already mentioned, Cisco is deeply entrenched in the field of networking and communications technology. In this perspective, Cisco is known to use the process capability technique to evaluate how its products and services meet client requirements, specifications and tolerance levels.
Indeed, Cisco is engaged in training and certifying many IT professionals to enhance the process capabilities of its wide range of products and services. Some of the customer-focussed certifications offered with the aim of enhancing process capability include Cisco IP Telephony Design Specialist, Cisco Unified Communications Design Specialist, Cisco Storage Networking Support Specialist and Cisco Wireless Support Specialist (Stiffler, 2004, p. 32).
These and many other certification programs offered by Cisco are also known to offer capability assessment to the IT professionals. Capability assessment entails determining the latent capacities of individuals to respond to training processes (HRWorkbench, 2009, para. 4). At Cisco’s, capability assessments are offered through the mentioned tests administered to IT professionals and subsequent certifications.
Through these tests and certifications, the company has been able to consolidate its customer base and enhance customer satisfaction levels. The company also uses other quality techniques such as Advanced Quality Planning (AQP) and Total Preventive Maintenance (TPM).
Cisco utilizes AQP to come up with a product quality plan that can be effectively used to develop a product or service that will inarguably satisfy the needs and aspirations of customers.
In most occasions, Cisco incorporates the inputs of its partners and customers in the initial design process to ensure the resulting product or service will comprehensively be able to satisfy the needs of customers while curtailing wastage of critical resources (Frannogan et al, 2003, p. 76).
In Most occasions, TPM is used by the organizations to give the employees a sense of responsibility, consciousness and awareness of the apparatus they use. What’s more, TPM reduces equipment breakdown and associated costs.
Bort, J. (2004, December 27). Power of the Industry. Network World, pp 18-19.
Cisco Corporate Overview. (2009). Retrieved from <https://newsroom.cisco.com/>
Frannogan, M., Froom, R., & Torek, K. (2003). Cisco Catalyst QoS: Quality of Service in Campus Networks. Indianapolis: Cisco Press. ISBN: 158051206
HRWorkbench. (2009). Capability assessments. Web.
Stiffler, R. (2004, November). Specialized Cisco certifications prepare business for change. Certification Magazine, pp. 32-33.
Used equipment playbook for Cisco customers. (2002). Web.