Case Details

 
Cisco Systems: New Millennium - New Acquisition Strategy?
Nir Brueller and Laurence Capron
Copyright: 2010 INSEAD
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 Cisco Systems: New Millennium - New Acquisition Strategy?
The case first describes the evolution of Cisco Systems of San Jose, California, from a narrowly-focused routing and switching equipment vendor, with a highly effective competitive strategy, into a diversified networking and IT giant. This growth was fuelled by many acquisitions, the rationale of which developed over time, in light of the growth opportunities and challenges which Cisco encountered. The events described in the case took place in early 2007, while Cisco was considering the acquisition of IronPort, a security software company. A decision to purchase IronPort would symbol a continual divergence from Cisco’s old and famous acquisition strategy of acquiring young entrepreneurial firms, to complement its internal development efforts and become a one-stop-shop for its networking customers. This divergence started a few years earlier, with the acquisition of large firms like Linksys and Scientific Atlanta, labeled by Cisco’s management as “platform” deals.

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