Timeline of Cisco Systems

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This is a timeline of Cisco Systems, a world's leading supplier of computer networking products, systems, and services.

Big picture

Time period Development summary
1980s Early years. Cisco initially markets its routers to universities, research centers, the aerospace industry, and government facilities by contacting computer scientists and engineers via ARPANET. Late in the decade, commercial market for internetworking begins to develop, and Cisco's reasonably priced, high-performance routers launch with advantage over the emerging competition.[1]
1990s Cisco Systems grows rapidly in the early 1990s.[2] In the early decade, companies of all sizes become installing local area networks (LANs) of personal computers, and the potential market for linking these networks, either with each other or with existing minicomputers and mainframe computers, also grows. By 1992 Cisco was the second fastest growing company in the United States.[1] By 1998 Cisco reaches market capitalization of US$100 billion becoming the fastest company to reach that mark. In 1999, Cisco reaches sales revenue of US$12 billion within 15 years of its inception.[3]
2000s By the beginning of the 21st century Cisco is the undisputed leader in the networking world.[3] The company begins the decade as the most valuable company worldwide, with a market capitalization of more than half a trillion dollars.[4] However, Cisco falters, partly because its source of technology spending shifts from business in the previous decade to consumers in the 2000s.[5]
2010s Today Cisco continues to be the leading supplier of networking systems, products and services. In 2013 the company had more than 66,000 employees.[3]

Full timeline

Year Event type Details
1984 (December) Cisco Systems is founded in Menlo Park, California, by Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner, two married operations staffers at the Stanford Computer Department.[2] The name Cisco is taken from the name of the city ‘San Francisco’.[3]
1985 Cisco develops an early product, a network interface card for Digital Equipment Corporation’s computers.[2]
1986 Cisco ships its first product, a router for the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) protocol suite. Cisco thus becomes the first company to commercially provide a multi-protocol router.[1]
1986 (July) Leonard Bosack and his new collaborator Kirk Lougheed are forced to resign from Stanford on charges on copyright violation and theft.[3]
1987 (July) Revenue Cisco's sales for the fiscal year are reported at US$1.5 million. Cisco has eight employees at the time.[1]
1988 Management John Morgridge becomes president and chief executive officer of Cisco.[2]
1988 Cisco begins to target its internetworking routers at mainstream corporations with geographically dispersed branches using different networks. To that end, Cisco developes routers serving an even greater array of communications protocols and subsequently distinguishes its routers by enabling them to support more protocols than those of any other router manufacturer.[1]
1988 In spite of high rate of sales growth, shortage of cash prompts Bosack and Lerner to turn to Don Valentine, a venture capitalist of Sequoia Capital, for support. Valentine requires that the owners surrender to him a controlling stake in the company. Valentine thus becoming chairperson and hires John Morgridge (an outsider) as the company's new president and chief executive officer.[1]
1989 Service Cisco goes live with its customer service site, enabling customers download software and software upgrades.[6]
1990 Cisco goes public, and is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, with a valuation of US$224 million.[7] Sales for the fiscal year ending July 1990 are $69.8 million, net income is $13.9 million, and the company has 254 employees.[1]
1990 Soon after Cisco sells its first shares of stock to the public, Sandra Lerner is ousted from the company, and Leonard Bosack subsequently quits.[2]
1991 Revenue Cisco's sales are reported at US$183.2 million, and net income at US$43.2 million in the fiscal year.[1]
1992 Revenue Cisco's sales are reported at US$339.6 million in the fiscal year, and net income at $84.4 million during the same period.[1]
1992 Growth Fortune magazine rates Cisco as the second fastest growing company in the United States.[1]
1993 Product Cisco introduces the improved 7000 model router.[2]
1993 Acquisition Cisco acquires Ethernet switching startup Crescendo Communications. The purchase launches Cisco's US$15 billion Catalyst switching business, and brings four important executives to the company: Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero and Jayshree Ullal.[7]
1994 Facility Cisco relocates its headquarters from Menlo Park, to San Jose, California.[2]
1994 About 40 percent of Cisco's total sales come from international subsidiaries.[3]
1994 Staff Cisco's workforce increases to 2,100 employees.[3]
1994 Acquisition Cisco acquires Kalpana, a company credited with inventing Ethernet switching and the EtherChannel method of bonding together multiple link into a virtual high-bandwidth pipe.[7]
1994 Revenue Cisco achieves a major landmark by reaching US$1.20 billion in sales revenue.[3]
1995 Management John T. Chambers becomes Cisco's chief executive officer, replacing John Morgridge, who becomes Cisco chairman.[7]
1995 Strategy Cisco creates five distinct business units, reflecting its major networking product groups: Worksgroup, ATM High End, Access, Core, and IBM Internet working, each group with its own marketing and engineering organization.[8]
1996 Acquisition Cisco pays US$4.5 billion to buy StrataCom, another provider of packet transfer technology.[9]
1996 Strategy As a pricing strategy against competitors not acquired, Cisco cuts by half the price of its networking switches, undercutting rivals' switches.[10]
1996 Cisco introduces the Channel Interface Processor for the Cisco 7500 series of routers, which uses Bus and Tag, Parallel, or ESCON interfaces to connect to an IBM mainframe, and turn the terminal traffic traditionally run on SNA networks to a format that would run on IP networks.[11]
1996 Expansion Cisco establishes engineering operations through its partner, HCL Technologies, in Chennai, India.[12]
1996 Expansion Cisco becomes the dominant supplier of routers, achieving a 75 percent share of the world­wide market.[13]
1997 Strategy Cisco reorganizes around lines of business to address two major new market opportunities: the service provider migration to IP services and the adoption of IP products by small and medium-sized businesses.[8]
1997 Organization Cisco Systems Foundation is created with US$65 million to formally establish Cisco’s philanthropic efforts.[14]
1997 Acquisition Cisco expands into the multi-service market with the acquisition of Ardent, intended to advance the abilities of the StrataCom line.[15]
1997 Partnership Cisco enters into an alliance with telecom equipment maker Alcatel to provide networking capabilities to telecom and Internet access providers.[16]
1998 Acquisition Cisco acquires Summa Four, a manufacturer of networking equipment.[17]
1998 Acquisition Cisco buys Selsius Systems, a company with expertise in Internet telephony that would help Cisco take a dominant position in VoIP technology.[2]
1998 Growth Cisco controlls 86.6% of the US$175-million-a-year market for high-speed routers.[18]
1999 Technology Cisco gets into voice networking with its AVVID (architecture for voice, video and integral data) blueprint.[7]
1999 Product Cisco introduces the Catalyst 6500 Ethernet switch, which is considered its most important product since Cisco's first router.[7][11]
2000 Growth Cisco stock reaches its peak, trading above US$79 a share, for a market cap of $546 billion, surpassing Microsoft as the world's most valuable company and inspiring estimates that it could surpass a $1 trillion valuation.[19]
2001 Revenue Cisco achieves US$22 billion in revenue.[14]
2002 Product Cisco introduces the Cisco MDS 9000 Family of Multilayer Switches, with many new features and advanced capabilities.[20]
2002 Growth For a time back, Cisco becomes the world's most valuable company, worth US$555 billion thanks to providing the switches and routers that made up the underlying infrastructure of the internet during its first rapid period of growth.[21]
2003 Legal Cisco sues Huawei for allegedly copying its IOS software. Over the next year, Cisco would drop the suit after Huawei agrees to make changes to its software source code and user manuals.[22]
2004 Product Cisco introduces the Integrated Services Router (ISR) for branches offices. One of its most successful products, the ISR would sell more than 7.5 million units in five years.[7]
2004 Product Cisco introduces the CRS-1 system, which the company claims can support 1.2 terabits per second of bandwidth in a single system.[7]
2005 Cisco standardizes the deployment of firewall solutions across its worldwide network, using the Cisco Firewall Services Module (FWSM) for its largest sites.[23]
2005 Acquisition Cisco announces the acquisition of Georgia-based company Scientific Atlanta, a leading global provider of set-top boxes, end-to-end video distribution networks, and video systems integration.[23]
2006 Technology Cisco introduces TelePresence, an elaboration of videoconferencing that is intended to allow people in different locations to interact as if they were in the same place.[2]
2006 Strategy As part of a massive rebranding campaign, Cisco Systems adopts the shortened name "Cisco" and creates "The Human Network" advertising campaign.[24]
2007 Growth Cisco leads by far in the segment of carrier Ethernet switches (CES), followed by Huawei and Nokia Siemens.[25]
2007 Acquisition Cisco acquires WebEx, a market leader in collaboration applications, for about US$3.2 billion, resulting in the acquisition of communications tools.[26][27]
2008 Product Cisco introduces the Nexus 7000 data center switch.[7]
2009 Technology Cisco introduces the Unified Computing System (UCS), which combines servers, switching, virtualization and storage access in an integrated system designed to unify the disparate elements of a data center.[7]
2009 Recognition Cisco is added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a listing of 3 major stocks selected to reflect the overall United States stock market.[28][29][7]
2009 Growth Cisco reaches a market capitalization of US$132 billion.[7]
2010 Technology Cisco launches the CRS-3 Carrier Routing System, designed to serve as the foundation for the next-generation Internet and to transform the broadband and entertainment industries.[30][31][7]
2011 Product Cisco releases Cisco ISE to provide its customers with an 802.1X-based NAC solution.[32]
2012 Acquisition Cisco acquires TV software developer NDS for US$5 billion, one of its biggest acquisitions.[33][34]
2013 Study Cisco calculates that companies could produce US$613 billion of mostly incremental profit by harnessing the growing networked world of people and things.[35]
2013 (August) Staff Cisco announces it would cut 4,000 jobs from its workforce, a figure equaling roughly 6% starting in 2014.[36]
2013 (December) Award Cisco is awarded the "Ten-Year Recognition Award for Outstanding Contribution in Corporate Social Responsibility" at a ceremony jointly hosted by 21st Century Business Review, 21st Century Business Herald and the 21st Century Corporate Citizenship Research Center in Beijing.[37]
2013 (December) Revenue Cisco announces poor revenue due to depressed sales in emerging markets, caused by economic uncertainty and by fears of the National Security Agency planting backdoors in its products.[38]
2014 Product Cisco releases a new line of M-Series modular servers to meet the highdensity, low-power demands of massively parallelized and cloud-scale applications.[39]
2014 (July) Cisco holds its first stakeholder engagement focused exclusively on human rights. Five Cisco senior leaders meet with experts from seven global human rights organizations to learn about the organizations’ perspectives on human rights priorities, discuss the company’s approach to human rights, and increase transparency and understanding of human rights issues in Information and communications technology.[40]
2014 (August 13) Staff Cisco announces laying off another 6,000 workers or 8% of its global workforce, as part of a second restructuring.[41]
2014 Acquisition Cisco acquires Jasper Technologies in a deal worth US$1.4 billion, demonstrating its commitment to invest in IoT. The Jasper platform gears enterprises with software as a service-based solutions in which they can analyze data, track performance, gain insights and launch new IoT services.[42]
2015 Management John T. Chambers retires, as Cisco increasingly changes its emphasis from hardware to software.[2] Chuck Robbins, senior vice president of worldwide sales & operations and 17-year Cisco veteran, becomes chief executive officer.[43]
2015 (July 23) Cisco announces the divesture of its television set-top-box and cable modem business to Technicolor SA for US$600 million, a division originally formed by Cisco's US$6.9 billion purchase of Scientific Atlanta. The deal comes as part of Cisco's gradual exit from the consumer market, and as part of an effort by the company's new leadership to focus on cloud-based products in enterprise segments. Cisco indicates that it would still collaborate with Technicolor on video products.[44]
2015 (November 19) Organization Cisco, alongside ARM Holdings, Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Princeton University, found the OpenFog Consortium, to promote interests and development in fog computing.[45]
2016 (January) Cisco invests in VeloCloud, a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) start-up with a cloud offering for configuring and optimizing branch office networks. Cisco contributes to VeloCloud's US$27 million Series C round, led by March Capital Partners. Cisco is one of two strategic investors.[46]
2016 Partnership Cisco and Hyundai Motor Company announce the production of a next-generation, hyperconnected car, with plans to develop a vehicle with a new approach to communication.[47]
2017 (February) Technology Cisco premiers a cloud-based secure internet gateway to tackle cloud and mobile security risks. The offering, Cisco Umbrella, is tailored to provide safe internet access to users who don't use their corporate networks or VPNs to connect to remote data centers.[48]
2018 (May 1) Acquisition Cisco agrees to buy AI-driven business intelligence startup Accompany for US$270 million.[49][50]
2018 (May 10) Cisco announces temporarily pausing advertising on YouTube as it fears the ads appearing on extremist channels on YouTube.[51]

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See also

External links


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  4. Henderson, Harry. Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology. 
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  6. Paulson, Ed. Inside Cisco: The Real Story of Sustained M&A Growth. 
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  40. "Cisco Systems". business-humanrights.org. Retrieved 25 May 2018. 
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