Cisco Systems Internet of Things Research Paper

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Strategic Business Unit of Publicly Traded Organization

The objective of this study is to select any strategic business unit from a publicly traded multi-national corporation and to analyze the overall competitive environment including market conditions, evaluate the current growth and new business strategies, along with implications, analyze the organization's primary business model, evaluate the organization's competencies and resources, evaluate the leveraging of growth strategies through partnerships and alliances and identify future opportunities for innovation based on past success and failure. This study will additionally assess the ability of the organization to effectively execute its growth strategies and demonstrate how the strategies compare, based on past results with the eight components of the strategy execution model referred to by Thompson et al. In chapter 10. Finally this study will analyze the organization's corporate culture and leadership and how they are evidenced in this corporation. For the purpose of this study the strategic business unit 'The Internet of Things" of Cisco Systems has been chosen.

Introduction

The Internet of Things (IoT) is reported in the work of Schlautmann, Levy, Keeping and Pankert (2011) to be "one of the hottest topics being debated today across industries worldwide. The most diverse products -- home appliances, medical equipment, cars and power meters, to name but a few -- are getting connected to the Internet." (p. 35) It is reported that industry experts are "outbidding each other when estimating the number of smart objects in homes, offices, factories, vehicles and elsewhere. The estimates range from 22 billion (IMS) to 50 billion (Cisco and Ericsson) by 2020 up from six billion today." (Schlautmann, Levy, Keeping and Pankert, 2011, p. 35) Additionally reported is that it has been predicted by Beecham Research that "global revenue from these objects will grow from 15 billion in 2011 to more than $30 billion in 2014." (Schlautmann, Levy, Keeping and Pankert, 2011, p. 35) Participants in the value chain for smart solutions are reported to include those shown in the following illustration labeled Figure 1 in this study.

Figure 1

Participants in the IoT Value Chain

Source: Schlautmann, Levy, Keeping and Pankert (2011)

Reported as areas with significant opportunities for smart solutions are those shown in the following illustration labeled Figure 2 in this study.

Figure 2

Areas with Significant Opportunities for Smart Solutions

Source: Schlautmann, Levy, Keeping and Pankert (2011)

As shown in the above illustration the areas fertile for energy, building information, moving objects, retail vending machines and POS, medical and health, and mobile devices. Included in the mobile device arena are such as smartphones, table PCs and mobile computers, included in medical and health are such as medical equipment, assisted living, eHospital and sports/training. Included in the area of building automation is such as appliances, security/surveillance, consumer electronics, and media infrastructure. Consumers, businesses and communities are enabled by smart objects to "optimize and extend their function by exchanging information across the network." (Schlautmann, Levy, Keeping and Pankert (2011) It is reported that the benefits include the benefits listed in the following table labeled Figure 3 in this study.

Figure 3

Benefits of Smart Objects

Source: Schlautmann, Levy, Keeping and Pankert (2011)

I. Overall Competitive Market and Market Conditions

According to an executive briefing by Nic Cuccia the 'Internet of Things' (IOT) will offer the following: (1) automated data from a wide range of consumer monitoring tools; (2) the ability to automatically have real-time data from consumer monitoring tools in the consumer's health care record; and (3) unprecedented longitudinal data for individual health care consumers with the ability to aggregate consumer data for individuals with similar symptom clusters and problem types. (2014, p. 1) IoT is reported to affect health care systems by: (1) tracking behavior; (2) enhanced situational awareness; (3) sensor-driven decision analytics; (4) process optimization; (5) complex autonomous systems; and (6) optimized resource consumption. (Cuccia, 2014, p. 1) According to Regalado (2014) in the work entitled "The Economies of the Internet of Things" IoT means "there are huge opportunities to take away business from existing players in all different kinds of goods. Or for existing players to expand their markets if they are paying attention." (p.1) Specifically it is stated that connectivity includes that for "cities, health care, education, electricity grids." (Regalado, 2014, p. 1)

II. Current Growth and New Business Strategies

Cisco's seven stated strategies for growth include the following stated strategies:

(1) Use it, Know it;

(2) Customer migration;

(3) Competitive switch-out

(4) Hunting for new business;

(5) Cross-sell and attach;

(6) Focus on solution selling;

(7) Developing new practice. (Cisco Partner Growth Gateway, 2013, p. 1)

III. Organization's Primary Business Model

Cisco is reported to have invested significantly in "understanding customer needs around data center evolution." (Cisco Systems, 2012, p. 1) This in a nutshell is the business model of Cisco, providing for the ongoing and continuous needs of their customers through understanding how they need their systems to evolve.

IV. Organization's Competencies and Resources

Chatman, O'Reilly and Chang (2005) report that Cisco has utilized human capital in the company to gain a competitive edge over its competition. Cisco's growth was phenomenal and the greater challenge for Cisco in the 1990s was to "acquire the management talent needed to handle this growth." (Chatman, O'Reilly, and Chang, 2005, p. 138) In the later part of the 1990s Cisco is reported to have had a reputation for "its extremely aggressive acquisition strategy." (p. 140) Cisco's process involved identification of acquisition targets "as engineering companies that were first or second in their respective markets." (Chatman, O'Reilly, and Chang, 2005, p. 140) Cisco acquired the new companies and integrated the new companies technology with their own and "supplemented it with its own marketing and support expertise." (Chatman, O'Reilly, and Chang, 2005, p. 140) Through its acquisitions of the engineering companies, Cisco gained new knowledge, new expertise and when combined with their own knowledge and expertise and their excellent customer service harnessed a plethora of resources and competencies. Kaplan, Norton, and Rugelsjoen (2010) note the importance of alliances in business in order to succeed. According to Kuman (2012) "an alliance or partnership is a relationship between two or more entities to pursue a set of mutually agreed upon goals or to fulfill a critical business need…" (p. 31)

V. Leveraging of Growth Strategies Through Partnerships and Alliances

Cisco reports that their Partner Growth Gateway enables their customers with the ability to self-serve their needs "with all current and relevant Cisco assets." (Cisco Systems, 2014, p. 1) In addition, it is reported that the Gateway "retrieves the relevant Cisco tools" to assist their partners in uncovering the UC opportunities with the installed base." (Cisco Systems, 2014, p. 1) Their partners/customers are able to "see the latest offers and promotions with relevant sales brochures/demand-gen materials for new UC products." (Cisco Systems, 2014, p. 1) Further reported is that the Partner Growth Gateway "integrates assets from all parts of the Cisco business" and provided "end-to-end support from the start of a sales cycle engagement to after-sales support." (Cisco Systems, 2014, p. 1) Based on the partner/customer input the Gateway is reported to generate "a customized Execution Pack with links to relevant Cisco assets" that will assist the partner/customer in fulfilling their needs and bring about simplification in doing business with Cisco. The Gateway will place partners/customers in control "with a framework to plan for business growth" and enable them to execute their own strategies for growth at their own pace. (Cisco Systems, 2014, p. 1) The assets and resources reported to be available through the Partner Growth Gateway are reported to include the following:

(1) Partner Enablement tools and resources;

(2) Promotional offers;

(3) Demand-generation tools and campaign assets;

(4) Cisco Incentive Programs; and (5) Knowledge base of competitive resources. (Cisco Systems, 2014,, p. 1)

Reported as the Cisco Partner Growth Gateway Advantage are the following:

(1) Enhance growth and profitability - The Gateway's framework aligns Cisco assets with seven proven growth strategies, and highlights the relevant incentive programs to leverage for greater profitability.

(2) Easier to do business with Cisco - A structured approach to building your Cisco business and enhanced direct access to Cisco assets simplifies the ease of doing business with Cisco. It saves you time by finding what you need and showing you how each Cisco asset can be used to further your objectives.

(3) Greater control - With Cisco Partner Growth Gateway, you chart the best course for your business by choosing the most suitable growth strategies and deciding when and how you want to execute these strategies.

The way that Cisco's Partner Growth Gateway works includes:

(1) Exploration of each of the seven growth strategies.

(2) The interactive online tool will prompt you to enter specific information based on your business priorities and competitive situation;

(3) Based on your inputs, the tool generates a customized Execution Pack, which lists current and relevant Cisco assets and incentive programs, aligned to your business priorities and needs, and organized according to the stages of a typical sales cycle.

(4) Draw…[continue]

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