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extraordinarily high mindshare along with rapid deployment of
ISP infrastructure in the country helped Cisco retain the #1
position for the third year in succession. It has now reached
the bracket where its new competitors–the telco equipment
There is a definite shift
towards data-centric carrier infrastructure architecture and
Cisco talks of an all IP network, running right on top of the
core fibre network (with DWDM, of course!).
Last year, about 70
percent of Cisco’s business came from the enterprises. The
rest came from the ISPs and other communication service
providers. Routers contributed 45 percent while switches
contributed 35 percent.
Cisco held on to its #1
position in switch, router, and RAS. Cisco’s success in India
is a combination of its positioning and its quality of support.
Its India chief, Anil Batra, has a rare combination of skills–building
long-standing relationships through a committed approach and
playing street smart if the need be.
Globally, Cisco is
everywhere in the news–data, packet, IP. It has competitors in
the form of new start-ups who are as passionate about IP, as
Internet savvy, and have an arguably better architecture to
offer and respond faster than Cisco. And of course, smarter
telco equipment makers like Lucent and Nortel will not take
things lying down. Cisco, even with all its acquisitions, has
added only new technological strengths to itself. It is still
not clear whether Cisco is planning to export the
independent-integrator model to the carrier networks or add
integration capability to itself.
However, only Cisco
combines the capability to both dream and perform–a killer
combination. The telco equipment suppliers are slower to react
and new start-ups still have a long way to go.
The National Long Distance (NLD) would
give Cisco a ready market. If that happens, Cisco will be in a
completely different league altogether next year.