The 10 Biggest Cisco Stories Of 2011


4. Cisco Bares Its Fangs

Public displays of sabre-rattling against competitors are somewhat rare, and asking Cisco what it thinks of major competitors like HP and Juniper was, in the past, met with a blank stare, a politically correct "worthy adversary"-style comment or a gently dismissive, "We focus on market transitions, not other competitors."

That's gone now. Cisco in 2011 began focusing on its public competitive image and launched targeted marketing campaigns against HP and Juniper, painting the former as pushing a cheap, commodity-based networking story and the latter as an unreliable for customers. "I think that when I view what our competitors have said about Cisco for the last few years, I think our employees, our team and our partner community have been frustrated with the commentary and some of the public attacks we've taken," said Chuck Robbins, Cisco's senior vice president, the Americas, in an interview with CRN in October. "So we're trying to be balanced but crank up the competitive spirit of the business with our employees and our partner community."

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