Cisco In The Spotlight
It’s safe to say that 2020 has thrown Cisco, as well as the tech industry as a whole, some unexpected curve balls. But even as the global COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the world’s biggest events and sent millions of employees to work from their homes, Cisco Systems didn’t sit still.
The San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant has been on a path to further its software and services business and shift away from hardware – a mission Cisco pushed even harder in the second half of 2020 when it announced it would shave $1 billion in costs from the company and introduced a plan to accelerate its research and development efforts to focus on delivering everything it can as a service. The large-scale restructuring had sweeping effects, including an executive leadership reshuffle, a voluntary retirement offer program that many longtime Cisco executives availed themselves of, and several rounds of layoffs.
Cisco has never been immune to macroeconomic issues, but 2020 served up a trade war between the U.S. and China that affected the tech sector and a pandemic that, at first, stifled IT spending around the globe. The vendor quickly stepped up to the plate with free collaboration and security tools, as well as a $2.5 billion business recovery program that extended financing to cash-strapped businesses that where been hit hard by the pandemic. Societal issues made their mark this year, too, and Cisco answered with a $5 million donation and commitment addressing systemic racism, xenophobia and inequality.
As if that wasn’t enough news, then came the acquisitions. Cisco this year purchased five companies and is in the process of closing three more deals, including its August BabbleLabs buy and pending Slido purchase in the collaboration space, as well as scooping up network monitoring company Thousandeyes and wireless IoT provider, Fluidmesh Networks.
Cisco didn’t take a breath in 2020. Here are the 10 biggest Cisco news stories of the year.