When you think about companies that dominate specific technology markets, alongside names such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Intel. SAP and Oracle, you would no doubt include Cisco Systems. Founded in 1984, the networking giant, which has grown largely via acquisition over the years, earned $43 billion of revenue in 2011. That placed it at #64 on the 2011 Fortune 500. Cisco has a current market value of about $113 billion.
Linksys, acquired in 2003, has remained among the top-selling home networking brands, and Cisco recently moved to bolster its TV service provider business — formerly known as Scientific Atlanta — with the acquisition of NDS. But for all the success that Cisco has had building connections among network endpoints, the company has had a tough road when it’s come to selling end-user devices directly to end-users over the last few years.