Cisco Systems is a California-based company that designs, manufactures, and sells networking equipment. The company was founded in December 1984 and, as of 2015, had around 72,000 employees, just over half of whom work in the United States. Around 22,500 of Cisco’s employees work in the company's research and development arm and a further 24,800 work in sales and marketing. The company announced revenues of 12.8 billion U.S. dollars in the final quarter of 2015, and a revenue of 49.2 billion U.S. dollars for the financial year.
Cisco’s most lucrative product segment is switching, which accounted for revenue of over 14.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, almost 40 percent of the company’s total product revenue. Switching involves grouping transmitted data, regardless of content or type, into suitable blocks called packets. These packets of data can then be shared among users on a network. Cisco is the global market leader in Ethernet switches, with an industry share of almost 60 percent in the last quarter of 2015. Its closest competitor, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), had a share of just under 10 percent. This market generated revenues for Cisco of 14.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, almost 30 percent of the company’s total revenue in that year.
Cisco is also the fifth largest vendor of servers in the world based on revenue, with the company’s revenue in this market surpassing 900 million U.S. dollars in the second quarter of 2015. However, in terms of server units shipped, Cisco has fallen out of the top five. For quarters where figures are available for Cisco's unit shipments, they have shipped around 80,000 units of servers. In terms of revenues, Cisco held a market share of 6.5 percent for 2015. HPE and Dell are the leading vendors in this market, and together they hold a market share of more than 40 percent.
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