Cisco Targets Customers Who Will Buy Anything From Them

By John Honovich, Published Oct 09, 2009, 08:00pm EDT

2009 Classic: Kudos to Cisco for finally coming out and being honest about their video surveillance strategy. It's basically about extracting as much money from loyal customers as possible. They say as much:

Once we've gotten to that point [a customer buying Cisco routers, switches, security and VoIP], we know they'll buy anything with 'Cisco' on the box.

Simply amazing. Of course, in the next sentence, they humbly refer to their video surveillance system as "great". However, the quality of their system is routinely criticized by various industry experts [see our discussion on Cisco's failure, Cisco's struggles and why one editor calls Cisco the Lindsay Lohan of our industry].

Customer Targeting

Cisco expands on their ideal customer for video surveillance:

[Our] ideal customer is basically someone who has deployed a Cisco routing and switching infrastructure, they've already deployed a Cisco voice system, they've already got Cisco network security, ... and basically the physical security stuff is just another application they are able to overlay on that.

This makes perfect sense for Cisco just as it does for any mega incumbent to up-sell existing customers.

At best, though, it's not innovative. It's mostly about flexing your sales and marketing strength.

At worst, this takes advantage of existing relationships to push inferior products on unknowing customers.

Greater Clarity

It's surprising that a company as sophisticated in PR as Cisco would say this publicly. Lots of companies take this approach but they almost never state it in interviews. Good job by SecuritySquared [link no longer available] and it's nice that Cisco was honest.

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