Confirmed: Cisco's Lost Their 'Mojo'

By: John Honovich, Published on May 10, 2011

For years, we've been critical of Cisco's video surveillance efforts and the whole Cisco 'mystique'. In 2008, we projected that "Cisco will be a minor force in video surveillance primarily selling video surveillance solutions into existing Cisco accounts." This stood agains the industry consensus at the time that Cisco was going to 'disrupt' the surveillance industry. Since then, Cisco's position overall has declined and their surveillance positioning has become more joke than force.

Like Microsoft, even after their core technological advantages mitigated, their overall mystique lingered. As a May 2011 NY Times article shows the Cisco mystique is now gone as well, leading with a gloomy opening about how Cisco's CEO, "one of the best salesmen in Silicon Valley, has been having trouble selling anyone on his company’s future." Unwavering optimism has been replaced by apologies, excuses and restructuring. It's finally now taken its toll on the broader public opinion of Cisco.

Seeing the shift in surveillance industry sentiment in the last 3 years has been enlightening. In 2008, any article about Cisco would generate surges in traffic, far more than any other video surveillance manufacturer. By the end of 2010, the level of interest and readership on Cisco surveillance offerings declined to that of mid tier manufacturer levels. The fear of Cisco, once palable, is now gone.

Here's the timeline we see for Cisco in surveillance:

  • 2007 - 'Oh My God! Cisco is Going to Kill Us'
  • 2009 - 'What the Hell is Cisco Doing?' - e.g., Cisco Partners with Pelco
  • 2011 - 'Who Cares About Cisco?'

Brand can only carry companies so far if the products are not competitive in meeting real customer's needs. In surveillance, Cisco's best (and most honest in our minds), explanation of their strategy was that Cisco targets customers who will 'buy anything' from them. That's a short term tactic at best. You can't grow your customer base this way. Eventually your existing customers will realize the practice is tantamount to abuse.

Short of a monster acquisition by Cisco (such as buying Axis), Cisco is doomed to second tier status in surveillance. It will only be tougher now as their brand equity continues to shrink.

Update: Since the publication of this note, speculation on 'huge' Cisco layoffs and Cisco's CEO failure has been in the news.

1 report cite this report:

Cisco Restructuring Physical Security Business on Sep 17, 2011
After a rough 5 year period in the physical security industry, Cisco will be restructuring their Physical Security Business Unit (PSBU) that...
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Most Recent Industry Reports

Kidnapping Victim Rescued With Video From Ring Doorbell Camera on May 24, 2019
A kidnapping victim was rescued within 24 hours, with the police crediting video from a Ring Doorbell camera as key to solving the case. A girl was...
NJ Law Requires Apprenticeship For Public Works Integrators on May 24, 2019
Few integrators do a formal apprenticeship program. However, now a NJ law is requiring any integrator on public works projects (such as state...
Security / Privacy Journalist Sam Pfeifle Interview on May 24, 2019
Sam Pfeifle is best known as the outspoken former Editor of Security Systems News. After that, he was publications director at the International...
Verkada Video Quality Problems Tested on May 23, 2019
Verkada suffers from numerous video quality problems, not found in commercial IP cameras, new IPVM testing of Verkada vs Axis and Hikvision...
Average Frame Rate Video Surveillance 2019 on May 23, 2019
What is the average frame rated used in video surveillance systems? In IPVM's 2011 statistics, the average was 6-8fps increasing to ~10fps in...
Dahua USA Celebrates 5 Years of Errors on May 22, 2019
Dahua USA is, in their own words, 'celebrating' 5 years in North America or as trade magazine SSN declared: Dahua Technology finds success in...
Access Control Job Walk Guide on May 22, 2019
Significant money can be saved and problems avoided with an access control job walk if you know what to look for and what to ask. By inviting...
ASCMA / Monitronics Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan on May 22, 2019
Monitronics is entering into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company, also called Ascent Capital Group Inc., aka ASCMA, aka Brinks Home Security,...
US Considers Sanctions Against Hikvision and Dahua on May 22, 2019
The US government is considering blacklisting "up to 5" PRC surveillance firms, including Hikvision and Dahua, Bloomberg reported, with human...
Axis ~$150 Outdoor Camera Tested on May 21, 2019
Axis has released the latest in their Companion camera line, the outdoor Companion Dome Mini LE, a 1080p integrated IR model aiming to compete with...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact