Cisco - Innovation as the Engine of Growth

Cisco - Innovation as the Engine of Growth
Case Code: BSTR462
Case Length: 17 Pages
Period: 1984-2014
Pub Date: 2015
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization: Cisco Systems, Inc.
Industry: Networking, IT
Countries: Global
Themes: Technology and Innovation Management
Cisco - Innovation as the Engine of Growth
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case "Cisco - Innovation as the Engine of Growth", describes the four approaches to innovation that Cisco Systems, Inc. adopted. The case starts out by tracing the gradual growth of the company in the networking industry and its emergence as a leading technological company. It provides detailed information about Cisco's four approaches to innovation – 'Build, Buy, Partner, and Integrate'. In addition, it describes other initiatives of the company to foster innovation such as the 'Spin-in' initiative and its efforts to encourage open innovation. The case also highlights the current challenges faced by the company and the future focus areas of its innovation efforts.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • To comprehend the innovation strategy of a mature technology company
  • To realize the need for acquisition as a means to get access to innovative technology
  • To understand the various methods to involve employees in the innovation process
  • To grasp the need to spot unexplored market segments and develop products catering to them
  • To learn about new methods of innovation



Cisco, Networking, Innovation, Crowdsourcing, Innovative Culture, New Product Development, Open Innovation, Employee-driven Innovation, Research and Development, Internet of Everything, Spin-In, Integration, Disruptive Innovation, Acquisition, Partnership

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