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Optical/IP

Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) plans to quickly integrate Airespace Inc. products into its own product portfolio rather than selling them as standalone products, Unstrung has learned.

Details of the integration plan are laid out in a PowerPoint presentation seen by Unstrung. According to the document, which is dated January 2005, Cisco is planning a three-stage integration process that will take around a year after the closing of the Airespace acquisition, which is expected to happen within a month (see Cisco Buys Airespace).

Sources familiar with the networking company's plans point out, however, that the roadmap laid out in the document is by no means cast in stone and may have changed somewhat already.

A spokeswoman for Cisco told Unstrung that the company could not comment on integration plans until after the buyout was finished.

With that in mind, here are some of the key elements the presentation lays out:

Stage one, two solutions: When the Airespace acquisition closes, which should happen within the next month, the document says that Cisco plans to offer customers "the best of both worlds," selecting the Cisco or Airespace system that best meets their requirements.

Sources say Cisco has so far indicated that some Airespace switches will never become Cisco products, notably the 4012 and 4024 switches. Some of the lower-end products have a better shot at becoming standalone Cisco products, including the 4202, the 4204, and the 3500, described by Cisco as wireless LAN controllers, and the WLSE-ACS "management appliance." These should be announced 90 days after the close, according to the sources.

Stage two, near-term integration: Within three to six months after the close, the slide deck says, Cisco will incorporate support for the lightweight access point protocol (LWAPP) into its Aironet line of access points (see Cisco's Airespace Program). The firm apparently also plans to integrate more of Airespace's management capabilities into its own wireless LAN solutions engine (WLSE) platform, according to the document.

Stage three, long-term integration: Within nine to twelve months of the acquisition closing, much of the Airespace product line will become a subset of Cisco's portfolio, but an increasing number of network infrastructure devices will have the Airespace management functionality embedded. These could include an "Airespace router" and stackable switch.

It is also possible that some Airespace concepts could live on under Cisco tutelage. The firm's RFID asset tracking tag is slated for launch in 2005, according to the document. The high-capacity IRAP access point is also listed on the product schedule (see Airespace: MISO Soup).

Maybe Cisco will think of something other than IRAP, to call it.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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Honestly 12/5/2012 | 3:24:01 AM
re: Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan In a nut shell, as is the case with most Cisco home grown IP, opps, or older acquired IP, Cisco WiFi is long in the tooth. Airespaces is then the NEW Cisco IP. Integration will slow things down a bit, it always does. I would by Airespace gear now and not wait for Cisco's plan. Look at all of the acqusitions Cisco did with routing technology like Procket, and the kernal they bought for the CRS-1 SW. I hear that crap still is as jittery as Michael Jacksons bed. Customers, buy Airespace and don't wait for Cisco, they may buy another company and further confuse you
light-headed 12/5/2012 | 3:24:00 AM
re: Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan They have released CRS-1 even before they bought Procket. So they couldn't have bought it for SW.

IMO The only thing Cisco got from Procket is a bunch of egomaniacs.
----------------------------------------

routed must work for cisco!

hee hee hee... what a joy it must be to work there in the routing group right now.
routed 12/5/2012 | 3:24:00 AM
re: Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan They have released CRS-1 even before they bought Procket. So they couldn't have bought it for SW.

IMO The only thing Cisco got from Procket is a bunch of egomaniacs.
PacketProtector 12/5/2012 | 3:24:00 AM
re: Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan Let me guess, the terms of the Airespace compensation package are tied to the Airespace product meeting certain sales milestones over the next few quarters. And you're worried.
routed 12/5/2012 | 3:23:59 AM
re: Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan >hee hee hee... what a joy it must be to work there >in the routing group right now.

There was a big discussion on LR about CRS-1, Procket acquisition and Tony Lee. I am sure you will get lot of kick out of it ;)
gotman 12/5/2012 | 3:23:58 AM
re: Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan Your root'd. Its 'Li' not 'Lee'. Your watching to
many bruce lee movies, and its got to you. You must not work for Cisco. But you just can't stand them.. Well you will live with hate for a while, as they will be around for a while. Since you can't beat them, maybe you should join them. That might give you some satisfaction.

Lightheaded, you just keep telling those customers of yours to keep buying the Airespace gear while they can, because its going to become EOS/EOL soon.. Your a very smart idiot.
routed 12/5/2012 | 3:23:54 AM
re: Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan gotman,

My typo not withstanding, you should have looked at my previous posts. For the record I do not hate Cisco.

Cisco has developed CRS-1 without any people from Procket. If these guys were so good why did their company trade them for a bag of peanuts?

IMO by getting rid of all the key people who actually developed CRS-1, Cisco has demoralized the entire routing technology workforce.

In spite of people like Tony Li, Cisco is going to be there for a long time. Because of visionaries like John Chambers, Cisco is constantly moving to growth markets. Security, VOIP and Wireless are good examples.

Tony Li may be a legend here in light reading but he couldn't clean JC's toilet (meant no disrespect to all the nice people who clean toilets for livelihood)
gotman 12/5/2012 | 3:23:54 AM
re: Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan >My typo not withstanding, you should have looked >at my previous posts. For the record I do not >hate Cisco.

I'm sorry i had the wrong perception.

>Cisco has developed CRS-1 without any people >from Procket. If these guys were so good why did >their company trade them for a bag of peanuts?

Your right, they didn't need Procket's help. But procket wasn't going anywhere, and if these guys fell in some others vendors hands they could be lethal to cisco/juniper, if they execute right.

>IMO by getting rid of all the key people who >actually developed CRS-1, Cisco has demoralized >the entire routing technology workforce.

Well, yes it did have a short term effect. But I can tell you, while these guys who built the CRS-1 are shit hot, they took a while to debut the product. It wasn't them, it was just their executions cycle... and btw i think this procket thing has had some ripple effect and brought some guys back to cisco. Padma Pillay and a few others... so they must be doing something right.
Yes and i agree other good guys might have left.

>In spite of people like Tony Li, Cisco is going >to be there for a long time. Because of >visionaries like John Chambers, Cisco is >constantly moving to growth markets. Security, >VOIP and Wireless are good examples.

Agree....

>Tony Li may be a legend here in light reading >but he couldn't clean JC's toilet (meant no >disrespect to all the nice people who clean >toilets for livelihood)

Well look, putting his perosnality aside. The man has some capabilities if you give him his space.
alchemy 12/5/2012 | 3:23:53 AM
re: Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan routed writes:
Because of visionaries like John Chambers, Cisco is constantly moving to growth markets. Security, VOIP and Wireless are good examples.


I'm not so sure. Cisco has near-infinite resources but they don't necessarily have the right instincts when they branch outside their core competence. The core company doesn't know much about phone systems and the carrier class culture. IP networks are designed to be self-healing and reasonably available but the Cisco culture clashes with the reality that you have a public policy obligation to provide reliable dialtone.... always. That's why Cisco products tend to be deficient in carrier features like live upgrade and near-hitless failover. You see Cisco sales teams constantly arguing that this level of reliablity isn't necessary to customers who know that even if you engineer it to be perfect and never go down, it still will.

Security isn't a product. Security is a service provided by a service provider network. Client devices implement the key exchange, authentication, and encryption required to access the service provider network. That means most security ends up running in PCs, cell phones, VoIP phones, and PDAs. Other than the commodity Linksys product line, client devices aren't what Cisco does and it actually boggles my mind that Cisco would go out and buy a low-margin business like Linksys. Inside the cloud, security is something you add to every product and you really can't charge money for it unless you're building a stand-alone VPN server. Given the wirespeed security chips on the market today, there's minimal barrier to entry into VPN and that's quickly becoming a commodity business.

When you use the word wireless, I think cell phone, not 802.11. As cellular moves towards VoOP, that drops you right back into the carrier class camp. I don't see this as the compelling strength of Cisco. The only reason they may have a chance is that their competition in the space is so damaged from the telecom melt-down. Companies like Lucent, Nortel, Ericsson, Siemens, and Alcatel have so many internal problems that it's tough for them to control large new projects.
Honestly 12/5/2012 | 3:23:49 AM
re: Cisco's WiFi Flight Plan Al, you are right on. FYI boys, Cisco's CRS-1 which is also LR's favorite toy has not exactly changed the industry. They need to sell a lot, not just 1 box to 10 companies that stick them in a corner for speed tests, or unknown small carriers. As for Cisco and low margin Billion $ markets, they are not growing their business organically. Once a great company, not many make it to 24 Bil in revenue, but very few make it to the ranks of an IBM, Siemens, etc in revenue. So now they are not so great. As for Airespace, I am not an employee of that company, or Cisco, but customers, I still would buy Airespace gear and not wait on Cisco for integration. Boyz, I hear that Cisco is now using 4 OS's and ya some of the routing guys are bailing out, more to come. Chambers should consider politics because this horse is toast. Oh and as for Tony Li, he is a brilliant engineer and thinker and that will not change. How many Cisco routers did he build before Procket.? He is an engineer, not a CEO. Juniper continues to kill Cisco in the core and that game is over as is this note.
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