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Singapore Nationalizes CISCO

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
1/26/2005

CISCO is getting nationalized into a new company, wholly owned by the Singapore government.

It's true. And those CISCO uniforms will be changing as well, to a new design that won't include the insignia of the Singapore police force.

Uniforms?

OK, full disclosure: "CISCO" happens to be the name of the auxiliary police force in Singapore, an organization established in 1972. This CISCO deals in bodyguards, armored cars, alarm systems, and the like -- not to be confused with the U.S.-based networking equipment provider, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Last summer, Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs announced plans to corporatize CISCO, freeing it of the restrictions placed on government agencies; the change in uniforms was announced yesterday.

A Cisco Systems spokeswoman says she'd never heard of CISCO and was initially taken aback upon seeing the story in the Singapore press. "I thought: My goodness, who is this?" she says. "I would think we would have come upon that group before."

There don't appear to be any cases of investors or media confusing Cisco with CISCO. On the other hand, the spokeswoman notes people frequently mistake Cisco for Sysco Corp., the packaging services company whose name adorns straw wrappers in restaurants everywhere.

Singapore CISCO's Website boasts that CISCO "relieves clients from the tedium of managing security issues, so that their resources and investments can be channeled into maximizing business productivity and profits."

Now that sounds like just the sort of thing Cisco Systems would say (see Cisco Bolsters Its Security Story ).

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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