Cisco is a company not prone to periods of inactivity. Over the last few years it has been busily acquiring other networking vendors, with the aim of increasing both its market share and its coverage, and at a rapid pace. For example, it was yet to finalise the absorption of ATM player StrataCom when it announced two new purchases, firstly of modem maker Telebit and then token ring switch-maker Nashoba Networks. While the Telebit purchase is encountering some resistance from shareholders, both deals represent stock swap arrangements in the hundreds of million of dollars - certainly a sign of a company with the will and ability to grow.
In order to further this growth, Cisco is building its channel offering, by both revamping its channel model and increasing headcount within its partner management areas. While it has received more than its share of criticism for its management of both direct and indirect sales, Cisco appears to have pulled out all stops in strengthening its channel.