Cisco: When Good News Is Bad?
The VAR Guy has never been known for his market timing. He loaded up on tech stocks in 2000 … and we all know how that strategy turned out over the next 18 months. Fast forward to 2007 and he’s spent this year singing Cisco’s praises. The networking company continues to deliver stellar results, but Cisco CEO John Chambers calls current enterprise sales conditions “lumpy.” That single word spooked Cisco investors, but let’s keep things in perspective folks.
For solutions providers, there’s no reason to press the panic button. Cisco is now the General Electric of the technology industry, holding the No. 1 or No. 2 position in roughly a dozen categories — switching, routing, wireless, TelePresence … and plenty more.
Partners benefit from Cisco’s success in several ways. Instead of talking tech 24×7, Cisco is evolving its messaging to help partners run their businesses better. A prime example: The VAR Guy will be blogging live from a Cisco partner event in December, and the entire conference focuses on marketing and PR strategies for solutions providers — rather than tech products. He’ll share more details about the event in late November.
Back on Wall Street, there’s no doubting that investors are now worried about Cisco. But this is not a crisis situation, and don’t confuse it with bigger financial setbacks in the housing and lending markets.
Although Cisco shares are down about seven percent in pre-market trading today because of Chambers’ “lumpy” comment, take a look at Cisco’s performance over the past two years. Yup, shares have more than doubled over that period. It’s possible a near-term pullback — caused by macroeconomic factors rather than Cisco blunders — may extend into 2008. Oil trading around $100 a barrel doesn’t exactly give investors confidence in the broader economy.
But for Cisco solutions providers, it’s business as usual. The push to offer applications that integrate with unified communications remains job 1 for 2008.
By the way, The VAR Guy doesn’t own any Cisco shares … at least not yet. If he scrapes together a few bucks to buy Cisco on dips, he’ll let you know.