Cisco Tries to Break Out of the Data Center Role

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SAN JOSE, Calif. Forget the switches and routers that built Cisco
Systems into a giant, albeit somewhat boring, company at the core of
the Internet.

These days, the company is peddling e-mail software, video
conferencing systems, cable TV boxes even furniture as it tries to
break out of the data center and get its products in front of ordinary
office workers.

=93Cisco is kind of like the Madonna of networking,=94 said Mark Sue, an
analyst with RBC Capital Markets.It is continuously trying to
reinvent itself.=94

The effort directly challenges a main area of growth for some of
Cisco=92s big customers, including I.B.M., Oracle and most pointedly,
Microsoft. /

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