October - December 2006 Vol 2 Issue 11
Brainwave      Insight      Technova      Perspective      X'Pressions     


Previous Issue Case Analysis

Cisco's E-commerce Connection

           Cisco’s own Cisco Connection Online web site is their Networked Commerce showcase. Cisco has designed a comprehensive, powerful, Internet-based Networked commerce ordering application that enables its direct customers and partners to place and track orders for Cisco equipment and services.

Cisco started its online business in 1991. In 1991, Cisco’s support center was getting 3000 calls a month, projected to reach 12,000 by 1992.

In 1994 a group of Cisco employees was looking for a bulletin board application that could be accessed through the Internet. They chose a free software called Mosaic, which ended up being the precursor for Netscape. Later that year, Cisco launched its online initiative, dubbed "Cisco Connection Online".

After three years of development Cisco has built an electronic commerce web site that allows its 45,000 customers around the world to gain real-time information on price, availability, configuration requirements, ordering, invoice status and validation, and finally shipments of complex internetworking products. Cisco Connection Online was designed to serve the needs of prospects, customers, partners, suppliers and employees.

In addition to commerce and configuration functionality, Cisco also provides technical assistance to its customers online. This helps the company avoid backlog of telephone-based support calls.

To order networking product online first user logs in to the site by entering Cisco user ID and password and then according to need order is placed on the site. Order can also be made by using credit cards. After placing order, customers can also find out the status of their order online. They can also find out answers to their various questions like when their order will be completed? What is the current position of the order? What the shipment date is? And, what the method of the shipment is? . As soon as an order ships, Cisco also sends the customer a notification message by e-mail or fax.

Cisco Connection online has been proved to be beneficial to both the customers and organization. Customers are benefited in terms of efficient and easy way of order delivery, better customer and technical support, and ability to track orders. Whereas company has been benefited in terms of reduced operating cost, enhanced technical support and customer service, reduced technical support staff cost and reduced software distribution cost.

By using e-commerce, Cisco is also able to increase the sales to business while reducing costs associated with order processing, customer service, technical support, and confirming order status.