Cisco to support smaller firmsU.S.-based Cisco Systems Inc., the world’s largest Internet network equipment company, said yesterday that it would provide $50 million in network support for small and medium-sized Korean companies. “Unlike large corporations, small and medium-sized companies have difficulty in buying expensive Internet network equipment,” said John Chambers, Cisco’s chief executive officer. “We are going to help those companies by providing cheaper ways to use or buy our products.” Mr. Chambers spoke at a press conference at the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel. “In the future, the world’s small and medium-sized companies will be the leading group to create jobs and increase productivity. Our company will focus on small and medium-sized companies’ network businesses,” he said. “Cisco’s sales in 1995 were only $1.2 billion, but it quickly started investing in the Internet equipment sector and increased sales to $22 billion this year,” Mr. Chambers said. “Companies should be able to have a long-term outlook of at least three to five years.” He also emphasized that firms should listen to their employees and adapt quickly to social trends. In order to improve companies’ productivity, revamping business practices is just as necessary as developing technology, he said, adding that if companies ignore this when making investments, it is likely that they will fail. He emphasized that the financial sector, as well as the electronics, construction and medical industries, should invest in the information technology sector. “Koreans are well educated and their IT industry is highly developed, but the low birth rate and the aging society will be an obstacle to development. They will have to quickly find various methods to solve these problems,” Mr. Chambers said. by Yoon Chang-hee, Choi Sun-young
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