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Cisco Systems Inc Collaborating on New Product Introduction

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2553 1351 Words (5 Pages) Hau Lee, Maria Shao Stanford Graduate School of Business : GS66
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The study explores the difficulties Cisco Inc. had to face when, in 2007, it began working on its upcoming router code-named as “Viking”. Cisco had decided to take on a great challenge when it revised the product design but kept the launch date unchanged. Under great pressure, it set out to collaborate globally and looked towards China, specifically Foxconn, and planned to get a product of such sophistication produced by a manufacturer which had not manufactured anything for Cisco before that. Attracted by the low-cost manufacturing prospects in China, Cisco was determined in its belief that collaboration was the key to open any locked door that could come its way. At last, the doors opened into the hall of success and Viking was launched under the name “ASR 9000” on November 11, 2008, after a year of perseverance.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution:

  1. What are the challenges faced by Cisco in introducing a major product like Viking?

  2. In selecting Foxconn and involving it from the start (instead of doing a production launch in the US first before transferring production to China), what were the potential risks and values to Cisco?

  3. What should Cisco do to ensure successful development and launch of the Viking router?

Case Study Questions Answers

1. What are the challenges faced by Cisco in introducing a major product like Viking?

Whenever a new product is to be introduced into the market, there always exists a concrete pathway that includes micro-deadlines so that the team adheres with the intended plan in designing and developing it. As a result, the product successfully completes its cycle and is launched into the market within the stipulated deadline. However, in the case under question, Cisco was facing a challenge of introducing its new product “Viking” to the market within an year while simultaneously incurring as minimal costs as possible. Failing to overcome this challenge boded the calamity of a financial and reputational loss for them which could have lead to a major setback for the company’s hegemony that was at that time unchallenged in the market. 

It is not very uncommon in the industry of technology that difficulties of different sorts keep arising during the timeline spanning from a product’s designing, manufacturing, to its eventual sale. One such difficulty is of the gradual realization of the unmanageability as well as the impracticality of adhering exactly to the initially drafted plan once it has become quite evident that a few changes, or at times major revisions, have become inevitable for the success of the product in the market. Among the many factors influencing a decision of such nature can be the coming into light of changing customer needs and desires which was the case in Cisco’s development of “Viking”. Despite having to redesign the product, the company had decided to keep the original launch date unchanged which was putting extra pressure on them and forcing them to indulge in collaboration and concurrence during the introduction. 

Moreover, it was expected that the competitors would, to gain an edge over the newly launched products, offer discounts on the already available ones, pressurizing Cisco to establish a “cost-effective” supply chain right from the start till the very end of the NPI. There was also the problem of handling the manufactured product as it had significantly greater number of components. In the end, it was up to the market to decide if it was noticeably any better than the options then available to them.

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