Ivey Publishing

Product Details

Cisco and Cloud-based Education in China
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13 pages (6 pages of text)
Product Type:
Case (Field)
Cisco Systems, Inc., the dominant global supplier of the routers and switches that formed the backbone of the Internet, was considering entry into the cloud-based education market in China through the design and marketing of an in-classroom device, the Sunbird. The new vice-president and chief technology officer of Enterprise Networking Group, Cisco Greater China, had met with a Politburo member of the Communist Party of China and State Councilor with responsibilities including China’s science, technology and education policies. The vice-president had introduced Cisco’s global operations and the two women had discussed partnering, technology transfer, cross branding, joint product and service development, cooperation with Chinese companies, and the IT revolution and its effect on Chinese education. How could Cisco profitably join in the Chinese education IT revolution? Cisco had never entered the educational IT equipment space in any part of the world with its own dedicated product. Should it develop the Sunbird for the Chinese market?

A video is available for viewing online.
Learning Objective:
This case introduces students to Cisco’s traditional horizontal product-based business and asks them to assess the potential for entry into the new business, using a vertical, industry service-oriented approach, within a country where Cisco has a substantial presence, but where that presence is somewhat unrelated to the new business opportunity. It can be used in undergraduate or postgraduate strategy, China business, international marketing or management of innovation classes or in a service leadership course. Students should learn about:
  • Advantages and disadvantages of different modes of market entry for selling to governments.
  • The strategic shift from a horizontal (product-centric) to a vertical (customer-centric) perspective.
  • The points of access for a foreign company marketing to Chinese public-sector entities.
  • The bundling of services with goods and how bundling increases customer value and company profits.
  • Leadership with and without authority and leadership styles.
Management Science,  Information Systems,  International
Information, Media & Telecommunications
China, Large, 2010
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$5.30 CAD / $5.00 USD Printed Copy
$4.50 CAD / $4.25 USD Permissions
$4.50 CAD / $4.25 USD Digital Download
Associated Materials
Translations: Simplified Chinese (12 pages)
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