15 de December de 2017

Cisco Or Texas Instruments: The Premium We Pay For Certainty

Introduction

In my previous article, I wrote about Texas Instruments (TXN), and offered my analysis for this wonderful company. I am trying to look at more companies in the sector in order to have a better understanding of the opportunities it offers. At the moment, I will look at Cisco (CSCO) and maybe later at IBM (IBM).

All three companies are part of the information technology sector, and offer a growing stream of dividends. However, they are not as popular as some of their peers in the sector. Therefore, they offer investors a more compelling valuation. It is crucial to note that there may be some other reasons for the lower valuation besides the lack of hype around their products.

I analyzed Texas Instruments, and I found it to be a company with sound fundamentals, and several growth prospects going forward. On the other hand, I also found a company that is trading hands for a valuation that doesn’t suit the forecasted growth rate. Therefore, I am looking to analyze other companies and compare them to Texas Instruments.

In this article, I will analyze Cisco and compare it to Texas Instruments. I will make the analysis and comparison using the same graph that helps me to determine whether a company is suitable for my portfolio. Hopefully, I will find that Cisco has sound fundamentals, strong growth prospects, and compelling valuation.

(Graph created by author)

Cisco manufactures, and sells Internet Protocol-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide. The company offers switching products. Further, the company offers a distributed file system for hyperconvergence. It serves businesses of various sizes, public institutions, governments, and service providers. The company sells its products directly, as well as through channel partners.

Fundamentals

The revenues were the weakest part in my analysis of the fundamentals of Texas Instruments. The company managed to achieve some growth in sales only in 2017. However, compared to Cisco, these results look great. Cisco hasn’t been able to show revenue growth over the past five years. At the same time, some of its IT peers managed to show superb growth in the top line. Cisco is going through a turnaround process. It hurts the top line in the short term, but should be able to bring real growth in the medium and long term. The company shifts it focus to revenues from services, where it sees more room for growth.

CSCO Revenue (TTM) data by YCharts

The bottom line looks a little bit more promising. Cisco was able to show FCF per share and EPS growth over the past several years. This was mainly due to cost cutting, margin expansion, and share repurchases. All three cannot continue forever, and eventually, Cisco will have to show top line growth, and a successful turnaround in order to show bottom line growth. Texas Instruments on the other hand shows amazing bottom line growth. However, I must note that this bottom line growth is also not supported by similar top line growth. Still, Texas Instruments seems to have stronger fundamentals.

CSCO EPS Diluted (TTM) data by YCharts

Both companies reward their shareholders with a growing stream of dividends. As you can see below, both of them maintain a healthy and sustainable payout ratio. Cisco is close to 60%, which is usually where I start to feel less comfortable, but it is still sustainable. While Cisco is going through a complicated turnaround, it offers patient investors an attractive entry yield. Texas Instruments offers a safer dividend with more room for growth, but the initial yield is much lower.

CSCO Dividend Yield (TTM) data by YCharts

There is no clear winner in the dividend comparison. Another form of returning capital to shareholders with no clear winner is the share repurchase program. Both companies managed to decrease the amount of shares outstanding. They both managed to take advantage of their excess cash, and return some of it to their owners. Looking at Cisco, I would appreciate more buybacks if the management believes that the turnaround is going to succeed in the short term. If the turnaround is successful, buying shares at these prices will be a fantastic approach.

CSCO Shares Outstanding data by YCharts

Valuation

While Texas Instruments has better fundamentals, the valuation seems like a whole different story. Cisco offers to its investors a much more attractive valuation. Looking at the forward P/E that takes into account growth in the bottom line partially due to a successful turnaround, investors may be optimistic. While I believe that TXN is too expensive for its growth rate, Cisco seems more attractive. Investing in Cisco at its current valuation means that you believe in the ability of the management team to succeed in achieving top and bottom line growth. If they do manage to do it, investors will enjoy very high returns.

CSCO PE Ratio (TTM) data by YCharts

Comparisons between other valuation metrics show similar results. Looking at the price when compared to sales, future sales and book value show me that Cisco is cheaper than Texas Instruments. The difference in the valuation is vast, but there is also a difference in the position of both companies. A successful turnaround may help Cisco in narrowing this valuation gap, and therefore, bring investors significant capital appreciation.

CSCO PS Ratio (TTM) data by YCharts

Looking at this graph from Fastgraphs.com, I see several interesting prospects. Firstly, Cisco is trading very close to its alleged undervaluation territory. On the other hand, the company is trading for a valuation that is higher than its average valuation over the past several years. I still believe that the valuation of Cisco is attractive, even though it used to be even more attractive. As more investors believe in the company’s process, the valuation gap is shrinking.

(Fastgraphs.com)

While Texas Instruments offers stronger fundamentals, buying Cisco in its current valuation means that you believe that its turnaround process will succeed. Mr. Market is usually very wise. A company doesn’t trade hands for an attractive valuation, if the risks are not higher. The question is whether the opportunities are attractive enough in order to justify the risks. In this section of the article, I will look at the opportunities and risk compared to Texas Instruments. I will try to analyze whether Cisco offers a good entry point compared to Texas Instruments.

Opportunities

The first opportunity was mentioned before in this article – the turnaround. While Cisco still relies on its switching and routing business for large part of its revenues, the company is shifting its focus. The management is looking at businesses with higher growth, and better margins. One of them is cyber security, where Cisco is trying to grow organically and with acquisitions.

While we wait for the turnaround to bring top and bottom line growth, we have to remember how powerful Cisco is. It is still a leader in its primary markets. It is a leading brand with significant market share in the switching and routing business. Moreover, the company holds over $70 billion in cash and short-term investments. This is more than twice its long-term debt. Therefore, the management will be able to use this cash for growth through acquisitions.

In addition to the strength of its brand, Cisco also has a very shareholder-friendly management team. They invest in the business and at the same time, reward the shareholders with both dividends and buybacks. In the long run, companies that are shareholder-friendly tend to be less volatile, as the dividend serves as an anchor. Cisco is a company that has a leading position and billions of dollars in cash. It has everything it needs for a successful turnaround.

Both Texas Instruments and Cisco are leaders in their field. Moreover, they both try to invest in areas that offer higher margins, and substantial growth. Both companies are forecasted to have similar growth rates in the medium term at mid-single digits. Therefore, the key is whether you believe Cisco will be able to shift the core of its business to services, and especially high-margin services.

Risks

The first risk is the decline of revenues. At the moment, Cisco suffers from declining revenues for several quarters. Many investors who see it fear that Cisco may suffer from the same symptoms as IBM.

I am also concerned due to the falling revenues. While this is part of the turnaround, it is much easier to divest and decrease revenues, than to grow them, and create top and bottom line growth.

Moreover, investors take the turnaround for granted. Many are sure that Cisco will be able to deliver, and reach its goals. While some turnarounds lately were very successful such as McDonald’s (MCD), other were either not as successful, like IBM so far, or took way longer than expected like Procter Gamble (PG).

Hopefully Cisco will enjoy an efficient transition, but investors should keep in mind that there are risks concerning it.

It is also crucial to remember that Cisco doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The lucrative sectors that it wishes to achieve a significant market share in are very competitive. The cyber security sector has some giants like Check Point (CHKP), and they will compete fiercely with Cisco or any other new competitor. Penetrating into new markets is always a challenge.

When I compare these risks to Texas Instruments, I understand why Cisco is much cheaper. While both struggle to grow their top line, Texas Instruments is doing it while operating in segments that it already leads, while Cisco has to do it while penetrating into new businesses and segments where it is less experienced. However, I am not sure that the additional risks justify the current valuation gap.

Conclusions

Cisco is a company in transition. It has mediocre fundamentals, and attractive valuation. It has plenty of growth prospects, but also some major risks. Therefore, it isn’t a classic stock to consider according to my screening (look at the graph at the beginning of the article). A position in Cisco is a vote of confidence in the management team. It means that you believe that the transition will be successful. I believe it, and therefore, I have a small position.

When I compare it with Texas Instruments, it gets pretty complicated. Buying Texas Instruments means that you pay a premium for quality. On other hand, buying Cisco means that you get a justified discount as the business is in an unknown position. In a positive scenario, Cisco will probably give higher returns. While in a negative scenario, Texas Instruments will probably be the winner.

In my opinion, the right thing to do is initiate a small position in Cisco, and wait for a better opportunity to buy Texas Instruments. This strategy will allow me to limit my risks, but at the same time, I have some exposure to Cisco. I believe that the current yield is attractive, and worth the wait for the turnaround to end. Hopefully, it will be soon, and the valuation gap will close.

Article source: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4131301-cisco-texas-instruments-premium-pay-certainty

141 students graduate from USP Alafua Campus

(Third from L-R): Her Highness Masiofo Faamausili Leinafo Tuimalealiifano, His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaleto’a Sualauvi II, Head of State of Samoa, and Mr Winston Thompson, USP Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council with distinguished guests and graduates.Photo:SUPPLIED.

One hundred and forty one (141) students walked home with bright future ahead of them after graduated at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Alafua Campus in Apia, Samoa, in December 08.

Eleven students from as far as Nigeria, Belize, Jamaica and New Zealand were part of the graduation ceremony while Fifty eight percent (58%) of the graduates were women and a total of eight (8) students graduated with Master’s Degree.

Alafua Campus Director Ms Leatuaolevao Ruby Vaa, congratulated the graduates and was reminded that they have worked hard and persevered and that they must thanked those who have supported them in their journey.

“After today you will begin another journey armed with the success of your education and your experience of these past years,” Ms Vaa said.

She highlighted some of the significant achievements of the Alafua Campus, about twenty-three (23) Postgraduate Diploma, thirteen (13) Masters and four (4) PhD students totalling to five hundred and sixty three (563) students at the Campus.

Talking about the Science Teachers Accelerated Programme (STAP), Ms Vaa stressed that two (2) students received gold medals this year in Biology and Mathematics.

Recipients were Fatutolo Tuisuga, who received Gold Medal and the Tropical Garments (Fiji) Ltd Prize for the Most Outstanding Graduate Majoring in Mathematics and Tioata Leleimalefaga received the Gold Medal and the John Gibbons Prize for the Most Outstanding Graduate Majoring in Biology.

STAP, Ms Vaa said is cohort-based, innovative and blended-learning programme which began in 2014 and is one of the best joint initiatives of the Government of Samoa and USP.

With the School of Agriculture and Food Technology (SAFT), the Campus Director noted that there is continuous support from the University’s member countries to send their students to Alafua Campus adding that “the strong support from Samoa for twenty (20) scholarships has made a difference from 2013 onwards.”

In terms of research, SAFT together with the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences (SBCS) have jointly won a research grant of FJD 46,700 from the University’s Research Office under the Strategic Research Theme of Sustainable Development.

The title of the research project is: “Assessing Techno-Economic Feasibility of Local Crop Products of the South Pacific as Ingredients for the Poultry Feeds” and is led by Professor Surendra Prasad of SBCS and Dr Jagdish Bhati of SAFT.

In areas of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the Campus received the lecture capture equipment in June this year, which has enabled increased student access to live lectures conducted at other campuses.

Ms Vaa also informed that the Alafua Campus is an accredited Cisco Networking Academy, a globally recognised professional certification programme for network professionals who want to gain Certified Network Associate Routing and Switching certification (CCNA) qualifications leading to full CCNA Certification.  Seventy five (75) students enrolled in Cisco courses this year.

She was pleased to note that the new submarine fibre (Tui-Samoa Cable) is finally in Samoa, which will enhance fast, reliable and affordable internet services across the country including the University’s Campus and Centre.

Talking about scholarship assistance, Ms Vaa said that for the first time this year, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded a cohort of eighteen (18) parliamentarians for the Certificate in Law (Civil) programme.

She also noted that Samoan students in USP’s Foundation programme are now eligible to apply for the New Zealand scholarships and the scholarship was previously open to foundation students of National University of Samoa.

Ms Vaa also provided some highlights of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations next year and its preparations, and invited one and all to be part of this “historic milestone” in the development of the University and the region.

She acknowledged the Alafua Campus support services teams and Associate Professor Mohammed Umar, Head of SAFT and IRETA Director, and his team for the significant improvements to the Alafua Campus, the School of Agriculture and Food Technology and IRETA.

Ceremony was attended by Mr Winston Thompson, USP Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council; His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaleto’a  Sualauvi II, Head of State of Samoa and Her Highness Masiofo Faamausili Leinafo  Tuimalealiifano; Ms Aloma Johansson, Deputy Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Finance and Investments Committee; Reverend Taumafai Komiti of Methodist Church of Matafele; Honourable Ministers and Members of Parliament; members of the Diplomatic Corp; members of the Judiciary and Clergy; Vice-Chancellor of National University of Samoa; members of the Alafua Campus Advisory Committee; Alafua Campus staff and families of graduates.

USP

Article source: http://www.thejetnewspaper.com/2017/12/13/141-students-graduate-from-usp-alafua-campus/

לאן הבת שלכם תתגייס? תלוי כמה תשלמו

 

 

קורסים בתשלום מבטיחים מקום בצה”ל

תמונה חדשה

סגור

הטמעת הסרטון באתר שלך

 קוד להטמעה:

מה משפיע על שיבוץ המועמדים לגיוס ביחידות השונות בצבא? אם עד כה מיתוס “צבא העם” תפס חלק מרכזי בהוויה הישראלית, מתברר כעת כי כסף קונה גם את זה. מי שיכול להרשות לעצמו לשלם למכונים פרטיים – שיחד עם יחידות צה”ל השונות מכשירים את המועמדים לתפקידים ספציפיים – מרוויח. 

 

הקונספט פשוט: קורסים פרטיים שמפעילות מכללות ברחבי הארץ מתהדרים בגלוי בשיתוף פעולה עם חילות מבוקשים דוגמת חיל האוויר וחיל התקשוב, וגובים אלפי שקלים מההורים בתמורה להכנה למבחני המיון בתפקידים יוקרתיים. לבנים, שסוגיית הפרופיל הקרבי משפיעה מאוד על היכולת לשלוט במיונם, מבטיחים “רק” שיפור משמעותי בסיכויי השיבוץ ליחידות אלה. הפנייה לבנות כבר מפורשת הרבה יותר וכוללת תמיד הבטחה ישירה: הרשמה לקורס מבטיחה שיבוץ בחיל הרלוונטי, עם סיכויי קליטה משמעותיים ביחידות מבוקשות.

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קורס שמבטיח שיבוץ בצהל

“יהיו לה תפקידים טובים”

כמה קל “לקנות” תפקיד ביחידה יוקרתית בצה”ל והאם כסף יכול להשפיע על השיבוץ הסופי?

 

“חיל האוויר בשיתוף מיקרוסופט ישראל מזמינים אתכן להגיש מועמדות לקורס ייחודי שהותאם למאפייני השירות בחיל האוויר”, נכתב באתר של מכון הקורסים הטכנולוגיים “טופ־אדיו”, המפעיל את פרויקט “צמרות”. כך מבטיחים כי הקורס “מהווה קרש קפיצה לשירות צבאי מאתגר ומשמעותי במערך הטכנולוגי המתקדם של צה”ל”. העלות: 2,800 שקל.

 

בשיחה עם “טופ־אדיו” הבהרנו כי ברצוננו להבטיח לאחותנו הקטנה שיבוץ בחיל האוויר. הנציגה הסבירה: “לא צריך ידע קודם ובסופו של דבר מובטח להן מקום בחיל האוויר, בתחום האלקטרוניקה, יהיו לה תפקידים ממש טובים. אני גם הייתי בקורס הזה והתגייסתי לחיל האוויר”.

“אם היא לא הולכת לקורס, היא תוכל להגיע לחיל האוויר?”

“למקצועות הללו צריך להגיע עם ידע מוקדם או להיות בוגר מקצוע, או מישהו שעשה מסלול מיוחד. אין אפשרות אחרת”.  

“ואת אומרת שאם אנחנו משלמים 2,800 שקלים היא בטוח תהיה בחיל האוויר? כי זו המטרה”.

“כן, בטח”, היא השיבה.

 

ש’, שבתה השתתפה בקורס לפני כשנתיים, סיפרה: “הפרויקט שווק בבית הספר של הבת שלי, וממש מכרו את זה לתלמידות. “נמסר שיש קריטריונים לקבלה לקורס, אבל מהר מאוד התברר שהקריטריון היחידי הוא אם אנחנו מוכנים לשלם”. ההבטחה הייתה חד-משמעית: אם תשלמי את הסכום, בתך תשובץ בחיל האוויר.

 

חיל האוויר. יוקרה (צילום: ירון ברנר)

בתה הייתה מיועדת לשירות ביחידות אחרות, אך הצטרפותה לקורס גרמה לכך שהועברה אוטומטית למיון של חיל האוויר. “אנחנו יכולנו לשלם, אבל ברור לי שיש הורים שלא יכולים לשלוח את הבנות שלהם לקורס הזה”, אומרת ש’.

 

מי שכמעט לא הצטרפה לפרויקט היא ד’, בת לאם חד-הורית ממרכז הארץ. “לא היה פשוט לאימא שלי לשלם את הסכום הזה, אבל התעקשתי, ובסוף היא הסכימה לרשום אותי לקורס. לא חשבתי שאצליח להתקבל, למדתי שלוש יחידות מתמטיקה, אבל הצלחתי”.

 

לדבריה, הליך המיון שלה הוביל אותה בסופו של דבר לחיל התותחנים. “לא ידעתי מה לעשות, כי רציתי ללכת לחיל האוויר, זה מה שהבטיחו לי”. התערבות מצד מנהלי הקורס שינתה את השיבוץ. “חמישה ימים לפני הגיוס, אחרי שהפעילו לחצים גדולים מאוד מצד התוכנית, ואחרי שכבר השלמתי עם זה שאני הולכת לתותחנים, הודיעו לי שהוציאו אותי משם ושאני הולכת לחיל האוויר”.

 

סוכנת המכירות: המורה

גם לחיל הקשר והתקשוב מוניטין מעולה בכל הקשור לשירות הצבאי, לא מעט משום יחידות הסייבר שלו ויחידות יוקרתיות נוספות כמו ממר”ם. בית הספר למקצועות המחשב (בסמ”ח) של ממר”ם מקיים במכון הקורסים הפרטי “טופ־אדיו” את פרויקט “הדרים”.

(אילוסטרציה) (צילום: ירון ברנר)  

בשיחה עם נציג מטעמם נמסר כי אנשי “טופ-אדיו” מאתרים בנות שיעברו הכשרה במהלך י”ב בתחומי הסייבר, ומתחייבים שישרתו “באשכול מקצועות המחשוב של חיל התקשוב”. לדבריהם, “חיל התקשוב הוא גורם משמעותי פה בפרויקט. הוא מקבל את רשימת התלמידות לפני שהן מתחילות את הקורס”.

 

לשאלה אם זהו קורס צבאי, השיבו: “לא, זה קורס אזרחי של מיקרוסופט. מחברים את ההכשרה שהבנות מקבלות לשירות צבאי. אנחנו מכינים את התלמידות למבחני המיון וכמובן מתחייבים שהן יקבלו זימון למבחני המיון, אבל גם אם הבת שלך לא תעבור את המבחן, בתור בוגרת ‘הדרים’ היא בטוח תקבל תפקיד בחיל. בקרוב נעשה כנסי חשיפה בבתי הספר”.

 

“כנס חשיפה” הוא אירוע שבו משווק הפרויקט לתלמידות בבתי הספר. על תקן המשווקות של הפרויקט, שהוא כאמור פרטי ועולה לא מעט כסף: המורות. “המורה שלנו סיפרה לנו על ‘הדרים’ והציעה את זה לכל התלמידים”, סיפרה נ’, בוגרת הפרויקט. “כשנרשמנו נמסר לנו שהם מבטיחים תפקיד טוב בחיל התקשוב. חשבתי שכל הרעיון של הקורס זה פשוט להכין למיון, אבל זה גרם בסופו של דבר לשיבוץ אוטומטי בחיל התקשוב ומנע ממני להתמיין למקומות אחרים בצבא”.

 

5,000 שקלים לסיוע בשיבוץ

מכללת NET4U מציעה קורסים בתחום ההיי-טק. אחד מהם הוא קורס CCNA (ניהול רשתות), שמיועד גם למלש”בים “שאינם בעלי רקע בתחום ומעוניינים להתקבל לאחת מהיחידות הטכנולוגיות הנחשבות של צה”ל”.

 

נציג המכללה הסביר כי לאחר שהמועמדת מעדכנת את יחידת הליכי המיון והשיבוץ בצה”ל כי היא לומדת בקורס, “יחידות כמו ממר”ם, לוט”ם, חיל האוויר, 8200, ועוד כמה יחידות במודיעין פתוחות בפניה. זה נותן לה יתרון על מועמדות אחרות.

 

“אני אוכל לעזור ביחידה ספציפית שנקראת ‘חושן’ (היחידה שאחראית על שירותי טלפון, וידיאו ותקשורת נתונים)”.

“אם היא נרשמת, אפשר לקדם אותה שם?”

“כן”, הוא משיב. מחיר הקורס הוא 5,000 שקלים ובסופו יהיה עליה לעבור מבחן נוסף ולשלם עבורו 290 דולרים. תמורת הסכום הזה הורים שיכולים להרשות זאת לעצמם מבטיחים יתרון משמעותי בהליך המיון ואולי גם הפעלת קשרים אישיים.

 

דובר צה”ל: ניתן להתמיין ללא רקע ייחודי

מדובר צה”ל נמסר בתגובה: “הפרויקטים המוזכרים בכתבה לא מבטיחים קבלה לתפקידים בצה”ל. כלל המלש”בים שלוקחים חלק בפרוייקטים מסוג זה עוברים הליך מיון ואלה שעוברים אותו מתקבלים לתפקידים הטכנולוגיים השונים.

 

“החינוך הטכנולוגי במדינת ישראל מהווה בסיס איתן לשילוב חיילים במערך הטכנולגי, הצרכים והידע הנדרש הולכים וגדלים לאורך השנים ולכן צה״ל שואף למצות את היכולות שהמלש״ב רכש טרם הגיוס.

 

“לצד מיצוי בוגרי המגמות הטכנולוגיות, מסלולי שוחרות, טכנאים והנדסאים, הוקמו פרוייקטים שונים, ביניהם חוגי העשרה המקנים למלש”בים בסיס וניסיון לקראת השירות הצבאי ונותנים הזדמנות למשתתפי חוגים אלו להגיע ליעדי שיבוץ בהתאם לנלמד.

 

“יחד עם זאת, נדגיש כי מדובר ביעדי שיבוץ אליהם ניתן להתמיין ללא רקע ייחודי, חוגים אלו מוסיפים נדבך מקצועי בלבד”.

 

ממכללת NET4U נמסר: “צר לנו כי בחרתם לסלף את הנאמר ולהוציא דברים מהקשרם. לגופו של עניין, קורס CCNA, אשר נערך אצלנו במכללה, מיועד לכלל האוכלוסייה ללא יוצא מן הכלל

ואינו מיועד למלש”בים בלבד.

 

“קורס CCNA בהחלט יכול לשפר את סיכויי המועמד להתקבל ליחידות טכנולוגיות, אך משיפור הסיכויים ועד להבטחה מפורשת לקבלת תפקיד זה או אחר המרחק רב כרחוק מזרח ממערב. ובעניין זה יובהר ויודגש כי בשום שלב במהלך השיחה לא הובטח דבר ולא חצי דבר.

 

“בשום שלב במהלך השיחה לא הובטחה התערבות אישית בקבלת שיבוץ. נהפוך הוא, בשיחה הוסבר באופן מפורש כי החלטות בדבר שיבוצים הם כאמור בידי בוחן חיילי וקצין מיון. התמונה שהינכם מנסים לצייר לצורך כתבתכם אינה מתיישבת עם המציאות, ובפועל הטענות שהצגתם באופן מסולף אינן נכונות ואינן מבוססות”.

 

מחברת “טופ־אדיו” נמסר: “מטרת הפרויקטים ‘הדרים’ ו’צמרות’ הינה לעודד בנות בכיתות י”א-י”ב, אשר רובן חסרות רקע וניסיון טכנולוגי רלוונטי, להיכנס לתחומים טכנולוגיים אזרחיים ולעודד שירות צבאי טכנולוגי אשר יסייע להן להשתלב בעולם ההיי־טק בישראל.

 

“יודגש כי הבנות המשתתפות בפרויקטים עוברות תהליכי מיון בדומה לכל המועמדות לגיוס לצה”ל ושיבוצן בתפקידים השונים הינו בהתאם לתהליכי המיון והשיבוץ הנהוגים בצה”ל ובהתאם לתוצאות המבחנים אותם הן עוברות, בדיוק כפי שעוברות כל המתגייסות.

 

“תלמידות הפרויקטים משתתפות במימון חלקי של שכר הלימוד בדומה לתוכניות ידועות מקבילות. כל הגופים גם יחד עושים את מרב המאמצים על מנת לאפשר לכל תלמידה המעוניינת בכך להצטרף למסלול, גם אם ידה אינה משגת זאת”.

 

מחברת “נס” נמסר: “נס גאה לתרום למצוינות והישגיות בני הנוער ועל כן הקמנו את תוכנית ‘מנהיגות טכנולוגית’ שמטרתה להשריש ערכים של מצוינות, מנהיגות ומובילות טכנולוגית בקרב בני הנוער בישראל. אנו משתפים פעולה עם מספר רב של גופים, בין היתר מעולמות האקדמיה, התעשייה, רשויות המדינה וכוחות הביטחון”. 

 

הכתבה המלאה – היום ב”ידיעות אחרונות”

 

Article source: https://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-5055940,00.html

Logicalis becomes sixth Cisco Global Gold partner

Logicalis has become Cisco’s sixth Global Gold partner after the vendor launched its new highest tier earlier this year.

Cisco added the Global Gold tier to the top of its partner programme in May, allowing partners with certifications in different regions to access the same benefits across all their regions.

The tier came with high demands from Cisco, with each partner needing a total of 12 accreditations across Cisco’s global territories, and having to hit services and renewal targets.

Mark Rogers, CEO at Logicalis, said: “We are really happy to see that our investments in our team skills, our solid business processes and our truly integrated operations around the globe are now recognised.

“Most important is that our clients can be further assured of Logicalis’ unparalleled expertise and unwavering commitment to keep continuously reinvesting in the technologies and services that support their business.”

Logicalis joins the five firms that were announced as Global Gold partners in May: BT, Dimension Data, Ericsson, IBM and Orange Business Services.

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Logicalis conquista certificação Cisco Global Gold – E

A Logicalis, empresa global de serviços e soluções de tecnologia da informação e comunicação, acaba de conquistar a certificação Global Gold da Cisco, tornando-se parte de um seleto grupo de organizações internacionais nessa categoria.

“Cada vez mais, nossos clientes são empresas globais, que fazem negócios e possuem operações em diferentes localidades, espalhadas por todo o mundo. A Logicalis está preparada para entender seus desafios de negócios e suportá-los no caminho da transformação digital, seja na América Latina ou em qualquer lugar do mundo – e a parceria Global Gold, da Cisco, garante uma experiência uniforme e integrada, seja onde for”, garante Rodrigo Parreira, CEO da Logicalis para a América Latina.

Smarthint

Mais alto nível de certificação Cisco, o Global Gold não apenas reconhece a capacidade de suporte a tecnologias e serviços Cisco, a experiência em projetos de alta complexidade, a qualidade da equipe e o comprometimento com a criação de valor para seus clientes por meio da inovação, como traz uma série de benefícios para os parceiros e, consequentemente, para seus clientes.

Abrangendo IoT, software, segurança, redes e serviços, o selo Global Gold permite à Logicalis estender globalmente os níveis de serviço já consolidados na operação latino-americana, região na qual completa 20 anos de parceria com a Cisco.

“A Logicalis é uma organização multinacional que compreende perfeitamente os desafios de se fazer negócios globais. Estamos muito felizes em ver nossos investimentos na capacitação técnica de nossa equipe, nossos sólidos processos de negócios e nossas operações integradas sendo, agora, reconhecidos. Mais importante, nossos clientes podem ter certeza da experiência ímpar e do inabalável comprometimento da Logicalis em investir continuamente em tecnologias e serviços que suportem seus negócios”, afirma Mark Rogers, CEO global do grupo Logicalis.

Article source: https://ecommercenews.com.br/noticias/parcerias-comerciais/logicalis-conquista-certificacao-cisco-global-gold/

Cisco Systems’ (CSCO) CEO Chuck Robbins Hosts 2017 Annual …

Cisco Systems, Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO)

2017 Annual Shareholders Meeting Conference Call

December 11, 2017 13:00 ET

Executives

Chuck Robbins – Chief Executive Officer

Mark Chandler – General Counsel

Charles Dumond – Unitarian Universalist Association

John Chambers – Executive Chairman

Chuck Robbins

Thank you. Good morning. It’s now 10 a.m. and the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Shareholders of Cisco Systems, Inc. will please come to order. I am Chuck Robbins, Chief Executive Officer of the company and will chair the meeting. On behalf of all of us here at Cisco, I want to welcome you and thank you for your attendance. Before proceeding to the business portion of the meeting, I would like to introduce the other directors and executives of the company present today. As I call your name, please stand for a moment.

The directors present are John Chambers; Carol Bartz; Michele Burns; Michael Capellas; Amy Chang; Dr. John Hennessy; Dr. Kristina Johnson; Rod McGeary; Arun Sarin; Brent Saunders; and Steven West.

I would now like to acknowledge the following Cisco executives who are also here today. Kelly Kramer, our Chief Financial Officer; Chris Dedicoat, Worldwide Sales; Mark Chandler, our General Counsel; Kevin Bandy, our Chief Digital Officer; Ruba Borno, Chief of Staff; Joe Cozzolino, Head of our Services business; David Goeckeler, General Manager of our Networking and Security business; Rebecca Jacoby, Head of Operations; Fran Katsoudas, Chief People Officer; Hilton Romanski, Chief Strategy Officer, Rowan Trollope, General Manager of IoT and Applications; Karen Walker, Chief Marketing Officer; and Prat Bhatt, our Chief Accounting Officer.

Also present to assist with the meeting are Kris Muller, our PricewaterhouseCoopers, the company’s independent registered public accounting firm and Gordy Davidson of Fenwick West, the company’s outside corporate legal counsel.

With that, it’s my pleasure to turn the meeting over to Mark Chandler, our General Counsel to lead the business portion of the meeting.

Mark Chandler

Thanks, Chuck. First, I will give a report on the notice of the meeting and the presence of a quorum and make several announcements. The Board of Directors have fixed the close of business on October 13, 2017 as the record date for determination of shareholders entitled to vote at the meeting. Notice of this meeting was duly given to all shareholders of record on or about October 23, 2017. IVS Associates has been appointed as Inspector of Election. Creig Dunlop, who is representing IVS Associates, has informed me that shareholders owning a majority of the outstanding shares of common stock are present, in person or represented by proxy, and as a result, there is a quorum of shareholders for the meeting. Therefore, the meeting is now open to proceed with its business.

As you can see in the agenda and rules of the meeting that we distributed, after I have completed the introductory matters, I will turn to the business portion of the meeting. After the formal business meeting, we will have a business review presented by Chuck, followed by a question-and-answer session. If you have a question you would like to ask, please write the question on the cards that were provided and pass your cards to the aisle when the time comes for the questions. Representatives will then collect the questions. And similar to what we do in our company meetings during the QA session, we will focus on the most frequently asked questions in the time permitted.

To expedite the flow of business, I will first propose each item of business for discussion in the order listed in the proxy statement and then you will vote on each of the discussed items. Please refer to the agenda and the rules of the meeting for more detailed information regarding the order of business and the rules for conduct of the meeting.

We will now proceed to the items of business set forth in the agenda. The first to be considered is the election of the Directors of the company. The following individuals have been nominated by the Board of Directors upon recommendation of the Nomination and Governance Committee to serve as Directors until the next annual meeting and until their successors are elected and qualified, Carol Bartz; Michele Burns; Michael Capellas; Amy Chang; Dr. John Hennessy; Dr. Kristina Johnson; Rod McGeary; Charles Robbins; Arun Sarin; Brent Saunders and Steve West. No other nominations were received by August 25, 2017, the deadline specified in last year’s proxy statement for nominations. Therefore, the nominations are closed. The Board of Directors recommends that the shareholders vote for the election of each of the nominees and we will vote on the election of directors momentarily.

The next matter to be considered is approval of the amendment and restatement of Cisco Systems Inc. 2005 stock incentive plan. The 2005 stock incentive plan is amended and restated is designed to give Cisco the flexibility to responsibly address the future equity compensation needs. The nature of and reasons for the amendment and restatement of the 2005 stock incentive plan for which shareholder approval is being sought are set forth in the proxy statement and the Board of Directors recommends that shareholders vote for this proposal and we will vote on that momentarily as well.

The third matter to be considered is the approval of the amendment and restatement of the Cisco Systems Inc. executive incentive plan. The purpose of the executive incentive plan is to motivate and reward eligible employees by making a portion of their cash compensation dependent on the achievement of certain objective performance goals related to the performance of Cisco. The nature of and reasons for the amendment and restatement of the executive incentive plan for which shareholder approval is being sought are also set forth in the proxy statement and the Board of Directors recommends that shareholders vote for the proposal. We will vote momentarily on that also.

The next matter to be considered is the advisory resolution to approve executive compensation. This is a nonbinding resolution that the shareholders approve the compensation of Cisco’s named executive officers as disclosed pursuant to the SEC’s compensation disclosure rules that are in the proxy. Board of Directors recommends that shareholders vote for this proposal when we open the voting shortly.

The next matter to be considered after that is whether the frequency of future voting to approve the compensation of our named executive officers should be every 1 year, every 2 years or every 3 years. The Board of Directors recommends a vote every 1 year for the frequency of holding future voting regarding executive compensation for the reasons set forth in the proxy statement. We will vote on that with the rest.

The next matter to be considered the ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers is the company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year that ends July 28, 2018. The Board of Directors recommends that the shareholders vote for this proposal. Kris Muller of PricewaterhouseCoopers has informed me that she doesn’t wish to make a statement at this time. Ms. Muller will be available to respond to appropriate questions during the question-and-answer period. We will vote on that proposal with the rest.

I want to now introduce our seventh item of business, which is a resolution proposed by our shareholders for consideration. Cisco’s response to the shareholder proposal can be found in the proxy statement. The Unitarian Universalist Association joined by two other filers has given notice of a proposed resolution in accordance with our bylaws and the rules of the SEC. Is Charles Dumond or another duly authorized representative here to speak to the resolution? Thank you. Please step forward to the podium and state your name and under the rules of meeting, 5 minutes. Thanks again for coming.

Charles Dumond

Good morning. Fellow shareholders and members of the board, my name is Charles Dumond. On behalf of the Unitarian Universalist Association, I hereby move proposal 7 asking our company to provide a report on its federal and state lobbying expenditures, including indirect funding through trade associations. As the manager of endowments entrusted to us by our congregations, the UUA takes its fiduciary duties seriously, but we also express our faith through the way we invest our money. As expressed in our fifth principle, the Unitarian Universalists are committed to the right of conscience and the use of democratic processes.

Today, we are deeply concerned that excessive money in the legislative process can corrupt our democracy, especially if it comes without full transparency. The UUA filed a similar proposal last year that received the support of 34% of the shareholders. This demonstrates a strong desire for transparency from many institutional shareholders. Our company spent over $19 million since 2010 on federal lobbying and there is incomplete disclosure about spending at the state level, where our company has lobbied in 34 different states from 2010 to 2014. Cisco is required to report all of its federal and state lobbying and has this information, so putting this into a report could be done at little or no expense.

Corporations contribute millions to trade associations that lobby indirectly on their behalf without specific disclosure or accountability. Cisco fails to comprehensively disclose its trade association memberships and does not disclose its trade association payments nor the amounts used for lobbying. For example, Cisco is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, which has spent more than $1.3 billion on lobbying since 1998, yet shareholders currently have no way of knowing how much of Cisco’s trade association contributions are being used to lobby on its behalf and Cisco fails to even disclose its membership in the business roundtable which is lobbying against the right of shareholders to file resolutions. Without transparency and accountability, corporate assets can be used to promote public policy objectives that can pose risks. For example, Cisco has the sustainability program to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions yet the Chamber has consistently opposed legislation and regulation to address climate change.

How does this incongruity match our company’s values? Does the Chamber’s position on climate change present reputational risk for our company? Proxy advisor ISS supports this proposal, noting that Cisco does not provide comprehensive disclosure of its lobbying expenses nor does it provide disclosure of its payments or oversight mechanisms related to the company’s trade association participation. Our request for disclosure is a call for transparency and accountability in the spending of shareholder resources. We urge shareholders to vote for this proposal. Thank you.

Mark Chandler

Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Dumond. For the reasons stated in the proxy statement, the Board of Directors recommends its shareholders vote against this proposal. We will now vote on each of the discussed items of business. If you have returned your proxy card voted by telephone or voted via the internet, it’s not necessary to vote by ballot unless you want to change your vote. If you have not already voted or wish to change your vote, please raise your hand to receive a ballot. And as soon as you have completed the ballet, please pass to the aisle for collection and submission to the Inspector of Elections.

The polls are now closed for each item of business presented at the meeting and we will take a few moments to tabulate the ballets today.

Okay. Mr. Dunlop, can you provide me with the Inspector of Election’s report of the results? According to the preliminary report of the Inspector of Elections, each of the persons nominated as a Director has been elected. Each nominee received a support of at least 93% of the shares voted with approximately 97% average support. Each nominee also received the support of at least 67% of the company’s outstanding shares. The proposal to approve the amendment and restatement of the Cisco Systems Inc. 2005 stock incentive plan has been approved with the support of approximately 95% of the shares voted, approximately 68% of the outstanding shares voted for this proposal. The proposal to approve the amendment and restatement of the Cisco Systems Inc. executive incentive plan has been approved with the support of approximately 98% of the shares voted and approximately 70% of the outstanding shares voted for this proposal. The advisory resolution regarding executive compensation has been approved with the support of approximately 94% of the shares voted and approximately 68% of outstanding shares voted for this proposal. One year has been determined to be the preferred frequency of holding future votes regarding executive compensation with the support of approximately 89% of the affirmative votes. The one-year frequency also received the support of approximately 64% of the outstanding shares. The proposal to ratify the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm has been approved with the support of approximately 97% of shares voted. Approximately 84% of the outstanding shares voted for this proposal. The shareholder proposal submitted by the Unitarian Universalist Association was not approved with approximately 66% of shares voted voting against this proposal. Approximately 24% of the outstanding shares voted for this proposal.

And I will now turning the meeting back over to Chuck.

Chuck Robbins

Thank you, Mark. The matters for which this annual meeting of the shareholders was called to consider have been completed. Since we have received no notice of any other business to come before the meeting, the 2017 annual meeting of shareholders is hereby adjourned.

Before I walk you through our business review, I want to first share a few thoughts with you about John Chambers who is stepping down and taken on the title of Chairman Emeritus. We all know John for his brilliant mind, his charismatic leadership and for those of us who he has helped whether as a mentor, leader or friend, his impact has been immeasurable. Over the last 26 years, John has helped build Cisco’s culture, our customer first approach and our commitment to innovation. Most recently, John has helped build our focus on country digitization all over the world. All of this has laid a strong foundation for our future and we are truly grateful for his vision and his commitment to our company. John, on behalf of all of us here at Cisco thank you for our leadership and everything that you have done and I would also personally like to thank you for your friendship, your leadership, your mentorship over the last 20 years that I have been here. You hold a cornerstone in our history. No other person is more responsible for Cisco’s significant technological and societal contributions and you will always be a part of Cisco just as I imagine Cisco will always be a part of you. And John, I think that you might have few comments you would like to share with the group.

John Chambers

Thank you. It’s hard to believe, but in another month it will have been 27 years. And this is my 27th shareholder meeting. Several of you in the room I recognize which seat you sit in and how many times you have been here, 20 years, 14 years, 12 years and some of you brand new. But when we outlined a vision, almost 27 years ago, we said this company can change the way the world literally works, lives, learns and plays. And Mark everybody said, that’s a router company, you really can’t do that, but the Internet did. And the number of employees we had might have fit in this intersection and the same thing is true with our shareholders and yet we had the courage to say that we can change the world and do it to the benefit of creating unprecedented opportunities for our shareholders, our customers, our employees and our partners. And we had the opportunity to really also establish a culture which is probably what I am most proud of.

Today, I want to thank you as shareholders for allowing me to be part of your leadership team over the last 27 years. I want to thank Chuck and congratulate Chuck on the smoothness of the transition, because as all of you know shareholders, this is often a transition that does not go well, especially in high-tech. I want to thank the board. It has been a joy. And very often people don’t realize a great company or leaders, everybody likes to write about the successes, but it’s really how you handle your challenges and your setbacks that determine if you have got a great company or not and I think Jack Welch articulated that extremely well.

When you look to our future and people say what do you think Cisco has in front of it? I think you are going to see a company that will lead in digitization and once again continue to change the world. It’s one that when you look at our employees and look at the pride they have in an organization, it’s one that really makes me most excited. I think this company has the courage to dream big dreams like no one else, sets audacious goals of being one or two in everything we do, build a team that is diverse and challenges each other and not always an agreement, but once we decide to move, we move as one organization. So, it has truly been a joy one that I hope that I continue to give back. Cisco will always be in my heart and Chuck, I will move on to my next chapter in my life, which would be around startups and really generating jobs throughout the world as a lot of what we do in digitization, large companies not to grow. And perhaps in a way friend that we haven’t been able to do in the large companies really make a huge difference in gender equality and everything we do. So, Chuck I want to congratulate you on your leadership. It’s been a joy and to all of you in the audience it’s been a wonderful 27 years. Thank you.

Chuck Robbins

For those of you who don’t know, John is very involved in a startup around crickets. And if any of you would like to taste any, I am sure he has some in his pockets here today, so. I will now move forward with a business presentation and those of you who have questions you can fill them on the cards and people will pick them up out in the audience as well as online, I think our teams can go ahead, those of you who are viewing the meeting can actually submit questions as well.

The first thing I think it’s important for us to do is just take a look back at what we did last year. And we had a really solid year at a time where we are taking the company through a pretty significant business model transition, but we had revenues of $48 billion, with non-GAAP EPS you can see the numbers of $2.39, continued strong non-GAAP income, operating income, all of the metrics for the year we felt really good about it a time again where we are transitioning our business model and I will talk a little bit more about that as we go forward. We delivered against our strategy. When I became CEO, one of the things that I felt incredibly passionate about was invigorating the innovation in our core franchises. And as we talk about the future and what’s happening in the world of technology today, the role that the network needs to plan the future – and will play in the future is going to be more important than it has been for the last 25 years and it’s critical for us to continue to lead in the innovation in our core franchises to actually make that happen.

We had strong execution, drove profitability, record operating cash flow, sustained our strong margins, delivered significant innovation, we had a big launch in June that I will talk about in just a few minutes. And all of that we did while we were continuing to transition our business to more software and recurring revenue. I will point out that in the press there is a lot of discussion about us becoming a software company. And I always remind people that 80% of our engineers have been software engineers for a very long time and that we are actually just bringing our software assets into different consumption models for our customers as they want to consume the services from us as we move forward.

We also maintained our commitment to shareholders driving strong shareholder return. You can look at our dividend since FY ‘13 cumulative growth of 14% if you go back to FY ‘11 when we first started the dividend that number would be 30%. We continue to focus on reducing the share count. We continue to execute against our commitment of returning greater than 50% of free cash flow. You can see over the last 4 years, it’s been above 70% and then the total shareholder return numbers that you see there are effective at the end of our fiscal year that ended in July, so 7% for 1 year and 34% for 3 years. And clearly, I think all of you have seen the performance since the end of our fiscal year where the stock has significantly improved. So, we will continue our focus on total shareholder return for all of you as we move forward.

For Q1, which we have completed I thought we just highlight a few key elements of our execution. Number one, we continue to execute well against our strategic priorities. We launched this intent based portfolio of products in June and we have gained significant traction with the new portfolio. We launched a product called the Catalyst 9000. We announced on our call that we have had 1,100 customers in the first 3 months who have bought into this new strategy for how we are going to manage a network. We have the Google partnership that we announced the Microsoft partnership we have announced and the network is truly at the heart of helping our customers manage these multi-cloud environments that they see themselves facing as we move forward.

Our recurring revenue increased our deferred grew double-digits and I will show you some statistics relative to our software as it contributes to our deferred revenue in the future. And I feel really good about our discipline on profitability, our discipline on cash generation and also our innovation pipeline and you will continue to see over the course of the next year, the great work that Rowan and David and the teams are doing in bringing new innovation to market.

Couple of numbers for you, last quarter, we exited with 32% of our revenue coming from recurring revenue. And if we go back to the end of FY ‘15 that number was 26%. So, given the size of our revenue, we have made significant progress over the last 2 years. Our deferred revenue that’s attributed to software and subscription was $2.5 billion, 9 quarters ago and it’s now at $5.2 billion and it grew 37% year-over-year, which is reflective of this transition that we are going to delivering software-based solutions for our customers when they would like to consume our technology in that way. And the other metric that I think is really important is that 52% of our software business is now coming from subscriptions and the reason that’s important is because it actually gives us at future predictability and it gives us the ability to continue the relationship and deliver continuous innovation for our customers against these software capabilities that they are buying from us. So, we are really pleased and as we have been going through this transition we have identified these key metrics that we track and we report every quarter so that all of our shareholders know the progress that we are making in this space.

Now, talking a little bit about where the future is moving and how Cisco is going to play an incredibly important role in the future. We have gone through so many eras in technology. We started with the PC era. We went through the Internet era, the mobile era, the cloud era and today we really are embarking on this era of intelligence. Data is being produced in massive scale everywhere inside of organizations, in cities, in countries all around the world. And the only power – the only value that all of it has is when you take that data and you have the ability to actually process it and gain insights from the data and it has to be done at the moment that the data has value, because we see so much data being collected. We think about autonomous cars. There is no value in collecting data from vehicles, sending it off to some centralized location, processing and then returning it by the time you do that there is no value anymore. You have already had an accident.

So, you have to build up to access and actually deliver value from the data at the moment as value and that is what we are going to do in the network. Because as we look at the world, our customers are living in today, they have this environment where they have multiple cloud providers. Several years ago, our customers believe that they were embarking on this path of simplicity. There we are going to move everything to the public cloud and the world was going to become very simple for them. And now what they realized is they have multiple public cloud providers. They have a tremendous number of SaaS providers, software-as-a-service, whether they are buying HR services or CRM services and now they see this explosion of conductivity at the edge. IDC predicts that in 2020 on a global basis we will be adding 1 million connections to the Internet every hour. Every hour, that’s one of those statistics that even if they are half wrong it’s huge. And the only common denominator across all of that, the only common denominator is the network so the network now has an incredibly important role to play for our customers going forward. We have to be able to process data in the network where it has value, where it’s collected. We have to provide security in the network and we have to drive the ability to deploy policy very dynamically and security into the network, because again it is the platform off which our customers are going to build their digital businesses. It is the only pervasive technology that permeates the edge to the data – to the private data center, to the public cloud, to their SaaS providers and that’s the unique opportunity that we have going forward.

And the way we think about this is we start with security. Security is foundational. Every one of our customers is building their security strategy today for how they manage policy in this complicated world that they are trying to navigate. They set out years ago to try to drive simplicity and they find themselves operating in a more complex world than they ever have. And the biggest challenge they have – the biggest thing they are trying to solve for us is how do I have one policy, one set of security policies that I can deploy whether it’s on my own premise in my data center, whether it’s in Google or Microsoft or Amazon or Alibaba or whether it’s dealing with Workday or salesforce or Oracle, any other cloud service that I am buying as well as how do I do this with mobile users, how do I do this with autonomous vehicles that are connecting, how to do this with mining operations that are now connecting. I need one security policy. So, we have to build a foundation of security and the network is where that security is going to begin.

In order to do this, we had to actually reinvent networking and this is what we did this summer with the network intuitive that we launched, which is how do we actually make the network programmable, give our customers the ability to dynamically program their intent, give the customers access to the data flowing through the network at the time the data has value and how do we drive security deeply into the network and those are the things that we launched this summer and I will talk about in just a moment. We have to embrace and help our customers navigate this multi-cloud world that they are operating in. We are the only company who can actually really help them do that, because the network is where that policy is going to be deployed and we can help them manage how they drive traffic across these different environments and they take advantage of services that they can actually consume from anywhere because the network can provide them a common methodology for doing so. We are going to unlock the power of the data as it moves. The teams have done a great job of building actually a data fabric so that we can actually intelligently collect the data anywhere that it exists in the network and give our customers the ability to do quick analysis on the data and make decisions about what they want to do with that data at the moment it has value.

And then the fifth everything is in service of helping our customers deliver a better experience to their employees and their customers and that’s at the heart of our collaboration architecture, it’s at the heart of our collaboration portfolio, our IoT portfolio, its App Dynamics place in this space, helping our customers actually create a better experience for their customers is the ultimate objective that we are all trying to achieve. So, these are the five areas that we are focused on and we are trying to do this in a way this all anchored in an increased pace of innovation which was on display this summer when we really launched this network intuitive. This is a major launch. It was probably the biggest launch we have done in our core franchises in years and we have modified the software so that you cannot program the network. So, you can take business intent and have that translate through to programming – dynamically programming the infrastructure through this technology. We are unleashing analytics out of the network or context and we think by doing this that the network can constantly learn and constantly adapt, but perhaps one of the most important things we did this summer is we began to show what’s really possible driving security innovation in the network. When our teams launched something called encrypted traffic analytics, where some members of our security organizations, small number of people spent the last 2 years and they were curious about a problem that exists, which is can we determine when there is malware inside encrypted traffic, because increasingly all the traffic that’s flowing across the internet is encrypted.

And so for us to be able to understand when there is malware inside encrypted traffic without decrypting it and really splitting the need for security and the need for privacy and this summer we launched encrypted traffic analytics as a part of this and the only place it can happen is in the network where we can now determine when there is malware inside encrypted traffic without decrypting it. So, this was a massive launch. It was the first phase of the network intuitive. There is a whole another set of portfolio of products and solutions that you will see rolling out from us over the next year, 2 years, 3 years in this space. And we continue to leverage what John has started here years ago was which is our unique ability to innovate internally, you can see the numbers on the RD spend the number of patents, the number of acquisitions that we are able to make that fit within the strategy that we are trying to execute on, our unique ability to partner, we have always been a tremendous partnering organization that’s built a phenomenal ecosystem and we believe that in the future the pace of the technology, the pace at which things are changing it’s more important than ever for us to partner, which is why you see partnerships like what we announced with Google, where you see partnerships like what we have launched in China with Inspur. You see partnerships with companies that you wouldn’t expect us to partner with like Phillips Lighting or like Rockwell Automation to manufacturing and IoT it’s going to require us to partner with nontraditional companies in order for us to drive the innovation that our customers are looking for from us. And we will continue to leverage all of these capabilities as we create more innovation in our portfolio going forward.

And at the same time, we will continue to evolve our business model. As we sell our customers more of our technology as a subscription what they expect from us is continuous innovation. That’s why they do it, because they feel like if I have a subscription to this that there are new capabilities that will continue to flow into my organization and new value from my relationship with Cisco. We need to simplify everything that we do. Let me just be clear everything we do is incredibly complicated. Everything we do is incredibly complicated, but the key today, the number one feature that all of our customers are looking for is simplicity. I think David Goeckeler you said simplicity is the biggest market in the world right now and it is critical for us not only in our business processes and how we run the company and how we communicate, but it’s really important for us to drive simplicity and at least how our products are dealt with by our customers going forward.

And then finally, we need to provide flexibility. Every customer does not want to consume our technology in the same way and we have to be flexible in how we package it, the offers that we put out there and our ability to deliver our technology in whatever way our customers would like to consume it. And then finally one of things that we are so proud of here that John started and we are going to continue is our focus on being a responsible organization on a global basis, caring about people all over the world, example of that is our Network Academies program. We just celebrated 20 years of Network Academy in October. And just to give you a sense, we educated like 7.7 million students in the first 20 years. This past year, we educated 1.3 million in that year alone in helping countries around the world and students have these skill sets that they are going to need for the jobs of the future, helping society in FY ‘17 cash contributions in-kind contributions were almost $350 million and our teams have figured out that we positively impacted around 154 million people globally. And I can tell you as shareholders I hope you are as proud as I am, this was an incredible year as it relates to natural disasters whether its earthquakes, hurricanes, fires and I will tell you that our teams are some of the first people on the ground. When these crises occur, because the first responders cannot do their jobs if the communications infrastructure is not working and I had the privilege a few weeks ago to visit Puerto Rico and to actually see firsthand what’s going on there and to see our teams there and see that the leaders in Puerto Rico and the smiles and their commitment and their gratitude and seeing how our teams are sleeping, they are sleeping on floors and then bunks and they are powered altogether, but they are there trying to get the mission-critical communication infrastructure up and running and that story exists for every hurricane you ever see, every natural disaster. As you leave you should just know that when there is a natural disaster when the recovery effort begins you can assume that we are going to be on the ground and we have a great team of people that are committed to doing this inside of Cisco. And we continue to focus on all of our efforts around reducing greenhouse gases and being environmentally conscious in everything that we do as a company.

And then finally, we remain focused on creating value for our shareholders. I am so confident about the future. I have been in this business for a very long time. I was a customer in the late 80s when the first router ever showed up in an enterprise, don’t laugh Michael. So, I have seen this industry evolve from the beginning. I actually used to configure those routers in the 80s, which is actually more frightening. And as I really look at what’s happening now with our customers and the role of technology and the mass distribution of the technology assets at our customers and cities and countries around the world are going to be dealing with, you look at the billions and billions of new connections that are going to be added over the next 5 to 7 years. The network really is the only pervasive platform across all of that and we have the opportunity and we have the obligation to drive deep intelligence and deep security into the network to help our customers take advantage and frankly make sense of everything that they are going to be adding. I feel good about our ability to deliver on our commitments that we made to all of you. We are committed to shareholder return. We are committed to EPS growth, cash flow through this transition and if you can’t tell I am incredibly optimistic and confident in our future. So, I want to thank you all for being shareholders, thank you for being here today. And now, we will open it up to QA. Maryland, are you managing this? You are back there okay.

Question-and-Answer Session

Q – Unidentified Analyst

Hi, Chuck. So our first question online is I like the presentation you gave, can you highlight the top achievements Cisco has seen since you became CEO?

Chuck Robbins

I think that I would say that there is four key things. Number one, I think we have really continued the history of innovation that we’ve had as a company and I was I am really proud of the work that we done in our data center portfolio I am proud of the work that we have done in our core networking franchises the work that we did announcing this is summer with the network intuitive the security I am proud of the acquisitions that we have decided to make I think they been incredibly strategic alliance our strategy I am really proud of the partnerships that we’ve been able to actually deliver on Apple was an amazing partnership that we started before I became CEO but we have really accelerated that the Microsoft partnership the Google partnership some really incredibly proud of the innovation I am proud of our teams on proud of what I just talked about relative to how we show up in the things we do around the world ideal thing I would say is it is a big thing that John has helped us create as we talked about is building a platform call country digitization where we really are engaged at the highest level in countries all around the world helping them understand how technology allows them to change their GDP trajectory, deliver healthcare, education, smart cities and so those are some of the things that we are most proud of.

Unidentified Analyst

Great, thank you. Another question that came in from the audience here was, are you taking any position on net neutrality?

Chuck Robbins

I know John, they like you better than they like me. I had this question on CNBC a couple of weeks ago. And here was my answer is I am in favor of common sense. And I know that’s not a position, but the reality is that this is not a binary issue and unfortunately in the press we try to make it a binary issue, but the reality is that there are elements of net neutrality if any of you in this room get to a point where you are actually receiving medical care or healthcare over the Internet and your engaging with your physician over video my guess is that you would like that have the ability to have that traffic prioritized over a cat video that someone is watching I think those kinds of things we need to contemplate in a sort of in my position is that what we need to wait we don’t need an environment where there is unfair practices brought into the competitive environment we need to make sure that whatever policies and legislation we come out with are actually incenting investment in continued broadband build out a continued build out of conductivity because it fundamentally provides opportunity to people all over this country but we also need to make sure that we create an environment where those kind healthcare connections can be prioritized so that’s how I think about it.

Unidentified Analyst

Thank you. The other question we have here from the room is can you comment on the possible benefits to the company of possible tax reform and are you confident that it could potentially pass?

Chuck Robbins

I read the same newspapers you read. We have been and again John has been trying to get tax reform pushed through in the United States, for how long, John, 15 years. And so we are we are quite pleased that we are at the point we are at now. Obviously, there are lots of dynamics between the House version and the Senate version that we are obviously providing input on. I think the biggest thing that we believe is important not only as a competitive tax rate for U.S. companies to be competitive, but also the repatriation of foreign earnings would be very positive for us. So, we are optimistic or maybe I should say hopeful that we get something done here in the next few weeks.

Unidentified Analyst

Changing gears a little bit here, some of the things that people are worried about here is what are the competitors that worry you?

Chuck Robbins

I am sorry, what are?

Unidentified Analyst

What are the competitors that worry you?

Chuck Robbins

The reality is that we have we have lots of great competitors in elements of our business and I know this is going to sound cliché, but I really believe this is that if you agree with the fact that as we had billions and billions of more connections. If you agree that the network has the opportunity to play a more important role even that it has in the past, then I frankly think we are the competition right here. We have to execute. We have to deliver more innovation than we ever have. We have to deliver it faster than we ever have and we have to deliver it in ways that our customers want to consume it and we have to be willing to shift and evolve and add to our portfolio in order to make that happen. And that’s the thing that I worry about most or that I think about most. I am pretty confident in our ability to deliver on it. But I think that end-to-end architecture at this moment in time given the complexity of what our customers are trying to deal with is a unique advantage that Cisco has had and we will actually I think play to that in the future as effectively as we always have.

Unidentified Analyst

How well does Cisco compete in the security space with standalone cybersecurity companies?

Chuck Robbins

Thank whoever asked that question for me, okay. The reality is that our customers don’t have a perimeter to protect anymore. Right, there is not – there isn’t an enterprise that they are trying to build a moat around or that they are trying to put firewalls around or protect, that’s not the way – that’s not the challenge they have today. Our customers are dealing with their private – their own private data center assets, their own enterprise assets. They are dealing with their traffic that’s moving out to public cloud providers. They are dealing with traffic that there are services that are taking on from software-as-a-service providers. They are dealing with this explosion of connectivity. They are dealing with all these new mobile devices that are continuing to be brought into their environments. So, the challenge they have is that they need one security posture that they can actually deploy across endpoints, across IoT, across cloud traffic and across your own enterprise network. And frankly, we are uniquely positioned to actually help them do that and that’s what our teams have been doing. And I think that’s the big differentiator for us versus a standalone security company. Driving security into the network is ultimately where we are going to have the differentiation.

Unidentified Analyst

The next question is from the room, what is not working well and what are the major challenges that you see?

Chuck Robbins

You guys are filtering these questions right. So you actually chose that. We will talk later. No, I would say we have been going through a pretty significant transition and we have put a lot of pressure on our teams honestly. And as we have continued to shift when you think about doubling the deferred revenue from software on our balance sheet in eight quarters actually is what it took. When you look at us taking our recurring revenue from 26 to 32, it really requires us to change everything across the entire company. And so you think you can just – you just go build new offers and start selling them, but we have operational capabilities that have to be done. We have sales compensation things that have to change. We have the types of people we hire have to change the way we build our service offerings are different in this world than they were in the old. So, I wouldn’t say what’s not working well, but I would say that this transition brings a significant number of complexities across all of our businesses and trying to get all that moving at the same pace altogether is the big – the number one thing we have to do over the next 2 years.

Unidentified Analyst

So here is your last question. Looking ahead, what makes you confident that Cisco can achieve those things that you just talked about and has a bright future ahead?

Chuck Robbins

First of all, when I talk to customers and I explain to them the way I see the world and the way we see the world that whether it’s the head of technology for a country or the CIO or CTO of a major New York bank, they all see the exact same thing. And when I tell them that I think the network has to play a more important role in the future than it even has in the past, they all agreed. So first of all, I think we understand where we are going and we understand where the industry is moving. So, that’s first thing, you have to have a clear vision for what’s happening in the world that your customers agree with. I think we do. Secondly, we have a team and we have the right technology and the right team to actually deliver on what our customers need from us in the future. And I think that’s a massive differentiator for us. And then I think all the elements of our culture actually the focus on the customer, our ability to partner. The great news is we spent 20 years really building up muscle around how to partner at a time where all of a sudden building really strong complex partnerships is going to be one of the key differentiators for the future, well guess what we know how to do it and many of our peers, many of our colleagues, many of our competitors don’t know how to do it. So there is so many things that we have done to this point that based on our team, our innovation pace right now and a common view on the future with our customers that’s why I am confident and a wonderful board. That’s really what, alright, that did. Anything else we need to do from you, Mark?

Chuck Robbins

I think well let me just close by thanking all of you for again the a) being shareholders and b) for coming and spending time with us today and we are committed to continuing to deliver on increased shareholder value for all of us or all of you and us and we hope to see you next year. Thank you very much.

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Article source: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4131202-cisco-systems-csco-ceo-chuck-robbins-hosts-2017-annual-shareholders-meeting-conference

Coca-Cola Appoints Jim Dinkins Senior Vice President

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Article source: https://www.vendingtimes.com/articles/cocacola-appoints-jim-dinkins-senior-vice-presiden-11262

Cisco: Paradigm Shifting Changes Underway, Strong Investment …

Introduction and investment thesis

Cisco’s (NASDAQ:CSCO) strong earnings, coupled with solid guidance, and its shift to the more efficient subscription-based model, all bode well for the tech giant’s future. Add to that strong dividend payout, and we have a winner. Only caveat is the high entry point – CSCO is after all trading at 52-week and 17-year highs – but I believe that even at these prices, there’s some upside from here. Even better would be a staggered entry at slightly lower prices, if we are lucky enough to get those prices. Bottom-line, I find Cisco Systems very attractive from a business point of view, and only slightly less attractive at current levels of the stock’s price.

Strong earnings and new developments

Cisco Systems Inc. registered over 18 percent growth in the past 3 months. The stock recently surged to its 17 years high on the back of strong first quarter results and robust forecast for the coming quarters. The company reported its first quarter net income at $2.4 billion, up from $2.3 billion it had reported for the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Cisco registered 3 percent growth on year over year basis for this metric. Its diluted earnings per share showed year over year growth of 4 percent, jumping from $0.46 in the first quarter of the previous year to $0.48 in the Q1 of the current year. While the company’s profitability showed a positive trend, its revenue registered a minor decline of 2 percent YoY from $12.4 billion to $12.1 billion. While the increase in net income and EPS was welcome, the marginal contraction in its revenue was not surprising as the company reported declining revenue for the past couple of quarters.

However, a deeper analysis of the revenue pattern shows some positives, as the company announced 10 percent increase in its deferred revenue to $18.6 billion. Within this figure, the 16 percent increase shown by the company’s product revenue was particularly encouraging. The deferred service revenue showed 5 percent increase in the quarter. The increase in deferred revenue showed that the company’s subscription model is gaining ground. Keep in mind that under the subscription model, the entire revenue is not booked in the quarter when the sales is made, but is proportionally spread over the effective time period of subscription whereby non-accrued revenue is put under a ‘Deferred revenue’ head.

This approach is taken by businesses such as magazine publishers etc, and also by a company I covered here 3-4 years ago. Cisco is making a gradual shift towards a subscription based model with the introduction of Cisco DNA Advantage and Essentials subscription-based network software. While the shift towards subscription may be considered a mere ‘technicality’ by skeptics, the company is fairly certain that the model is more customer friendly and will help the company gain more traction in the market. For Q1, the company reported that subscriptions accounted for 52 percent of its total software revenue while recurring revenue increased 3 points on year over year basis to account for 32 percent of total revenue. This subscription based revenue model will also make it easy to forecast revenue and smooth out big volatilities. Another takeaway from this new strategy is that the company is moving towards networking software and cloud technologies, giving a new lease of life to the business. The transition shows that Cisco is now in sync with the ever-changing market dynamics.

Robust guidance

However, more than the Q1 numbers themselves, which were largely positive, it was the company’s strong outlook for the second quarter which provided a solid push to the stock. Breaking the recent trend of declining revenue, the company expects the revenue to register marginal but trend reversing growth of 1 percent to 3 percent in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2018. A major chunk of this growth is due to Cisco’s move toward software and subscription model.

Shift from hardware to software

The company’ strong outlook confirms the viability of this new strategy. Cisco has taken several steps to underscore its commitment towards its new direction. The company is moving forward with its deal with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), whereby the company will use Google Cloud Platform to build its new hybrid cloud platform. With eyes firmly on the future, Cisco is going full on innovative and 2018 is likely to be an exciting year with the company developing new products and services. It further plans to take full advantage of the cloud shift by offering Intent Based Networking solutions. In simple words, Intent Based Networking is more user friendly as it lets users define network policies and have the software change the network accordingly. The company is expected to bring forward some prototypes in the coming year, shedding more light on the concept.

Moving to more user-friendly networking

Cisco’s Intent Based Networking is based upon continuous monitoring of the network by using a closed loop. This helps in providing better speed, faster adaption and higher efficiency. Cisco expects the technology to take off as it will allow client businesses to reduce their outages. As more businesses are moving towards cloud storage, Cisco has joined hands with Google to develop hybrid cloud solutions, which will help businesses integrate their cloud environment with their on-premise ones. These developments are important for Cisco as these will not only help the technology company in designing new revenue streams but also that it stays ahead of the curve, which is an important business strategy in this fast-paced tech market.

Risks

While Cisco presents an exciting picture for its future, there are a few caveats as well. First off, the stock is close to its 52 weeks high and may show some short term pullback in the days ahead. Therefore, the current price level may not be suitable for short term investors. Apart from the timing issue, it is yet to be seen how successful Cisco is going to be in cracking its new technology markets. The company’s success will largely be based on the rate of adoption shown by its corporate clients. Cisco also needs to be ready for stiff competition in areas such as cloud networking. Despite these challenges, Cisco is in a good position as it may derive synergies from its existing infrastructure and benefit from its well-established position in the market.

Conclusion

This year saw Cisco firmly moving forward, shedding its past image and embracing new business dynamics. Its stock price kept up with the business growth and registered nearly 25 percent growth this year so far. The company also maintained its dividend track record as it offered nearly 10 percent growth in its dividend payment. The stock is currently trading at almost its 52 weeks high and even at this point its dividend yield is solid at 3+ percent. With its reinvented business model, Cisco is set to deliver strong growth in the coming quarters and the stock price is expected to receive positive boost. Since the stock is currently setting new 52 week highs, long term investors may wait for some meaningful pullback and start creating positions in a staggered manner.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Article source: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4131141-cisco-paradigm-shifting-changes-underway-strong-investment-potential

Cisco eyes acquisitions for real-time cyber security intelligence data

BENGALURU: Network equipment maker Cisco Systems will continue looking for acquisitions as it pushes towards working real time on cyber security intelligence data, according to a top company executive.

Vishak Raman, Cisco’s director of security business for India and the SAARC region, told ET that along with its acquisition strategy, the company will also focus on integrating technology platforms from previously acquired companies.

“So much work has been done in integrating every security solution into most of our networking products. We are looking at companies as products which can solve security issues at every layer of the IT infrastructure,” Raman said. Raman, who has helmed Cisco security for about nine months now, said this is just the beginning for Cisco as a huge number of network security problems are out there to be solved.

“As a technology leader, we also incubate security startups. We are not here for a quick valuation. There is a method to madness. We look at network behaviour issues, DDoS attacks and mass data issues. We have understood customer anomalies,” he said.




The US-headquartered IT and networking behemoth has a 5,000-strong workforce for security issues, of which a fifth are from India who are working on threat intelligence data. Since 2014, Cisco has made 31 acquisitions.




Of these, eight are in the field of security and include Observable Networks (2017), which provides cloud forensics, CloudLock (2016) for cloud security and analytics, and OpenDNS (2015) for device threat protection, among others.

Some of their earlier acquisitions include Cognitive Security (2013) for network security, Virtuata (2012) for data centre security, and Iron-Port Systems (2007) for messaging security appliances.

Article source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/cisco-eyes-acquisitions-for-real-time-cyber-security-intelligence-data/articleshow/62029915.cms

Cisco CEO Robbins on John Chambers: ‘You’re The Cornerstone In …

The John Chambers era ended with little fanfare Monday as Cisco Systems’ former CEO stepped down from his position as chairman of the board, officially leaving the leadership ranks of the company he helmed for 20 years, but the event didn’t pass without a few heartfelt words from his successor, Chuck Robbins.

“You’re the cornerstone in our history,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told Chambers during the company’s annual shareholder meeting Monday. “No other person is more responsible for Cisco’s significant technological and societal contributions, and you’ll always be a part of Cisco just as I imagine Cisco will always be a part of you.”

Shareholders elected Robbins, along with a slate of other candidates, to the Cisco board, and he is expected to be appointed chairman. Chambers, who was CEO between 1995 and 2015, announced last September that he would step down from the chairmanship when his term ended.

[Related: Cisco's Chambers Term As Chairman Ends Monday, Board Expected To Pass Torch To CEO Robbins]

Chambers Monday looked back on a 27-year career with Cisco, and said the company under Robbins is poised to lead a rapidly changing IT market.

“You’re going to see a company that will lead in digitization and continue to change the world,” Chambers said. “When you look at our employees and look at the pride they have in the organization, it’s what really makes me most excited. This company has the courage to dream big dreams like nobody else. It sets audacious goals of being one or two in everything we do.”

Under Chambers’ leadership, Cisco grew from $1.2 billion in revenue to $47 billion. “Everybody likes to write about the success, but it’s really how you handle your challenges and your setbacks that determine if you’ve got a great company or not.”

“We had the courage to say we can change the world and do it to the benefit of creating unprecedented opportunities for our shareholders, our customers, our employees and our partners,” Chambers said. “We had the opportunity to also establish a culture, which is what I’m probably most proud of.”

Chambers joined Cisco in 1991 as head of sales, and was CEO from 1995 to July of 2015. He’s been a member of the board of directors since 1993. He’ll now have the honorary title of chairman emeritus.

Cisco partners said Monday that Chambers leaves a legacy of channel advocacy, respect and communication. Robbins, partners said, is so far proving himself up to the task of carrying on that legacy.

“I watched the Cisco organization turn from a fairly unfriendly position on the channel to one that’s the best in the business,” said Michael Girouard, executive vice president of sales at Teklinks, a Birmingham, Ala., Cisco partner. “Cisco’s channel program sets the bar. It’s the one we compare to every other, and they did that under John’s leadership.”
 

Article source: http://www.crn.com/news/networking/300096641/cisco-ceo-robbins-on-john-chambers-youre-the-cornerstone-in-our-history.htm