Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated March 27, 2015
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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    The grass isn't always greener...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager, Network Services in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Manager, Network Services in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I decided to wait almost a year after leaving the company before posting a review. The primary reason being is that when you decide to leave an organization it is usually because there is something there that isn't aligning with you or what you want anymore however, the grass is not always greener someplace else. This has been my experience. In fact, the appreciation I have for the company has grown so much in my time away that I would really like to return.

    The company truly believes on promoting within and as an employee you are encouraged to grow your career within the organization and learn new skills by taking different positions. Benefits are excellent. Cisco is the industry leader for networking and now cloud. It is sometimes easy to forget that on the daily grind but you are working for the company that everyone looks to for network and infrastructure standards. Culture within the business units managing product lines give you a lot of freedom to be innovative and creative in your approach to your role. In most cases you are given a fair amount of autonomy and control over how you do your job provided that it aligns with the strategic objectives. Benefits, 401k match, RSUs and ESPP are amazing. And while the salaries aren't the top of the industry, they are above market and pretty competitive.

    Cons

    Cisco can be a machine. There isn't an overt demand for all of your time (even the time outside of work) but more of a subtle, slight encouragement to always be on. If you are not careful, you will live, sleep and eat Cisco 24x7. Don't get me wrong, this is 100% a choice and if you are aware of this subtlety in the culture it is very easy to set appropriate boundaries that will be respected by the company and leadership team.

    If you don't like where you are in Cisco or what you are working on, give it 6 months because you will be reorg'd. While it is sometimes necessary to realign the company to meet competitive threats or market demands, reorganizing the company once a year is excessive and tends to create a distrusting environment for the rank and file which makes being a leader in the organize challenging. There is a loss of momentum and motivation that occurs a few months before and a few months after reorgs so this leaves the company being effective at delivery and execution only about 70% of the time.

    While Cisco attracts some bright, motivated people the truth of the matter is you are either cut out for the company and its culture or you're not. If you aren't it will be painfully obvious to you and those around you. Sadly as a leader it is hard to cut dead weight from the team and the only really accepted way is via layoffs, which is why the company reorgs once a year despite the company line about the reorgs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In my time at Cisco I was a part of 3 different and distinct business units. I enjoyed working for each of them and found that I was able to contribute value in every role I held. What was painfully obvious to me was that the company is (or was) going through a bit of an identity crisis. Consumer vs no consumer. Social media vs no social media. AWS like cloud offering vs Cisco cloud offering.

    My advice to the leadership team is this. We (Cisco for life) are *Cisco*. *We* develop the standard for networking, infrastructure and cloud. *We* are the industry leaders in our segment. *We* stand a cut above and make no apologies for it. Own being Cisco. We don't need to compete with Apple, Facebook, Google, or Amazon. *We* don't chase our competitors. They chase us.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Systems Engineer III

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Incredible access to technology and non-stop innovation. The opportunity to work with very intelligent and talented individuals. Decent benefits. Management that genuinely cares.

    Cons

    A culture of constantly escalating expectations with too much focus on weekly, monthly and quarterly sales goals. 401k could be more generous. Stack ranked via the Bell curve. Only 4 weeks of PTO.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase both the 401k match and PTO. Allow extended time off when requested.

  3. Work Culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Lot of scope to learn new things

    Cons

    Priorities change drastically, monthly basis

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand pritorities well and trickl e it down

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. GREAT Company Culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Territory Account Manager
    Current Employee - Territory Account Manager

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Great pay
    - Awesome team of resources available to help you get the job done
    - Due to of the size of the company and the "human network", your ability to move around when needed/desired is incredible
    - As long as you are making your number, you have full autonomy
    - Great benefits and perks
    - Working for the leader in the industry is never a bad thing

    Cons

    - Because you have a quota, it can sometimes be difficult to take advantage of the awesome PTO - Cisco AM's tend to always be ON, which can be a challenge in the area of work/life balance
    - You MUST find the right team and right manager, otherwise your success can be limited
    - If you are not on the right (inclusive) team, it is possible to get lost in this BIG COMPANY and feel like just a number
    -

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Skip a level or two and perform "health checks" directly with your field representatives - we are the foot soldiers making deals and revenue happen. Our opinions should matter greatly and they will be greatly filtered if you are relying solely on the feedback from direct reports.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Good work-life balance, benefits and the potential to carve your own way up

    Cons

    Managerial politics and Job stability

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. Interesting choice of work for interns

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Account Manager in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Account Manager in San Jose, CA

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Good coworkers, good work/life balance.

    Cons

    No project focus. Interns are given pet projects with little impact on the business

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow interns to participate in challenging work that contributes to the success of the team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. A company that knows what it takes to keep up with the fast-paced changes of the industry.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Good pay, pleasant work environment, good benefits (health, company car), great products, good progression opportunities.

    Cons

    European offices are somewhat isolated from the US side of the company, not enough focus on software (higher growth potential)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be willing to make larger acquisitions and move away from traditional practices. Get more into software.

  9. Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Can often work from home if your manager is okay with it.

    Cons

    Sometimes too much work. Need to increase base salary to compete.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be less political.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. OK

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    Relaxed work environment, not too much pressure

    Cons

    Poor Salary in comparison to other tier 1 or 2 companies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Probably should provide more hike/raise on yearly basis for decent performers.

  11. Great place to launch a career, lots of opportunity and work-life balance.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Financial Analyst in San Jose, CA

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone is extremely friendly and the corporate culture is great. Everyone that I have interacted with are very intelligent hard workers. Management pushes for personal development and I feel that I'm learning and growing every day.

    Cons

    The age gap... a lot of older folks work here so if you are young you need to work a little bit to find a group.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more new college grads for the fresh perspective.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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