80 percent of Cisco business to be online soon

Cisco Systems aims to have 80 per cent of its business transactions conducted online by July, an executive from the company said.

"We're one of the examples out there showing that Internet commerce is real and very much alive," Ray Woo, senior product architect at Cisco, told attendees of Giga Information Group's online business symposium.

Just three years ago, only 4 per cent of Cisco's business was conducted through its Web site. By February of this year, however, the volume had reached 74 per cent, with about $US23 million in sales daily.

Revenue coming in via the Internet has also skyrocketed. In the first quarter of this year, Cisco reported $US1.9 billion in online revenue compared with $US81 million for the same period in 1997.

Cisco posted a fiscal third-quarter profit of $US646 million, with overall quarterly sales revenue up 44 per cent over the year-ago period, to $US3.15 billion. The company also announced its eighth 2-for-1 stock split since 1990.

In addition to a hefty hike in customer satisfaction, Woo said that compared with the traditional business model, Cisco's shift to the Internet saved the company $US680 million last year. "That's a very significant number, even for a company like Cisco, and can support our continued growth," Woo added.

The single largest area of savings, $US327 million, came from the online delivery of software to customers, Woo said. Another $US175 million was saved in supply chain management, which included $US75 million in annual operating costs.

Cisco saved an additional $US37 million by moving all of its employee services -- such as travel expense reimbursement -- to the company's intranet, Woo added.

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