Cisco Goes Big at the Consumer Electronics Show

Cisco Systems

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) is ramping up its presence at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2014, even as it scrapped several of its consumer technology businesses in the past several years. Cisco has an exhibit on the main floor of the massive technology trade show for the first time; in addition, company CEO John Chambers is expected to deliver a keynote address on Tuesday, his first speech at CES since 2009, when he delivered a joint address with former Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) CEO and Chair Craig Barrett.

R.W. Baird & Co. analyst Jayson Noland told Bloomberg he was surprised to hear that Chambers had signed up to deliver a keynote address, “given Cisco’s de-emphasized consumer electronics over the last couple of years.”

But it seems Cisco will be utilizing its presence at CES 2014 with a different focus in mind. The company’s exhibit will simulate a retail environment to showcase the company’s technology: location-based data will be collected from shoppers and security cameras while video and sensors help stores manage offers and discounts. Another booth will showcase how Cisco technology can be used in cars.

Among the businesses Cisco has shed over the past few years are Linksys, which makes home router units and which Cisco sold to Belkin International Inc. last year; as well as Flip, which made video cameras and was shuttered in 2011. Since then, the company has refocused its energies on networking switches and routers, which form the core of its business.

The company has faced slowing sales in recent years and has cut jobs as a result. Analysts have predicted that revenue will decline by almost 5 percent in 2014, according to Bloomberg’s current data. As of December, Cisco cut its sales growth outlook for the next three to five years, given the weakening demand from emerging markets and telecommunications service providers.

Cisco had several announcements to make at CES 2014, however, including one regarding a recent deal with Samsung (SSNLF.PK) to offer Web conferencing capabilities on Galaxy devices, as well cloud-based video services that allow providers and media companies to deliver video to consumers more quickly and efficiently through the Videoscape TV platform.

During the keynote address, Chambers will be speaking at length on the “Internet of Everything,” which touches on the world’s increasing connectivity. Chambers sees this connectivity coming to cars, homes, offices, and retail stores as displayed in Cisco’s booths at the trade show. A spokesman for Cisco, Jim Brady, described Cisco’s goal at the electronics trade show in Las Vegas to Bloomberg, saying, ”CES 2014 provides an ideal venue for our executives to interact with key partners, customers, and industry influencers.”

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