Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated 20 October 2014
Updated 20 October 2014
5,111 Reviews
3.6
5,111 Reviews
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Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
3,579 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cisco does a wonderful job of allowing its employees a superb work-life balance (in 619 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 348 reviews)


Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 181 reviews)

  • If you want some short term real good big company experience it is a good place to be (in 164 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great work life balance but very hard to progress to a new role.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Pros

    ability to work from home once a week
    people are great
    building looks very modern and very spacious with desks etc

    Cons

    hard to progress....not alot of rotation unless grad
    alot of roles moving o shared service so jobs are being cut
    too many managers been there too long

  2.  

    Great set of talented people always willing to help.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer II in Feltham, England
    Current Employee - Systems Engineer II in Feltham, England

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    A group of friendly talented people. There are some really capable technical people inside the company.
    The culture is very much all about sharing information everyone is passionate about the company.
    Working remotely is something that Cisco does really well and using the technology to make this a better experience.
    Culture of sharing goes beyond Cisco focus and allows for giving back regularly to charities, schools etc.

    Cons

    Career progression means changing roles often and moving department, the career development does not favour people staying in the same team in the same role.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure progression is better managed for the technical staff in particular. This would mean better talent retention.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Reading, England
    Current Employee - Solutions Architect in Reading, England

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work on the latest and the greatest technology
    Work with the best of the best

    Cons

    Does not pay very well

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Prejudiced as a sole red badge, awful manager, but will miss the friendly culture

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time

    Pros

    Flexible hours and mobility, friendly environment, calm, peaceful, fun;
    WebEx offers opportunities for cross-functions to share their knowledge - it's very professionally presented by experts across the globe and WebEx provides a non-invasive interface for knowledgable people who struggle to present to a large audience.
    Cisco tv includes everyone in their strategic announcements, although the Cisco innovation today is in mostly through acquisitions and talent consumption, it's reasonable to understandable why it has to be done this way. At least they're transparent about their objectives.
    Good CSR, ok salary.
    The pro's list from my part can go on an on....

    Cons

    However - along with peace, calm and tranquility, there is NO innovation; no thinking out of the box (or SCOPE as my supervisor keeps referring to when her team tries to be unique or creative);

    Even though Cisco is known to have an opportunity for addressing the knowledge management system - budget owners will not hear a word of investing in knowledge management tools - because $45 for an MS Software platform is just too expensive for their multi-million dollar budget, and there just doesn't seem to be an ROI in time or money - can you think of one (Of course we won't mention the fact that software keys can be passed from one employee to another if it turns out there is no ROI after all).

    Very sweet culture, but narrow minded behaviour.

    Feeling left out as a Red Badge? - Shut up, else you're out!
    I would recommend employment as a blue badge, but if you really have to take a red badge role, make sure you have a manager who's ready to collaborate with you more frequently than one hour every other week; and ensure you get placed in a function that consists of other red badges, else you may start to feel a little left out.

    Food - looks scrumptious, but even the salads are smothered in oil :(

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I've thought of 3 business opportunities for you, but since you're not really that interested in innovation AND because my relationship with my manager ended quiet sourly (disconnecting my laptop access without notice) I'm not going to tell you.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Good company to work but not very challenging environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chandlers Ford, England
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chandlers Ford, England

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good office environment, competitive pay and benefit and not much pressure at work very relaxed..

    Cons

    Not much challenge work and not many opportunities for career growth.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good ethics and values.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7.  

    Good place to work and learn!

    • 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 full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexibility of the way you can work is great, certainly a pro! Great place to learn from a very varied workforce.

    Cons

    It is hard to move up, change career paths and get a pay rise. Not the best place to be if you are early in your career, not much focus put there.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good experience overall

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Deployment Engineer in Feltham, England
    Former Employee - Deployment Engineer in Feltham, England

    I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The name was and always will be a pro. Perks were good and you do get looked after

    Cons

    You tend to get pigeon holed and to move up or sideways you really do need to know the right people within

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Personal growth

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Terrible management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer III in London, England
    Former Employee - Software Engineer III in London, England

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Lots of resources to work on projects, comfortable working environment, and you get to work on products that are used at scale by a lot of people.

    Cons

    Management is a disaster, incompetence is rife, and you always know that your product is being run into the ground with executive management thinking about when, not if, they are going to cancel it. Cisco is a machine for extracting value from acquisitions: it buys companies and then strip-mines them. Good people leave to find better jobs and the people who can't find better jobs are promoted based on tenure rather than ability. Every Cisco office starts out decent and gets progressively worse. There's a running joke that if you're ever handed a brief for a new product then you should quit and start your own company to build it, because Cisco will buy your company for a lot more than they would have paid you and you'll get to take all the good people (and only the good people) with you. Don't look for career advancement here; if you don't enter the company as executive management then you are an expense to be reduced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop treating BUs like sealed units and start aggressively auditing them for clusters of incompetent managers who give each other glowing performance reviews.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Poor tactical level management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Reading, England
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Reading, England

    I worked at Cisco Systems as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Global reach, market leader in network technologies. Consistent growth through mergers and acquisitions. Talented workforce with ambitions to move into services rather than just box shifting.

    Cons

    Box shifting mentality. Lack of accountability for delivery. Silo mentality to delivery. Sales and delivery functions are a million miles apart. A hard place to be successful.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Low level execs seem inexperienced when dealing with customers. Unwilling to take responsibility for their actions or improve cross party relationships. Too many apologists and not enough leaders.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Best times are gone, but still a good company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in London, England
    Former Employee - Director in London, England

    I worked at Cisco Systems full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The old days when stock options could make you rich are gone forever, but total package is still good, in the top 50% percentile of similar ICT companies. You can get RSU (restricted stock units) as a bonus each year.
    Networking is not as "hot" as it used to be 20 years ago, but it is still an interesting area for working, in terms of innovation and market opportunities.
    Work environment is OK, similar to other large ICT companies, not heaven and not hell, but still way better than a steel factory, although not as exciting as a startup or high tech software company.

    Cons

    Morale not great after many rounds of layoffs. The company needs a major shift to survive long term, which might be a threat or a great opportunity, depending on where you end up. Cisco was the Google of the 90s, now it looks more like IBM in the 90s. It is not an innovation leader anymore and market dominance is at risk.
    Many senior leaders are focused on politics and protecting their back, so the work environment is not as friendly and relaxed as it used to be. Some of the executives lack the vision, depth and personality. They can manage the "blah blah" in videos, but they fall short when it comes to real market understanding, technology vision and execution.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The cultural shift in the last 20 years has been dramatic and not for the better. Part of it can be explained with market dynamics and makes sense, although not pretty. Unfortunately sometimes the baby was thrown with the water, while significant dirt remained and built up.
    The values and attributes that make a leader climb the ladder need to be revised significantly. Cisco needs less pretty internal propaganda slides and more solid work and sincerity.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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