San Jose, California-based Cisco has bought its way into a number of application software-dominated markets, including cloud computing, social networking, collaboration, and now email.
With cloud computing and social networking blurring the lines between networking hardware, application software, and services, a number of traditional IT gear companies led by Cisco have moved into the software application business.
And for good reason: The emergence of cloud computing is changing the economics of networking hardware and software markets, according to analysts.
Cloud computing is corporate computing that does not reside at users' premises. Instead the computing resources are owned and managed by a service provider and businesses access the resources via the Internet.
Customers pay only for the level of service they need so they can dial up or dial down the service level based on the current needs of their businesses. So where companies once bought hardware devices, they are now paying just for services.