Cisco Systems Reviews

Updated 25 April 2015
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3.6
6,024 Reviews
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Cisco Systems Chairman & CEO John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers
4,028 Ratings

Pros
  • Cisco does a wonderful job of allowing its employees a superb work-life balance (in 666 reviews)

  • It is very flexible environment where most people can work from home if they desire (in 369 reviews)

Cons
  • No part-time options for professionals wanting work-life balance while raising a family (in 184 reviews)

  • If you want some short term real good big company experience it is a good place to be (in 170 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Wonderful experience with pros and cons

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

    I worked at Cisco Systems

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Facilities, Employee benefits and also the way employees are treated are great. Transportation facility was top notch. Work life balance is wonderful, and so are the HR policies.

    Cons

    slow promotions, not many global relocation options and also the remuneration package revisions are very minimal and less frequent too. Don't expect a fat pay package

    Advice to Management

    The benefits and the way employees are looked after is excellent. But, the actual remunerations offered are far too less.

  2. Great flexibility. Slow progression role / financial

    • 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)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Flexibility in working arrangements
    - Health care packages
    - You're working for #1
    - The name carries a lot of kudos, doesn't matter who you talk to in business, you mention Cisco and it does command a level of respect and appreciation

    Cons

    - Slow progression. Essentially you're up against everyone else within your pay grade for a promo. That can potentially be a lot of people you have to our maneuver for extra dosh.
    - Cultural shift in recent years towards loud and brash "sell, sell, sell" model, away from raw engineering and capability, that arguably made Cisco what it is today.
    - Almost too large now for engineers to be taken seriously unless they are architects / systems engineers or very senior and even then that's probably giving those folk too much credit.
    - Can be political but so can every work place

    Advice to Management

    1. Value your people or they will walk. The rotating door will not stop spinning unless this is addressed, this could prove to be an expensive exercise.
    2. Despite the sheer size and market position - in 2015, unless people are getting paid appropriately they will not stay. It really comes down to the dollar, as great as Cisco is as a company and I can't state that enough, it is an amazing company - fact remains, if people are not appropriately compensated, what is the incentive to stay? Yes, the health care is great but its not THAT great.

  3. Helpful (2)

    Management can make an easy job difficult.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Network Engineer
    Former Employee - Network Engineer

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good salary, benefits, working from home options.
    Also, the access to the knowledge shared across Cisco is amazing. There are a LOT of very very smart people at Cisco.

    Cons

    Management who seem unable to learn the technical capabilities and limitations of a platform.
    Even though there is lots of knowledge shared at Cisco, much of it is hidden away in niche knowledge repositories. There seems to be no serious global push to document things in a well managed repository.
    There is also a new flavour of collaboration invented almost every 6 months which means that no technology in this area is allowed to mature and gain acceptance.
    You can also get stuck in a rut, if you are in a high load team. Leaving you little to no time to attempt to go above and beyond your role to further your career.
    Some management also seem to have little regard for a work/life balance. Heavily evident in the teams I was involved with.

    Advice to Management

    Pick a technology, and stick with it. It was frustrating not knowing what was happening with internal collaboration tools. It was also painful trying to use the Cisco social network solution, due to the depressingly slow speed of it - technically it might have been a fantastic system, but the usability was close to non existent.

    Biggest thing for me really is to ensure that management understand the products or services that their teams are running/support/building. Whether that's by their own staff training them, doing their subordinate's tasks at some interval, or by some form of test. I don't really know the answer to this one.

    Same with values - pick some, and stick with them. E.g. Look at Rackspace, and Amazon for examples. Don't think that by sending all employees some bits of plastic will mean values get absorbed. Ensure lower management actually stick to those values too.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    advanced services turning into a hell hole

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Network Consulting Engineer in Sydney
    Current Employee - Senior Network Consulting Engineer in Sydney

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - some interesting projects
    - majority of people are smart, though that is changing
    - flexible work hours

    Cons

    - Cisco services is slowly being turned into a sweat shop
    - layoffs don't make sense
    - quality of projects is going down
    - quality of new hires is abysmal
    - managers of tech teams are non-technical especially in services.

    Advice to Management

    - show some respect to people who have been here for years.
    - reward quality and not mediocrity
    - PowerPoint pushers are promoted
    - promote a few engineers to management. After all this a tech company and not a bank

  6. Great Place to Grow Comfortably

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Network Consulting Engineer in Sydney
    Current Employee - Network Consulting Engineer in Sydney

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cisco has amazing opportunities. You can learn just about anything... training, hands on, certifications - the works. Great, incredibly smart people around - as long as you can find the right pockets of folks.

    Great work/life balance - and awesome remote / flexible work enablement (webex, jabber, etc). Perfect first company to join out of university - not too fast paced, no penalties for mistakes, plenty of learning opportunities and culture. People overall (including top leadership) are generally smart, hardworking, friendly, and caring. Much better than most big orgs I've worked with.

    Promotions and bonuses can be quite regular for hard workers, although it's not always so incentivised - seems like just lucky at times.

    Cons

    Culture Varies greatly from org to org, and team to team. Budgets are held very tightly and closely for no reason at all it seems. Really poor internal IT tool and biz software selection makes employee experience pretty bad. Same problem with outsourced IT, HR, and pretty much everything else leaves you feeling often like just another number.

    Too bulky in terms of middle management, directors etc. Poor execution on just about anything. Also tons of meaningless roles, backend folks, and other BS. Too many restructuring and layoffs as well.

    Leadership is too out of touch with reality because of middle management bloat.

    Lastly - almost all pros can be a con for the wrong / unlucky individual. Just need to find your sweat spot.

    Advice to Management

    Severe culture refresh required, and need to flatten the org a ton. But please, no golden parachutes...

  7. Great place to build a career but challenging at the moment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales Business Development Manager in Melbourne
    Current Employee - Sales Business Development Manager in Melbourne

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people, good culture, great brand, lots of opportunities

    Cons

    Too much work, not enough people
    Products set keeps getting bigger (which is good) but not enough resources to sell them

    Advice to Management

    Cost reduction efforts are hurting day to day business
    To grow more people are needed at the coal-face

  8. Great Place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Support Engineer in Sydney
    Current Employee - Customer Support Engineer in Sydney

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great technology, great people, amazing leadership.Lots of room to grow your knowledge, learn, travel. Flexible. Work hard play hard.

    Cons

    Very slow to move up. New technology transitions are disrupting the old business model. Constant state of flux. Very difficult to move up. Too many people have been in the same role for years.

    Advice to Management

    Look internally for future leaders.

  9. Cisco

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

    I have been working at Cisco Systems full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    one of the best places to work for, empowering culture, flexible work environment, competitive compensation package

    Cons

    Drop in mid level leadership quality, "more talk, less walk" culture creeping in, weak HR organisation, lack of clarity around promotion process

    Advice to Management

    Go back to focus on execution, remove employees who create a political environement

  10. command and control management organization with the trappings of a meritocracy

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The salary and benefits were above average for the industry, with employees encouraged to work from home. Work/Life balance was okay, though policies were spottily applied and changed in their application from manager to manager.

    Cons

    The quality of your job experience will depend on your manager - there are large sections of middle managers and sales people who have no performance criteria other than to show up. There is little management by objectives if you have been with the organization for a long period or have political connections. This encourages the worst forms of intrigue and game playing. Frequent reorganizations and redundancies are a part of "American Style" culture.

    Advice to Management

    -Spin off the optics division which is being smothered within the larger Cisco Systems juggernaut
    - Have sales people earn a minimum of three times their salary in profits on sales, per year as a standard management objective, and
    - have tougher incentives on mid level managers

  11. Great experience with a good company

    • 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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Work ethic, benefits and culture

    Cons

    has been more beurocratic over the years

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