IBM company information
Cisco Systems should see significant tailwinds from trends including the Internet of Things (IoT) and the roll out of 5G network technologies. Cisco is also a worthwhile play in cybersecurity -- a field that's in heavy focus due to more business shifting to the digital space and a rapid rise in the number of cyber attacks.
Cisco Systems paid its first dividend in the spring of 2011 and has increased the payout once a year ever since.
The company generated $14.6 billion of free cash flow over the last four quarters and returned 59% directly to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks. Cisco Systems is both willing and able to maintain its dividend payout at a generous level, and the company has plenty of headroom for further increases over the next several years -- even if the cash machine starts to slow down.
Cisco announced last week a partnership with the cloud video-streaming specialist Qwilt to offer an as-a-service solution for telecommunications service providers. Cisco will bundle its servers and network devices with Qwilt's cloud software into a solution that service providers can implement at their edge network locations (close to users) to improve the delivery of video streaming.
The partnership between Cisco and Qwilt makes sense. The tech giant can take advantage of its huge footprint and multi-decade experience with service providers to deploy Qwilt's innovative solution at scale. Also, in contrast with other network vendors Cisco's large portfolio includes servers that allow the company to propose an integrated computing infrastructure that supports Qwilt's software.
The offer seems attractive for service providers, too. They can quickly leverage their satellite locations with Cisco's packaged solution to improve their customers' video-streaming experience. And they can offer a streaming-optimization service to content providers. Also, instead of relying on traditional CDNs, they get end-to-end control of their networks.