Cisco lands carrier deals, kills home energy console

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) announced several service provider deployments Monday while its stock value continued to enjoy a 1990s-style lift recently due to surprisingly strong earnings--two factors that may have helped obscure some other recent news out of the networking giant: Cisco has exited the home energy product business.

Cisco Home Energy Controller

Cisco ended sales of its Home Energy Controller console as the company shifts away from dedicated control units. (Screencap: Cisco Systems product video)

The company announced late last week that it will no longer offer its Home Energy Controller console. The home energy management market has seen a shift away from dedicated control units and toward Web and mobile applications. Cisco's decision to withdraw the product follows similar moves by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), though in all cases probably should not be seen as disinterest by these companies in the broader smart grid opportunity.

Cisco in fact said in its own blog post that it is looking for the right ways to apply its IP communications expertise to the home energy market.

Meanwhile, the service provider deals announced this week come not long after Cisco beefed up its service provider unit recently by hiring two former Juniper (NYSE: JNPR) executives. The new deployments include deals with rural telco Consolidated Communications (Nasdaq: CNSL) and cable TV firm Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR), as well as three other deals with foreign operators for switching and routing gear such as the CRS-3 core routing platform and the ASR-9000 aggregation router platform.

These deployment announcements follow a recent declaration by Cisco CEO John Chambers that the switching and routing market segment has been showing strong sales growth for Cisco among both U.S. and international service providers. Cisco's recent fiscal fourth quarter performance soundly beat analyst expectations. However, Cisco is still believed to be looking for ways the company can slim down or pull back on particularly expensive investments, and the home energy pullback is evidence of that.

For more:
-  see this CNET post
- here's the Cisco blog post
- read this Multichannel News story

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