In Pictures: Cisco's 10 most opportunistic acquisitions

These acquisitions helped Cisco jump on market trends early on, and take hold of them as they grow into money-makers.

Crescendo Communications, September 1993 Prior to September 1993, Cisco's network portfolio consisted primarily of routers. Then Cisco acquired Crescendo for about $90 million, and the Catalyst line was borne with the introduction of the 5000. Switching is now Cisco's largest revenue stream and the Catalyst modular switches have accounted for billions of dollars since the acquisition, making Crescendo's $90 million price tag seem like John Chambers' pocket change. In addition to the products, Cisco acquired a number of notable individuals who played a key role in the growth of Cisco, including Luca Cafiero, Buck Gee, Prem Jain, Mario Mazzola, Randy Pond, and Jayshree Ullal.

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