Campus: CSU, Chico -- September 29, 1999

CSU, Chico Enters Partnership With Cisco Systems; Students to Get Hands-on Experience With Networking and E-commerce

California State University, Chico is entering into a partnership with high-tech giant Cisco Systems of San Jose to support information systems networking classes and establish an advanced networking lab at the university's College of Business.

To highlight the partnership, CSU, Chico held a ribbon-cutting on Sept. 30 to dedicate Cisco Systems Lab, located in Glenn Hall 104. Officials from Cisco Systems and CSU, Chico, along with CSU, Chico students, offered brief remarks and a demonstration of advanced networking.

Last spring, College of Business' management information systems (MIS) program debuted an Advanced Networking class, which teaches students technical and managerial aspects and telecommunication issues related to advanced networking and the fast-growing area of e-commerce.

Representing Cisco Systems at the dedication were Steve Adachi, manager, Information Technology--E-Commerce; Jim Kuehnis, manager, Information Technology -- Global Sales and Training Support; and Kevin Slakey, university relations representative. President Manuel A. Esteban and new College of Business Dean Heikki Rinne are among the CSU, Chico officials who attended.

Cisco Systems has donated approximately $360,000 worth of networking equipment and technology, such as routers, switches, hubs, software and support materials, to the lab. The donation was spearheaded by Mark Tonnesen, a senior director within Cisco's Information Technology organization and executive sponsor of Cisco's partnership and relationship efforts at CSU, Chico.

"This lab will give CSU, Chico students hands-on experience with leading-edge networking technology," said Slakey. "This broader skill set will give students a substantial competitive edge in the high-tech job market."

MIS Professor Michael Wang, who teaches the advanced networking class, said the new lab will give CSU, Chico students invaluable experience working with Wide Area Networks, or WANs, which are the networking systems that carry Internet messages. "Wide Area Networks are not only critical to high-tech firms, but to any company wanting to do e-commerce. WANs are the building blocks of e-commerce."

Wang said some estimates have put e-commerce business to be in the $1 trillion range by 2002.

The two demonstrations showed how network facilities can facilitate a multimedia teaching lesson at a remote site, and how a data network, rather than a traditional voice network, can be used to make telephone calls.

In additional to the lab, the Cisco partnership will include an internship program for both faculty and students, guest lectures from Cisco networking experts and participation from Cisco in future curriculum development in the advanced networking area.

Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco's networking solutions connect people, computing devices and computer networks, allowing people to access or transfer information without regard to differences in time, place or type of computer system.

Since becoming a public company in 1990, Cisco's annual revenues have increased from $69 million to $12 billion in 1999. Cisco is among the top companies in the world as measured by market capitalization. It is also the world's largest Internet commerce site, selling more than $32 million in products every day. Cisco has approximately 20,000 employees worldwide and about 9,900 in the Bay Area.

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