Cisco: Playing the Telecommuting Trend

Right now, there are 4.2 million Americans who work from home, and that number doesn’t include the other 20 million who do so at least some of the time. Cisco Systems isn’t just making money off the trend, it’s a big reason people even have the option, Cramer said.

The stay-at-home work force has increased 23% since 1990, largely because the technology to make it possible didn’t exist back then. But now Cisco is responsible for every link in the telecommuting chain.

Cisco makes something called the “virtual private network,” which allows employees to access their businesses’ networks from home. Cisco also bought Linksys in 2003, and now the company sells routers, hubs and wireless cameras for the home-office market. Then there are the security solutions. No corporation would allow offsite work without a secure network, and Cisco handles those too.

Cisco also makes the technology behind online meetings and conferences, and now it’s pushing “unified communications.” Basically, UC is a platform to increase productivity by tying together all the devices, networks, operating systems and applications someone might use and work. The goal is to make sure information gets to the person in the most efficient way possible at the most efficient place possible.

Need more reasons to like Cisco? The stock is only up 5.4% since CEO John Chambers’ bullish interview in the Financial Times in July. And even though the company beat earnings in August, Cramer still recommends getting in ahead of the coming report Nov. 7.

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