As the economy recovers, Cisco Systems, the world's largest vendor of the switches and routers that power the Internet, is mining deeper levels of connectivity by promoting video, collaboration and virtualization technologies as an engine for growth–one that will also drive the Web traffic that fuels demand for its equipment.

Treasury and finance are in the vanguard of this strategy.

Like everyone else, the $40 billion networking equipment giant took its lumps two years ago when the financial crisis brought technology projects to a screeching halt worldwide, and even the biggest technology players faced restructuring and layoffs (involving about 2,500 jobs between 2008 and 2009 at Cisco). With an eye toward revenue growth, the 26-year-old company made seven acquisitions in 2009–including Norway's Tandberg, maker of low-cost videoconferencing products, and Pure Digital Technologies, producer of the Flip camcorder–and is pushing into other new markets, such as smart grids to make electricity supply chains more efficient. Based in San Jose, Calif., with about 70,700 employees worldwide, Cisco reported in August that it hired 2,000 workers in the fiscal fourth quarter ended July 31, and expects to hire another 3,000 over the next few quarters as new markets develop.

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