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A guiding strategy for Cisco Systems is to focus on its core business while outsourcing context, or non-core, activities to partners. The challenge was in providing partners with extranet access to internal Cisco resources without compromising Cisco security. Cisco's Internet Services Group chose to build a separate and secure managed network access for each partner protected by Access Control Lists (ACLs). The extranet strategy addresses three types of connectivity requirements: partner access to the Cisco network; Cisco access to customer extranets; and reciprocal network access between Cisco and its partners. Today, the Cisco extranet network provides a secure, highly available connection to the Cisco intranet for companies that supply Cisco with manufacturing, software development, and call center functions.
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