RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Thousands of computer programmers will soon be moving to the Triangle.Cisco Systemsis expanding and wants to boost its presence in Research Triangle Park.
In the next few years, the company will likely grow from 2,300 employees to 12,000. The plan calls for as many as 13 new buildings between Davis Drive and Highway 55.
"We could see in the next five years there being somewhere around 12,000 people here working for Cisco," says site executive Selby Wellman.
Wellman says 4,000 people will be working in the existing nine buildings by mid 2002. The company has bought 140 acres just west of its existing campus.
"We've started this construction on the new site this summer, in the next couple of months, which will have another three buildings that will house about 3,500 people," Wellman says. "That particular site will be ready in about two years."
Three more buildings are planned for the property. Another 175 acres is under option where another seven buildings may be built. The new Technology and Mobile Wireless Business Unit will be headquartered on the campus. It hopes to lead the next Internet technology wave.
"It's a $14 billion opportunity by the year 2004 with more wireless users than wired line users," says Ed Paradise, general manager of Technology and Mobile Wireless.
The expansion and new business unit is a big shot in the arm for RTP.
"The company who set the standard in routing, they have 80 percent of the market, is about to set the standard in wireless communications," says Jim Roberson, President of Research Triangle Foundation.
Wellman says the only thing that might prevent the growth is Cisco itself. The company grows 40 to 50 percent each year.
If growth slows, so will expansion at RTP. Wellman says they plan to execute their plan and grow to 120,000 employees worldwide in just a few years.
To put the expansion plan in better perspective, there are 50,000 people work in Research Triangle Park.
Ninety percent of the cars that are going to Research Triangle Park have just one person inside. With another 10,000 Cisco employees, there could be more traffic tie-ups.