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Cisco Systems Expands RTP Operation

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DURHAM — The Triangle's already booming technology industry is about to explode.

Computer networking giantCisco Systemsis expanding in Research Triangle Park. The end result could amount to as many as 9,000 jobs.

The Cisco testing lab is developing the technological wave of the future in hopes of making computers the new one stop shopping mall.

"Today, people have a telephone network and a data network that are separate, and Cisco is leading the market in consolidating that into one infrastructure based on data networking," says Frank Maly, Cisco's marketing director.

Voice, video, data integrationis the technology that is driving Cisco Systems' growth in RTP. Four buildings are now in operation, two under construction and the land for three more is being cleared, which amounts to 170 acres with plans to add another 150 more.

The expansion means more job openings for the computer giant.

"Presently we have about 1,000 people. We will be doubling that to 2,000 by the year 2000," Maly said. "With the land we have now, we have the capability for nine buildings, and therefore 4,000 people."

RTP is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The Cisco expansion is icing on the cake of an already successful first 40 years.

It was a humble beginning back in 1960 when the park was home to four companies and 300 employees. By 1990, the number of companies jumped ten-fold and workers topped the 10,000 mark.

The numbers reflected the arrival of RTP's number one employer,IBM. The growth continued in the 1990s as the park's national reputation grew. Some compared it to a mini-Silicon Valley on the East Coast.

By 1996, the park approached the 100 company plateau with more than 37,000 employees.

If the Cisco expansion happens, the company would leapfrogNortelas the park's second biggest company. IBM is still number one.


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