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Nationwide Builds Core Optical Network with Cisco ONS 15454 MSTPs

Consolidated infrastructure significantly reduces cost and time in introducing new network-based services

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 2, 2004 - Cisco today announced that Nationwide, a leading provider of diversified insurance and financial services to customers across the United States, has built a core optical network at its Columbus, OH. headquarters based on Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platforms (MSTPs) that will help the company more efficiently manage its current networking requirements and to better prepare for future information technology (IT) initiatives.

Using this high-speed, high-bandwidth network, Nationwide has reduced costs associated with adding certain new network connections up to 75 percent from previous methods, and has reduced the time required from an average of 90 days down to just 14.

"Consolidating our network infrastructure over an optical core is a strategic IT initiative designed to increase productivity, improve business continuity, and provide new services for Nationwide and its associates," said Randy Holt, a senior officer at Nationwide's Network Engineering and Operations Group. "We want to make sure our network is a facilitator of solutions to address current and future business demands across our entire company."

This new network replaced a number of individual Gigabit Ethernet and time division multiplexing (TDM) leased-line connections, which lacked scalability, high availability, and the ability to natively support either storage or mainframe protocols. In their place is a high-capacity, highly redundant dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM)-based network connecting Nationwide's two primary data centers in the Columbus metropolitan area. Built using four Cisco ONS 15454 MSTPs at each site, this single network can scale to a total capacity of 320 gigabits per second -- 32 fully protected channels each at 10 gigabits -- and is capable of supporting multiple services including data, voice, video, mainframe, and storage.

Nationwide selected SBC, the service provider for Nationwide's Columbus campus, to design, deploy, and manage this DWDM network. Through close collaboration with Cisco, SBC is now offering the DWDM service as part of its managed services portfolio, with Nationwide being the first production environment.

"The Nationwide deployment is a prime example of how a multiservice optical network can make an enterprise more resilient, efficient, and capable of adapting to constantly changing business requirements," said Jayshree Ulall, senior vice president and general manager of the Optical Networking Group at Cisco.About Nationwide

Nationwide is a $148 billion, Fortune 500 insurance and financial services organization based in Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide is one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world, offering a broad range of personal and commercial insurance and long-term savings products. Nationwide, which includes the country's seventh-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranks 118th in total revenues on the Fortune 500 list. In addition, Nationwide Life Insurance Company, the major subsidiary of Nationwide Financial, ranks 11th in assets according to A.M. Best. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, this year celebrates 20 years of commitment to technology innovation, industry leadership and corporate social responsibility. News and information are available at www.cisco.com.

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Cisco, Cisco Systems and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

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