At TM Forum Live! Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) introduced a new network service management tool to its Evolved Services Platform (ESP), an open, elastic, and application-centric network infrastructure framework that enables service providers to accelerate time to revenue while reducing the operational costs of deploying cloud-based services. The new Cisco Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) Manager, a unified network service management tool, is a key component of Cisco’s full multi-layer network service lifecycle management solution. When working in a complementary manner with the Cisco WAN Automation Engine, the new Cisco EPN Manager enables design, provision and assurance capabilities to optimize management in an automated and real-time manner.

Current network service management implementations built for physical network elements rely on multiple, siloed systems that carry a high level of complexity and require costly manual provisioning. This can delay new service introductions to months, instead of minutes, and makes fault resolution across multiple network service domains cumbersome and error prone.

In contrast, the Cisco EPN Manager accelerates the transition to a SDN and NFV-based programmable network architecture that spans both physical and virtual elements by utilizing a unique model-driven architecture and a clear separation of content, platform and devices. Covering multiple network service domains, including packet optical transport, carrier Ethernet, service provider Wi-Fi, and data center, the EPN Manager is purpose-built to meet the future requirements of service providers for achieving automation and agility. The initial version targets fast-growing optical and Ethernet applications, with additional capabilities scheduled for subsequent releases.

With a state-of-the-art user interface featuring dynamic geographic maps, along with 3D and correlated multi-layer service traces for enhanced visibility and troubleshooting, the EPN manager enhances the customer experience by more rapidly identifying the source of a problem and reducing the overall mean-time-to repair.

“The introduction of the Cisco EPN Manager enhances Cisco’s industry-leading portfolio of programmable network lifecycle management solutions,” said JL Valente, vice president of product management for Cisco’s cloud and virtualization group. “We are enabling the seamless convergence of optical and packet, as well as physical and virtual properties within the network. And we’ll be able to do this from the customer site or service provider Wi-Fi access point, down to the data center application, with complete fault traceability. Service providers are excited to utilize this simple design and unified experience with a software architecture that can rapidly support new features, new technologies, and new devices.” (Original Source)

Shares of Cisco closed yesterday at $29.18 . CSCO has a 1-year high of $30.31 and a 1-year low of $22.49. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $28.98 and its 200-day moving average is $27.96.

On the ratings front, Cisco has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, Oppenheimer analyst Ittai Kidron maintained a Buy rating on CSCO, with a price target of $32, which implies an upside of 9.7% from current levels. Separately, on May 29, Jefferies Co.’s George Notter maintained a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $29.50.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Ittai Kidron and George Notter have a total average return of 2.3% and 20.2% respectively. Kidron has a success rate of 51.1% and is ranked #1231 out of 3610 analysts, while Notter has a success rate of 63.4% and is ranked #355.

The street is mostly Bullish on CSCO stock. Out of 10 analysts who cover the stock, 7 suggest a Buy rating and 3 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $32.75, which implies an upside of 12.2% from current levels.