SOURCE: Cisco Systems, Inc.

March 20, 2007 08:00 ET

Scotts Miracle-Gro Uses Cisco Technology to Speed Application Performance for Its Branch Offices

Network Optimization Solution Helps Remote Workers Grow Productivity

SAN JOSE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 20, 2007 -- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG), the world's leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, has deployed Cisco® (NASDAQ: CSCO) Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) solutions to increase branch office worker productivity by accelerating the performance of business critical applications. The Cisco WAAS solution also reduced the time to back up files to the data center from Scotts Miracle-Gro's remote offices from 60 to six seconds.

"Working with ACS and Cisco has helped us realize the productivity and savings of centralizing our applications and data while maintaining application performance for our remote users," said Larry Loeper, vice president of Global Business Information Systems (GBIS) for Scotts Miracle-Gro. "With these two information technology partners, we can streamline some of our business processes and drive improved cost efficiencies that will enhance our competitive position globally."

With the goal of lowering operating costs and gaining better control over data generated across more than 500 remote offices and 58 Smith & Hawken® retail stores, Scotts Miracle-Gro embarked on a data center consolidation project with Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (NYSE: ACS), a data center hosting and business-process outsourcing services provider.

As part of this project, Scotts Miracle-Gro brought multiple application, file, and print servers previously located in branch offices into a few centralized data centers. This consolidation resulted in reduced support costs for each branch office, and Scotts Miracle Gro expects the Cisco WAAS solution to pay for itself in less than 18 months.

"Cisco WAAS has proven to be one of the key components for the success of our server centralization initiative," said Bill Waszak, chief information officer for Scotts Miracle-Gro. "It is a cost-effective way to give our remote office employees the same performance they had with the previous local servers. It also gives us a foundation for accelerating applications as we extend our centralization efforts from file and print services to other business applications."

By deploying the Cisco WAAS at its branch offices, Scotts Miracle-Gro eliminated the application latency that occurred due to limited bandwidth of its wide-area network and improved the company's remote workers' experience with key applications, such as Microsoft Exchange, SAP, Manugistics, PowerCenter, John Galt Solutions, and custom applications. Also, when print servers were relocated into the centralized data center, Cisco WAAS helped eliminate excessive delays in printing business documents required by remote workers to increase their productivity.

"After evaluating several options, we decided that Cisco's products were best equipped to deliver the innovation we were seeking to meet Scotts Miracle-Gro's strict requirements," said Tom Gibson of ACS Business Development. "The ability to centralize management and monitoring of data backup and storage helped enable ACS to exceed the demanding service levels this client expected from its branch locations in Canada and the United States."

Because of the initial results, Scotts Miracle-Gro plans to deploy more WAAS solutions in branch offices by the summer of 2007.

Further information on Cisco WAAS solution and other customers' success stories can be found at www.cisco.com/go/waas.

About Scotts Miracle-Gro

With more than $2.7 billion in worldwide sales and more than 6,000 associates, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care, with products for professional horticulture as well. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup ® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. The Company also owns Smith & Hawken, a leading brand of garden-inspired products that includes pottery, watering equipment, gardening tools, outdoor furniture and live goods, and Morning Song, a leading brand in the wild bird food market. In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligene® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at www.scotts.com.

About ACS:

ACS, a global FORTUNE 500 company with 58,000 people supporting client operations reaching 100 countries, provides business process outsourcing and information technology solutions to world-class commercial and government clients. The Company's Class A common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "ACS." ACS makes technology work. Visit ACS on the Internet at www.acs-inc.com.

About Cisco Systems

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