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HOME REGIONS EMEA › Cisco bets big on small business

Cisco bets big on small business

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 7 November 2008

Networking giant Cisco is stumping up US$100m to drive a new strategic initiative focised on the small business market. Cisco has set up a small business technology group (SBTG) to develop solutions for this segment. Following the unification of the Cisco and Linksys partner programmes in August 2008, the networking giant reckons that it can call on a network of more than 60,000 partners around the world capable of supporting small businesses.

Ian Pennell, senior VP, SBTG at Cisco, said: "Small businesses are the lifeblood of today’s economy and in today’s environment, it’s critical that small-business owners have a technology partner they trust to help them find and deploy the right solutions to grow their businesses. With the widest range of solutions, from value-driven point products to expandable and upgradeable solutions to grow on, Cisco can meet any small business’ communications needs."

Cisco reckons that the market for solutions for companies with fewer than 100 employees will be worth US$10 billion globally in 2009. The 60,000 partners cited by Cisco as a global channel-to-market includes more than 9,000 in the Cisco select certification programme for small business specialists. The SBTG sales unit, which will support Cisco partners focusing on this market segment, will be led by VP Andrew Sage.

Andrew Sage, VP worldwide small business sales at Cisco, commented: “Small businesses have very specific needs in virtually every aspect of how Cisco does business with them. Taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach that might work in other markets simply won’t work with small business. That’s why we have more than 9,000 select certified sales partners that can help create tailored solutions for small businesses worldwide, making it easy to find the right technology for your unique business needs.”

The SBTG unit will focus on six areas that it claims are top priorities for small businesses: connectivity, security, remote access, productivity, customer interaction and customer support. The SBTG unit will include sales, marketing and technology groups as well as a worldwide contact centre operation that Cisco claims forms a central pillar for its strategy.

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