Cisco reaffirms its commitment to cost-conscious businesses with a wide range of releases aimed at improving network security and financing programs.
Network communications giant Cisco announced an expansion of the company's
portfolio of small business technology with enhanced networking, security and
collaboration solutions, as well as the continuation of its partner
profitability and financing programs to help partners and SMBs accelerate their
On the security side, Cisco announced expanded capabilities in the Cisco
Configuration Assistant, which enable the Cisco SPA
525G IP Phone to receive and display live video streaming from Cisco Small
Business security cameras. The SPA 525G IP
Phone is listed at $430, with regional variations, and is currently available
in most countries. The company has also introduced VPN capability on the phone.
Enhancements have also been made to Cisco's SA 500 Series security
appliances, designed to help protect a small business's network and critical
data while allowing employees to connect to the business network. These include
an intrusion prevention system (IPS) to help
monitor the network for malicious or unwanted activities and automatically
block or prevent those activities; ProtectLink Gateway to block attacks through
a hosted service that integrates anti-spam, anti-phishing, content filtering
and Web reputation monitoring; and ProtectLink Endpoint to extend protection to
Windows PCs and prevent users from accessing the Internet if their security
levels are not up-to-date. Pricing starts at $550, depending on the model.
"Over the past year, Cisco has demonstrated that it is 100 percent
committed to the small business market," said Gia McNutt, president and CEO
of Special Order Systems, a voice and data solutions firm. "Most
enterprise-focused companies have produced mini-versions of products for small
businesses, but not in this case. Cisco has built solutions specifically for
the small business market, which has helped partners like me solve my
customers' business issues. Cisco has also created services and incentives to
help me be successful and more profitable in the small business market."
Cisco also continued to invest in partner profitability programs and
financing offers, including The Small Business Partner Development Fund (PDF)
program, which provides quarterly payments to qualifying partners based on their
purchases of Cisco Small Business products. It is open to various partner types
selling into the small business market, including Cisco Registered Partners,
Cisco Specialized Partners, online resale partners and service providers. In
the United States,
Cisco Capital is providing zero-percent financing of Cisco Unified
Communications and Small Business Pro Series solutions for small businesses.
This offer has been extended through July 2010, with terms of 36 months
same-as-cash and the option to take ownership of the equipment at the end of
"We're proud of our accomplishments this past year and are extremely
focused on continuing to build and deliver the right technologies, services and
support, and profitability programs to help our partners and small business
customers accelerate their business as the economy recovers," said Cisco
Small Business Council co-chair Ian Pennell.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.