Cisco Woos SMBs with Intelligent Networking Bundles

The company's bundles offer a 40 percent savings to SMB customers, while enhanced services and training also aim to tap the lucrative market.

Cisco Systems Inc. on Thursday reiterated its commitment to serving small and midsized businesses (SMBs) by bundling products, services, blueprints, special pricing and financing options specific to security, mobility, IP telephony and foundation networks.

Ciscos run rate for investing in the SMB space is $2 billion, and it defines the SMB market as serving between 20 and 1,000 users, according to Peter Alexander, vice president of worldwide commercial marketing at Cisco in San Jose, Calif.

Those businesses "are increasingly adopting high-value information technology that two years ago was only available to the enterprise," he said.

Cisco has created blueprints for networks supporting those sized customers, along with product bundles that provide price breaks to lower the cost barrier for SMBs, Alexander said.

Those bundles, which offer a 40 percent savings to SMB customers, include router with integrated voice, IP communications, IP phone and phone license as well as router with integrated security and VPN bundles.

In its drive to better serve SMB customers, Cisco also enhanced or added new ease-of-use tools that "show how Cisco abstracts the complexity of intelligent networking without removing the value of it," Alexander said. "A user can configure a virtual LAN and Quality of Service with relative simplicity."

For example, Express Setup provides GUI-based device setup, while SmartPorts simplifies deployment through tested and packaged configurations. Cisco also enhanced its Cluster Management Suite and Security Device Manager to simplify ongoing operations management.

/zimages/3/28571.gifCisco recently rolled out a new set of networking suites that target specific vertical industries. Click here to read more.

Cisco also repriced some SmartNet services offerings and added financing options tailored to SMBs. Those customers can take advantage of zero percent, 36-month leases, and Cisco lowered the threshold for the leasing option to $5,000.

The company beefed up training for SMBs with new online curricula and self-paced learning, as well as adding a new title in the Cisco Press on networking for SMBs.

Cisco has about 42 percent of the networking market for SMBs with 20 to 1,000 users, Alexander said. Its initiative is offering those users more intelligent networking solutions that help them increase efficiency of operation.

"This is about increasing the penetration of intelligent networking—making it available to more small companies," Alexander said.

The new and enhanced bundles and tools are available now.

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