Cisco has announced a $100-million global strategic initiative that will see the networking giant focus soecifically in the small business market.
The company has identified a $10-billion market opportunity for selling its newly-developed products and services to companies with fewer than 100 employees.
Cisco believes the small and medium business (SMB) market is well-positioned to emerge quickly from the current economic downturn and investing in networking now will equip them to do so.
Andrew Sage, vice-president: worldwide small business sales at Cisco, explains that the small companies that make up the SMB space consist of those will basic needs that could be fulfilled via retail; those that are open to guidance from a reseller; and elite users who are already addressed by Cisco's partners.
To reach this market, Cisco has produced new products as well as imported products from its Linksys range to provide a full line-up within the categories of routers and switches, security and surveillance, videoconferencing, wireless and networked storage.
The products are available under the new brand names Cisco Small Business and Cisco Small Business Pro.
The distribution and reseller channel will be engaged to bring the new products to market, and Cisco has put together a number of programmes to support smaller resellers.
In South Africa, Cisco currently has three distributors: Comstor/Westcon, Tarsus and Comztek.
Val Moodley, regional sales manager: commercial at Cisco SA, says one of them will be appointed as the exclusive small business distributor, but no decision has been made in this regard as yet.