Cisco Systems recently launched a line of new products and services for small businesses. The company says these new products and services will help Sisco fit the needs of smaller companies and increase profitability. This comes after the networking company put $100 million into SMB initiatives, rebranded its Linksys products as "Cisco Small Business," and wrapped its Linksys small business partners into the Cisco channel.
According to Andrew Sage, vice president of worldwide small business sales for Cisco, "Fiscal Year 2010 is the year of execution for sales and the channel, the product suite and services for the SMB. Last year we were as committed, but now it's more concrete."
At the Cisco Partner Summit, the company unveiled several new services for the SMB market, including ESW 500 Series Switches, switches that integrate with other Small Business Pro portfolio products to build solutions for small businesses. The product comes in 24 and 48 port models, has optional PoE, and a five year warranty and is available starting at $659 to $3,299. For transitioning SMB clients to VoIP, Cisco has launched the SPA8800 IP Telephony Gateway. The box allows small businesses to connect their open-source IP PBX to their current analog phones and fax machines. This product will cost around $600.
Cisco also launched the PVC300 IP Camera, an IP surveillance video camera that captures live video that can viewed anywhere, including on mobile phones. The camera includes software with the ability to manage up to sixteen cameras at once, has pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities, and sends alerts when any motion is detected, integrating with alarms, doors sensors, and security systems. The camera is available for $794.
Version 1.5 of the Cisco Smart Business Communications System was also debuted at the summit. The new version has WebEx Phone Connect for getting to an online meetings in one click, Cisco TimeCard View, and single-number reach and third party networking monitoring and management applications. This system starts at about $450 per user.
In addition to the products, Cisco added several new services as well, including the Small Business Pro Service - a three year technical support coverage plan with next-day hardware replacement and extended support center access. The company also offers community-based support via a virtual community. Rebates for Select certified partners that participate in the global Partner Development Funds program will offer up to $15,000 until July 25. Partners can also leverage extended channel financing for 90 days or six months. Cisco will also be adding a "Buy Now" button on their website for certain SMB products, new smart designs for small business. They are also offering more customer incentives including migration strategies from Linksys gear, discounts of five to seven percent and price reductions of up to 25 percent on the SBCS system.
Partners are encouraged about Cisco's focus on SMB. "It's going to make it easier for us to sell products," Robert Betzel, president and CEO of Infinity Network Solutions told CRN.