At its annual partner summit this week, networking giant Cisco Systems took the opportunity to launch a range of new products and services targeted at small and medium-sized businesses. The 100 new products for the SMB market will serve to bolster the offerings of its Cisco Small Business line -- rebranded from Linksys -- and Cisco Small Business Pro divisions.
Cisco thinks that the SMB portion of the networking market represents a "$7 billion opportunity." At the moment, its SMB business contributes a mere $1 billion to its coffers; Cisco intends to double that soon. "Small is the new big!" declares Andrew Sage, VP, world-wide small business sales and Rick Moran, Cisco's vice president of small business networking agrees. Moran notes that "Small business to Cisco is definitely big business."
The emphasis that Cisco is placing on the SMB market is exciting to me. If you have read my earlier blog about the dangers of using consumer networking equipment in a corporate or mission-critical environment, you will know I strongly advocate against skimping in this area. Of course, top-end Cisco networking gear is probably out of the league of most SMBs, which is the reason I consider Cisco's $100 million investment to create new equipment for this specific market segment to be welcome news indeed.
While you will certainly be better served by a local Cisco partner, I took the liberty to list some of the new or revamped products below. This should serve to give you a better gauge of Cisco's Small Business product offerings:
- ESW 500 Series managed switches with five-year warranty and next business day hardware replacement
- PVC300 IP camera for digital surveillance
- SPA 8800 IP Telephony Gateway to connect to a open source-based IP PBX
- Release 1.5 of the Smart Business Communications software