Cisco Program Zeros In On SMB

The networking vendor's new initiative provides a series of blueprints for SMB routing and switching, security, IP telephony and mobility solutions, as well as partner training, design tools and guides, and marketing collateral to which Cisco partners can attach their branding, said Peter Alexander, vice president of marketing for Cisco's commercial business.

Cisco's channel partners are key in the vendor's efforts to bring new technologies to the SMB market, and the latest solution blueprints are designed to be scalable to grow with a business, Alexander said.

"If a company chooses our LAN switching solution today, it has a built-in migration path to add IP telephony later," he cited as an example. In addition, the solutions are compatible with Cisco's Architecture for Voice Video and Integrated Data, or AVVID.

John Cosgrove, vice president of marketing at Expanets, an Englewood, Colo.-based Cisco Gold partner, said he's glad to see Cisco focus on the market for small and midsize businesses.

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"The SMB market is our primary market," Cosgrove said. Creating a series of solutions targeted at this space is "something we've been encouraging them to do for a while."

SMB customers want clearly defined solutions that will allow their businesses to grow without having to replace all of their existing infrastructure, according to Cosgrove. These Cisco solutions provide that path, he said.