History will be kind to Cisco for boldly making a whopping $100M investment in the small and medium business sector. It all started a year ago in the heat of the world financial markets “reset” and I fondly remember this was one piece of good news at a time when we needed it.
Yesterday, on the one year anniversary of this Cisco act, I spoke with Mark Monday, a small business vice president at Cisco, and received an update. The update can be split into three categories:
Service and Support. Cisco has announced two new support offerings. One relates to pre-sales and the other relates to a “rapid” replacement service.
Broad Technology Portfolio. Cisco made announcements in the communication and security areas. Four things stood out in the briefing to me. First – VPN capabilities built-in to the 525G IP phone. That means you can take the said telephone in your backpack to your home office and be efficiently and securely connected to your SMB telephone network back at the office. Second – our friends at Trend Micro have teamed with Cisco to provide gateway and endpoint security for the new Cisco SA 500 Series Security Appliance(s). Nice to see our friends playing nicely in the school yard. Third, the access point “clustering” capability in the 541N allows you to easily create a large and robust WiFi network. Finally, the fourth item that caught my eye was the wireless capabilities for the Cisco 500 series unified communications telephones.
Partner Profitability. Two announcements here. The Partner Development Fund (PDF) is a rebate program that puts cash back in the hands of the Cisco partner. Cisco reports this type of incentive is helping to grow the partner’s business volume as much as 42% versus folks who do not participate in the PDF program. And Cisco Capital is providing a zero percent financing option.
So that’s may highlights on this, the first anniversary of the Cisco small business investment announcement. I leave you with two questions followed by the full press release.
First – have you heard the new Cisco radio advertisements?
Second- what’s your take on all this…please comment!
Cisco Celebrates Anniversary of $100 Million Small Business Investment by Helping Partners and Customers Accelerate Their Business
New Small Business Services, Technology and Ongoing Profitability Programs Help Enable Partners’ and Customers’ Success and Boost Economy
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Dec. 1, 2009 – Cisco today announced new partner presales technical support and a new hardware advanced-replacement service specifically designed for partners selling to the small business market. Cisco also announced it is expanding the industry’s broadest portfolio of small business technology with new and enhanced networking, security and collaboration solutions. In addition, Cisco is continuing its partner profitability and financing programs to help partners and small businesses accelerate their business and boost the economy as it recovers.
KEY FACTS / HIGHLIGHTS:
Service and Support: Cisco launched new partner presales technical support and a hardware advanced-replacement service to help partners successfully sell, deliver, install and support Cisco Small Business solutions.
- Cisco Partner Design Support offers complimentary assistance to partners in the design, installation and configuration stages so they can create and deploy the best solutions to solve their customers’ unique business problems.
- The new support service provides partners with access to a team of expert engineers focused on Cisco Small Business technology. It is offered via phone or online chat and in nine languages.
- Cisco Small Business Pro Rapid Replacement Service provides four-hour hardware replacement plus 24-hour technical support and coverage for Cisco Small Business Pro products so partners can quickly resolve their customers’ problems with little downtime.
- The three-year service also includes software updates, 24-hour phone access to the Cisco Small Business Support Center and access to the Cisco Small Business Support Community.
Broad Technology Portfolio: Cisco has expanded the industry’s broadest portfolio to include more than 600 networking, security and communication products purpose built and priced right for the small business. The expansion includes new and enhanced technologies to help small businesses connect, secure and communicate.
- Cisco AP 541N: The industry’s first 802.11n dual-band clustering access point built for the small business allows partners to quickly set up and expand wireless access to provide small businesses with the freedom to work wirelessly with business-grade performance, reliability and security.
- Cisco MonitorView: New capabilities in the Cisco Configuration Assistant enable the Cisco SPA 525G IP Phone to receive and display live video streaming from Cisco Small Business security cameras, helping small businesses secure their business and run their business more smoothly and productively.
- Cisco VPN Support for the Cisco SPA 525G IP Phone: New software VPN technology for the Cisco SPA 525G IP Phone allows small businesses the flexibility to have teleworkers easily connect to the business in a highly secure environment over almost any broadband connection from where ever they choose.
- Cisco SA 500 Series Security Appliances: Enhancements have been made to the all-in-one security solution designed to help protect a small business’s network and critical data while allowing employees to connect to the business network. New enhancements include:
- Intrusion prevention system (IPS) to help monitor the network for malicious or unwanted activities and automatically block or prevent those activities.
- Cisco ProtectLink Gateway to block attacks through a hosted service that integrates anti-spam, anti-phishing, content filtering and Web reputation monitoring.
- Cisco ProtectLink Endpoint to extend protection to Windows PCs and prevent users from accessing the Internet if their security levels are not up-to-date.
- Cisco Hosted Small Business Communications: This complete, reliable, cost-effective customer premises equipment solution allows service providers to deliver hosted IP telephony services to small businesses. The solution includes the new Cisco SRP 500 Series Services Ready Platforms, Cisco switches and IP phones, which can all work seamlessly together.
- The Cisco SRP 500 Series Services Ready Platforms is a flexible, affordable customer premises device that enables service providers to easily create, provision and deploy managed data, voice and security services for small businesses.
- Smart Business Communications System (SBCS) Release 2.0: An enhancement has been made to the complete collaboration and communications system to connect offices, employees and customers anywhere at any time.
- Release 2.0 includes the ability to support up to 100 users, so partners can easily install a solution that will smoothly and economically grow with the small business.
Partner Profitability: Cisco continues to invest in partner profitability programs and innovative financing offers to help small business partners increase their profits and compete more effectively.
- The Small Business Partner Development Fund (PDF) program has helped Select partners grow their Cisco business at times as much as 42 percent.
- The PDF program, which provides quarterly payments to qualifying partners based on their purchases of Cisco Small Business products, is open to various partner types selling into the small business market, including: Cisco Registered Partners, Cisco Specialized Partners, online resale partners and service providers.
- In the current economy, Cisco CapitalSM provides extended payment terms and an innovative range of financing options including zero-percent financing to qualifying partners and small businesses.
- In the U.S., Cisco Capital is providing zero-percent financing of Cisco Unified Communications and Small Business Pro Series solutions for small businesses. This offer has been extended through July 2010 with terms of 36 months same-as-cash and the option to take ownership of the equipment at the end of the lease.
- In Europe, the Cisco EasyLease zero-percent financing program has been extended to include all Cisco products and solutions with a maximum deal size of up to £200,000 or €250,000.
- Cisco Capital continues to support Cisco channel partners through credit lines and payment terms beyond standard net 30-day terms.
- Cisco offers end-user financing in over 80 countries, more than any other vendor in the IT industry.
Product Pricing and Availability
- Cisco AP 541N is listed at US$499 with regional variations and is currently available in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
- Cisco MonitorView and Cisco VPN Support are firmware upgrades for the Cisco SPA 525G IP Phone for customers with a service contract. The Cisco SPA 525G IP Phone is listed at US$430 with regional variations and is currently available in most countries worldwide, except China and Japan.
- Cisco SA 500 Series Security Appliances pricing starts at US$550, depending on the model. The security appliances are currently available in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia. The new enhancements are available as licenses: IPS is a US$150 license; Cisco ProtectLink Gateway is US$178 for a five-seat license; Cisco ProtectLink Endpoint is US$185 for a five-seat license. Enabling IPS and Cisco ProtectLink Endpoint functionality requires a firmware update, which is scheduled to be available in late December.
- Cisco Hosted Small Business Communications prices vary by region, specific configurations and number of users. The solution is currently available in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
- Cisco SRP 500 Series Services Ready Platforms pricing starts at US$250, depending on the model. It is currently available in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
- Cisco SBCS Release 2.0 pricing can be as low as US$164 per user, but varies by region, number of users, business needs and specific configurations. Cisco SBCS Release 2.0 is currently available in most countries worldwide.
- All products are available to small businesses via Cisco Partners and Resellers.
- Gia McNutt, president and CEO, Special Order Systems:
“Over the past year, Cisco has demonstrated that it is 100-percent committed to the small business market. Most enterprise-focused companies have produced mini-versions of products for small businesses, but not in this case. Cisco has built solutions specifically for the small business market, which has helped partners like me solve my customers’ business issues. Cisco has also created services and incentives to help me be successful and more profitable in the small business market.”
- Adrian Biesecker, owner and CEO, BBC Biochemical:
“We needed to connect two sister companies that share office space to cut costs and share company information to help us both perform better, while keeping our sensitive patient information separate and private. We looked at several companies but none of them could provide all the solutions that Cisco could, including everything from the network to mobility to financing. Cisco was the only one that came to the table with everything we needed and the results have been flawless.”
- Ian Pennell, co-chair, Small Business Council, Cisco:
“We’re proud of our accomplishments this past year and are extremely focused on continuing to build and deliver the right technologies, services and support and profitability programs to help our partners and small business customers accelerate their business as the economy recovers.”
- Andrew Sage, vice president, Worldwide Small Business Sales, Cisco:
“With the Cisco Small Business Advantage, our partners have all the essential tools necessary to help them be successful and profitable in the small business market.”
- Cisco Small Business Web site: http://www.cisco.com/smallbusiness
- Cisco Small Business U.S. Spanish Web site: http://www.cisco.com/go/espanol
- Cisco Services for Small Business
- Cisco Partner Central Web site: http://www.cisco.com/web/partners
- Read the News@Cisco Feature: “Services are Key to Small Business Support”
- Become a fan of Cisco Small Business on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CiscoSmallBusiness
- Follow Cisco Small Business on Twitter @CiscoSmallBiz
- Watch customer videos on the Cisco Small Business YouTube Channel
- Visit the Cisco Small Business Innovators Forum, a community for small business owners
- Visit the Cisco Small Business Support Community
- Visit the Cisco blog, The Platform
- Visit the Cisco Channels blog
- Ian Pennell, co-chair, Small Business Council, Cisco: Cisco Small Business Anniversary
- Andrew Sage, vice president, Worldwide Small Business Sales, Cisco: New Additions to the Cisco Small Business Advantage
- Rick Moran, vice president, Small Business Solutions Marketing, Cisco: New Cisco Technology Helps Small Businesses Drive Business Forward
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