All new small business offerings will be named "Cisco Small Business" or "Cisco Small Business Pro," with Pro products designed for customers with more sophisticated technology needs, according to Cisco. Small Business will be sold through retail channels, while Pro will be sold through value-added resellers, integrators, and service providers.
And if Pro sounds familiar, it is; 13 years ago, Cisco launched the CiscoPro branding and low end play to tepid success. CiscoPro was gone only a few years later.
This one is different, says Mark Monday, vice president of product marketing in the SBTG.
"This is a focus around an opportunity vs. a repackaging of products," Monday says, adding that the $100 million investment will back the plan up with dedicated products, sales leadership, and support. Cisco vice president Andrew Sage will oversee a new small business sales organization, the company said.
The first Cisco Small Business products are scheduled to be available in December and will be focused on video surveillance, data storage, and wireless office communications.
As part of the push, Cisco is recertifying 9,000 of the combined 60,000 Cisco and LinkSys channel partners as SMB Specialists, Monday says. The company will also operate dedicated call centers in South Carolina, Philippines, China, and sites in Europe to provide small business customers with 24/7 technical assistance in Dutch, French, German, Spanish, English, Italian, Russian, Polish, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Arabic.
The company will also oversee a new Web site and online community space for SMB partners and customers.
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