Cisco Helps Small Businesses Connect

Cisco has announced that it is expanding its portfolio of small business technology with new solutions to help small businesses connect their business to the world, secure their network and communicate more effectively.

New technologies include a family of energy-efficient, unmanaged switches and a wireless virtual private network (VPN) firewall that small businesses can easily install themselves, as well as customer premises equipment that can enable service providers to deliver high-value services to small businesses.

Cisco is also launching a Web-based Small Business University, where partners can find all the tools and training materials necessary to develop a successful small business practice, and two new local-language Small Business Support Communities to help partners better support their small business customers.

New technologies include easy-to-install switches: The Cisco 100 Series Switches are a new series of energy-efficient, unmanaged switches that provide wire-speed Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity for small business offices, simply and affordably, right out of the box.

Cisco says the 100 Series Switches are the first series in a broad new portfolio of feature-rich, affordable Cisco Small Business Switches. Other series will be announced over the next year.

Easy-to-Use Wireless Firewall: The Cisco RV 120W Wireless-N VPN Firewall allows small businesses to affordably connect to the world in a highly secure environment and provides business-class features for small businesses with 20 or fewer employees.

The device includes built-in high-speed 802.11n wireless access as well as the ability to link multiple offices and remote employees to the business network with a high degree of security via VPN.

The device also allows the business to segment the network to control access to files and applications and enable secure wireless guest access.

Flexible Customer Premises Equipment for Service Providers: The Cisco SRP 526W and SRP 527W Services Ready Platforms are new ADSL2+ models in the Cisco SPR 500 Series of affordable customer premises equipment that enable service providers to deliver data, voice and other services to small businesses to help them connect, secure and communicate.

Cisco believes that demand for managed services is expected to grow dramatically over the next four years. The Cisco SRP 500 Series Services Ready Platforms can help providers seize this opportunity and deliver high-value services cost effectively.

The devices are also part of Cisco Hosted Small Business Communications, a complete, reliable, cost-effective customer premises equipment solution that enables service providers to deliver hosted IP telephony services to small businesses.

Cisco has also launched new and revised tools, training offerings and support communities to help partners sell and deliver technology solutions that build customer loyalty.

The new Web-based Small Business University, which includes new and updated partner tools and training offerings to help partners further develop their sales, technical and business knowledge. This one-stop-shop brings all the tools and trainings that partners need to build a successful small business practice to one central place. New and updated tools and training offerings include:

Small Business Specialisation: Updates to the specialisation address the unique skills partners must have to best serve small businesses with 100 or fewer employees. The specialisation now includes trainings on the complete Cisco Small Business technology portfolio, and the trainings are available for free via the Small Business University.

Small Business Partner Practice Builder: An enablement platform designed to assist partners in building a successful and profitable small business practice with Cisco Small Business technology.

Smart Business Roadmap: A Web-based training framework consisting of video tutorials, tools and relevant Cisco resources all designed to improve partners’ solution sales skills.

Small Business Technical Labs: Self-paced, hands-on technical trainings for Small Business Specialised partners. Trainings can be instructor-led or via the newly developed on-demand sessions.

Rick Moran, vice president, Small Business Solutions Marketing, Cisco, “Cisco is focused on building reliable, affordable technologies that small businesses can easily use to connect their business to the world, help secure their business, and communicate more effectively. By categorising the Cisco Small Business portfolio into connect, secure and communicate, we’re helping small businesses select the right technologies to meet their core business needs and even accelerate as the economy recovers.”

Andrew Sage, vice president, Worldwide Small Business Sales, Cisco commented, “Listening and responding to our partners’ feedback is critical to helping us develop the technologies, support, services and profitability programs they need to be successful. Our most recent Small Business Partner Pulse survey indicates that our investments are helping them build successful small business practices and, most importantly, increasing their profitability with Cisco.”

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