Cisco Entices SMB Market

Cisco is getting serious about engaging the small and medium business market, and the networking giant is counting on the channel to make it happen. The company today announced new energy-efficient switches, a VPN Firewall geared toward small businesses, and a training program for VARs, called Cisco Small Business University.

Cisco’s 100 series of switches are unmanaged units geared toward smaller businesses that need Gigabit Ethernet connectivity. The 100 series is available in multiple port densities, comes as desktop or rackmount devices and features what the company says are easy-to-set-up QoS (Quality of Service) capabilities. One of the primary selling points of the product will be its reduced energy usage, something that small businesses relate to reduced operating costs.

Cisco is also offering a converged device that integrates VPN, Firewall and 802.11n wireless access. Named the Cisco RV 120W Wireless-N VPN Firewall, the product aims to secure small offices, while allowing wireless connectivity for guest users. The product functions as an SMB router, while allowing secure remote access, as well incorporating segment-able wireless into a small office environment.

The new products are budget friendly, with the switches starting as just $57 and the new firewall listing for $189.

To train Cisco partners looking to engage the SMB market, Cisco is launching Small Business University, a Web-based resource center that features downloadable marketing materials, sales presentation and tools. Member VARs can also view training videos, attend e-learning sessions, or use on-demand educational resources.

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