Just about every technology company sells to smaller businesses.
Some companies like Intuit or Constant Contact have a singular focus on this market. Other companies, such as Microsoft and IBM have products and entire divisions for very large businesses, for smaller businesses and everything in between.
Cisco, the leader in connectivity solutions for businesses, has for years sold networking equipment to both large and small businesses. Its acquisition of Linksys some years ago was one big step on a journey to better target the small business market. However, for the most part its market dominance has been in the “large business space.”
Recently, Cisco announced plans to do quite a bit more in its efforts to not only market to YOU and your smaller busienss, but to ensure its products are specifically tailored to your needs and that your local technology consultant/partner is engaged in helping you get the most out of your networking technology.
This focus is one very important distinction when you and your technology partner consider the differences between two quite similar and what could be perceived as commodity products.
Let’s take a network card, router, hub, switch. All of these are quite simple devices. However, if any of these components don’t work it could vastly affect your businesses access to the Internet. You want to ensure they are designed with the needs of smaller businesses in mind: value priced, easy to use and feature rich.
So what does Cisco have in mind?
Cisco values the total addressable market for small-business networking and communications products and services at $16 billion in 2009, with $10 billion of this value derived from companies with fewer than 100 employees. In this connection it will invest $100 million in a global strategic initiative focused on Small Business Networking and communications solutions for companies with fewer than 100 employees.
One part of Cisco’s re-focus is the creation of a new Cisco Small Business Technology Group (SBTG) which will develop technologies focused on six areas consistently highlighted as top priorities by small businesses for enabling business growth: connectivity, security, remote access, productivity, customer interaction and customer support.
All new small-business offerings will be named ‘Cisco Small Business’ or ‘Cisco Small Business Pro’, with ‘Pro’ solutions designed for customers with more sophisticated technology needs.
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.
There is a new Cisco Small Business Web site at www.cisco.com/smallbusiness. The new site features new tools powered by Cisco WebEx that enable customers to find and chat live with local sales partners who can assist in customizing, installing and supporting solutions. The focus on local sales partners is key to not only Cisco’s growth but your own business as well.