Okay, so it isn’t necessarily a brand new concept that Cisco is rolling out here, but it certainly improves upon an existing program. Today, Cisco announced the expansion of its small business offerings for partners, further emphasizing a trend that the networking giant has been moving towards for years: SMBs are where the money’s at.
The major changes to the existing SMB Select program include the Small Business University — where partners can train online and in person to fully train themselves on catering to an SMB customer, technology additions (more on that below), and a partner profitability improvement.
To me, the biggest news here would be the additions of these new products. Historically, many vendors haven’t been pushing SMB-specific products. Many partners find themselves working as “translators” who use enterprise-level product releases to interpret how to use the products for an SMB. But these SMB-specific products are opening a new door for networking partners who want to offer SMB services.
The new Cisco 100 Series switches provide voice and video-grade performance for SMBs, and include a wide range of ports. The new RV 120W Wireless-N VPN firewall is a wireless router that provides wired and wireless connectivity in a VPN environment, which provides access to remote offices and employees. And probably the most important to Cisco partners, the new SRP 526W and SRP 527W platforms are sold by service providers only and designed for customization for UC and security applications. The platform also allows for hosted solution bundles.
The Small Business University is pretty neat, too. The Smart Business Roadmap offering is a training framework of video tutorials, tools and resources, including pre-tested templates that Cisco partners know are tried and true, so they can apply them to their customers’ configurations without worry.
For more information, check our Cisco’s small business website.
Are you a Cisco partner involved with SMBs? I’d love to hear what you have to say about this! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and sound off!