Networking giant Cisco is stepping up its assault on the SME sector with the launch of a dedicated SME reseller programme.
As part of its new SMB Select Partner programme, Cisco plans to recruit another 100 SME resellers in the UK. It will also launch 30 SME-specific products in the next few months, a three-fold increase on its usual number of launches.
"Resellers [in the SMB Select Partner programme] have to focus 70 per cent of their Cisco business on 11 product families," said Marius Schenderling, Cisco's SMB manager in EMEA.
He said resellers would sell into regional postcodes, with the number of resellers in each region determined by Cisco's extrapolation of the potential SME market. Cisco defines European SMEs as firms with 20 to 249 employees.
"We are trying to be humble and listen to our partners," said Schenderling. "We have interviewed 1,500 resellers in Europe."
Keith Humphreys, managing consultant at EuroLAN Research, said: "Cisco will be competing with 3Com, D-Link, SMC and Allied Telesyn in the SME market. That end of the market is up for grabs.
"Cisco's challenge is that it's seen as an enterprise brand. It can take this brand to the SME market, so long as the customers don't feel they are being sold brain-dead products."
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