Cisco is hunting for more SME VARs after unveiling its first packaged communications offering aimed specifically at sub-50 accounts.
The networking giant used its annual partner event in Las Vegas to announce its new Smart Business Communications System (SBSC) portfolio. At its core is the UC500, which bundles voice, video, data, mobility and security on a single device.
Ian Waters, marketing manager at Cisco’s European unified communications group, said the vendor would lower barriers for entry into its SMB Select partner programme.
“As part of this we are announcing a new SMB Select accreditation that reflects the simplicity of the new products,” Waters told CRN.
The new accreditation features web training and will demand lower levels of specialisation, he added.
“We want to double our global SME revenue stream by 2010, so we need to bring on board new specialists for the UC500,” he said.
Waters denied that the launch would lead to greater conflict with Cisco’s consumer arm Linksys and its channel partners.
“The distinction is about the types of customer out there,” he said. “Some SMEs are after a complete packaged solution, including services, support and financing. They will go for the UC500. Linksys’ SME customers buy on simplicity, flexibility and price.”
John Pepper, managing director of Cisco gold partner Minx, said: “Small businesses that want to grow will now have the option of buying a best-of-breed product at a viable price. The scalability of the product means they can move the business through on a Cisco platform as they go along.”
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