Networking giant Cisco will be aggresively focusing on the SME market this year and its resellers can expect channel changes in the near future. This is according to Neil Moulton who joined Cisco from Siemens last year and will spearhead the vendor’s SME channel charge.
Moulton, who ran the reseller channel at Siemens, told CRN: “I’m here because Cisco is putting such emphasis on the SME market.
“I know what makes the SME partner community tick. There will be some changes in the coming months with the routes that Cisco uses getting to market.”
Cisco launched SME networking products last year, while its Linksys division unveiled new SME-focused IP platform and voice products.
John Donovan, managing director for the channel at Cisco, told CRN last year: “We want to become the number one provider in the SME market” (CRN, 29 September).
Moulton added: “We are listening to the market. Our new focus will be on making Cisco easier to work with. I expect a low as possible transaction cost and improved ability to take products to market.”
Improving Cisco’s overall presence and greater penetration of the mobility market will be key areas this year, according to Moulton.
Mike Lawrence, managing director of Cisco reseller Bentpenny, praised the functionality of Cisco’s products, but claimed that SME channel partners find the kit “far too up-market”.
“Cisco needs to get its pricing down to the SME level, that could mean releasing new products or offering end-of-life products to the SME market,” Lawrence said.
Cisco has also launched the Foundation Advantage Programme for the channel, which provides incentives for end-users who upgrade their network.
The programme plans to encourage end-users and the channel to seek network upgrades and move towards an IP-based system.
Edison Peres, vice-president for technology sales and programmes of worldwide channels at Cisco, said in a statement: “The network has become integral to the business so ‘just good enough’ networks put customers at a competitive disadvantage.”
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