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Cisco hunts for small.biz

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Cisco is fighting the perception that it only sells kit for large enterprises and telcos with a new set of products aimed at smaller businesses and a channel programme to make it easier for resellers to sell to smaller companies.

The Small and Medium-sized Business(SMB) is defined as between 20 and 249 employees. The programme, called SMB Select will reward resellers who focus on this market. SMB Class is a set of marketing materials aimed at smaller businesses.

Edzard Overbeek, vice president commercial, channels and consumer at Cisco EMEA, said: "Cisco will introduce new SMB-focused products over the next 12 months. We will combine these with a standardised and simplified user interface on all SMB-related products, giving our customers a consistent and integrated experience."

The networking giant has spent a year researching the European market and is using what it has learnt to rejig its channel programme. SMB Select Partner it will recognise resellers who focus on the SMB market.

Keith Humphreys, managing consultant at EuroLAN Research, estimates the EMEA "networking commercial market" is worth $3.7bn. He explained that SMB Select program is looking for "proximity resellers - dealers who are geographically constrained by factors such as the Yellow Pages region, or the area in which they can effectively service using their limited vehicle fleet." Dealers, working with Cisco sales teams will have specific areas to prospect for sales.

Cisco is also creating a new regional sales role - the Territory Market Manager - who will be "responsible for creating customer intimacy at a regional level by managing non-named account opportunities within a defined local territory" - if that doesn't get small business on side nothing will...

There is more on the Cisco website here. ®

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