November 07, 2008, 11:21 AM — Cisco's getting on the small business bandwagon in a big way. Of course, the networking giant already had a respectable small business program before, but this week the company announced a $100 million plan to develop technologies meant for companies with less than 100 employees.
A good move on Cisco's part during economic hard times, since big companies seem to be falling left and right, and the peculiarities of the economy are making the SMB market more of a sweet spot these days. Part of the program is to create a Small Business Technology Group, as well as a Small Business Council to carry out the strategy. The plan will focus on areas important to small businesses, including connectivity, security, remote access, productivity, customer interaction, and customer support. Cisco is planning on a dedicated partner strategy, along with customized marketing plans and a worldwide call center for support, meaning this is going to be a good opportunity for VARs to partner with Cisco to target this market segment.