Although Information Week had a headline that read, “Cisco Goes For The Small-Business Market”, I’m not sure what this means anymore. So often that headline is followed by some exec saying 1) we cut prices 2) we stripped out features. Does that make a “small business” focused product?
Sure small(er) businesses want products priced less than larger businesses, and accordingly should not expect to get the SAME product. However, instead of having just a lower price and less features why not just have a product for the SMB market that has better support, is easier to install, and easier to use and etc? IBM’s done it with their Express line. Intuit’s done it.
Information Week writes Managing technology in small and midsize businesses, and at the branch offices of larger companies, can be a difficult and costly undertaking as communications and security devices proliferate. Many of these locations don’t have full-time IT personnel to manage the voice communications system, data routers and switches, wireless systems, firewalls, and other devices essential to a modern business. Yet, those businesses want to modernize their networking infrastructure.
To simplify that challenge, Cisco Systems on Monday introduced entry-level switches, line cards, and a network-management application optimized for small and midsize businesses to make it easier to manage switches, routers, and network-access points. They follow the introduction earlier this month of routers with voice, wireless, video, and security capabilities built in–essentially, a “network in a box.” Businesses often use switches to route traffic over LANs and use routers to connect to WANs and the Internet.
“Small businesses want the same kind of advanced technology that larger businesses want,” says John McCool, VP and general manager of Cisco’s gigabit systems business unit. “They want to be able to use voice over IP, add wireless, improve security, and better authenticate users. Modular switches are a way to bring those capabilities to small and midsize businesses.” (full article)
I applaud CISCO but it’s time that companies get more innovative with their SMB push.