Cisco Enhances SMB Offerings

Cisco Systems has modified its Catalyst switching
products to help small and medium-sized businesses deploy converged data,
voice and video networks.

The offerings, announced today, include entry-level extensions to the Cisco
Catalyst 4500 Series of modular switches for integrated connectivity to
servers, wireless access points, IP phones, printers or users.

In addition, the company unveiled the Cisco Network Assistant to provide
centralized management of network maintenance and deployment, along with Catalyst
4948 fixed switches that are optimized for server aggregation.

“[SMB] staff and budgets are struggling to keep pace with the demands on
their networks,” Jim Browning, vice president with the research firm
Gartner, said in a statement. “SMBs need ways to decrease the total cost of
ownership of their networks while minimizing network staffing
requirements.”

Cisco, which has made its fortune from selling equipment to telecom carriers
and large corporations, has been making a serious SMB push
since April.

It has revisited networking hardware, software and services for SMBs with
flexibility and scalability in mind. In all, Cisco, which competes with
Juniper and Nortel among others, has
earmarked about $2 billion over the next two years to support SMB programs.

The company reports that about 25 percent of its product revenue comes from
deals with companies with between 20 and 1,000 users. A spokesman for San
Jose, Calif.-based Cisco was not immediately available for comment.

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