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Small Is Beautiful

Cisco Systems' John Chambers knows that good things can come in small packages, particularly when you are on the lookout for new market opportunities.

With a more-than-commanding grip on the enterprise networking market -- where Cisco flaunts No. 1 rankings across a variety of technologies"the bellwether company's president and CEO is ramping up efforts to make the outfit as dominant a player in the small- and midsize-business market as it is in the enterprise.

Since Cisco's SMB business is 100 percent channel-driven, its invigorated SMB push should help solution providers increase sales and develop closer ties with the company as it rolls out new products, partner programs, service offerings and a reorganized sales team that will soon include dedicated SMB personnel.

"I believe we will get more business as a result of the changes," said Raymond Benoit, president of RTM Communications, a solution provider in Merrimack, N.H. "Will it be 10 percent more? Fifteen percent? I don't know, but it will have a positive effect on SMB [customers'] perception of Cisco," he said.

No stranger to the SMB space, which Cisco defines as customers with 20 to 1,000 users, the vendor already lays claim to a significant share of the market, citing an amalgamation of analysts' research. In Chambers' view, that's just the jumping-off point.

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