Cisco Targets SMBs with New Switches and Software

Products are aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses deploy converged voice, video and data networks; Cisco plans $2 billion in SMB spending.

September 27, 2004

2 Min Read
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Cisco today released a new line of switches and services for small and medium sized businesses aimed at helping companies with 100 to 1000 employees deploy converged voice, video and data networks with higher levels of resiliency, security and control.

The release is part of a continuing effort by Cisco aimed at small and medium sized businesses. Cisco officials say the company expects to target $2 billion in spending over the next two years at the market, and plans to deliver a total of 30 products for it in 2005.

The new products include:

  • Entry level versions of the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series of modular switches, including the new Supervisor II-Plus-TS that allows for integrated connectivity to servers, wireless access points, IP phones, printers or users.

  • Catalyst 4948 fixed switches optimized for server aggregation.

  • The Cisco Network Assistant, software that offers centralized management of Cisco SMB-Class networks to help simplify deployment and on-going maintenance.

The Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series SMB-optimized line cards are available now and include a 24-port 10/100 for $2,495, a 24-port 10/100 PoE for US$3,495, a 24-port 10/100/1000 PoE for $4,495 and a 6 port 10/100/1000 PoE or SFP card for $3,495. The Cisco Catalyst 4503 Supervisor II-Plus-TS cost $5,995 and will be available in October. The Cisco Catalyst 4948 is $13,495 and is available now.

The Cisco Catalyst 4948 Switch, available now, is a one-rack-unit, 48-port 10/100/1000, Layer 2/3/4 fixed switch, for low-density, multilayer aggregation of high-performance servers and workstations. It includes security features; hot-swappable dual internal power supplies and fan tray; and wire-speed, low-latency performance for 10/100/1000 connectivity on all 48 ports, independent of security features enabled.

John McCool, Vice President and General Manager of Cisco's Gigabit Systems Business Unit, says that the products were designed for three important needs of SMBs: the need to connect not just with the Internet, but directly with business partners; the desire to take advantage of VoIP and connect their IP infrastructure to the public telephony network; and the need to create a seamless networking environment across a WAN to connect branch offices and teleworkers into a single network.McCool says that small and medium sized businesses "are now adopting the same kind of high-value enterprise applications that large enterprises adopted in the 1990s. To help them take advantage of that, we've repackaged our technology, right-sized it, reduced its complexity, and made it easier to use. Small and medium-sized businesses are making technology a change agent, and we're going to help them."

Cisco, like other networking vendors, is targeting SMBs because it represents a sizable and fast-growing technology market. McCool estimates that the market for SMB networking is $10 billion today, and growing at a compound annual rate of 15 to 20 percent. Peter Alexander, Cisco Vice President for worldwide commercial marketing estimates that Cisco has 44 percent of the SMB networking market share.

"We see an opportunity for increased market share and growing it quickly, as increasingly SMBs adopt high value information technology," Alexander says.

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