Cisco to Invest $100M to Boost Small Business Sales

By Reuters  |  Posted 2008-11-06 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Cisco announced plans to invest $100 million to help SMB sales by creating dedicated call centers to assist small businesses. Cisco also said it would create a dedicated sales group and work more closely with its routing unit Linksys to focus on small business needs.

NEW YORK, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will invest $100 million to bolster sales to small businesses, even as the U.S. network equipment maker struggles with a weaker global economy.

Cisco said on Thursday it sees an opportunity to expand sales of routers, switches, and other equipment to companies with less than 100 employees.

The announcement came a day after Cisco forecast revenue to fall 5 percent to 10 percent in the current quarter from a year earlier, reversing its previous expectation for growth. Its shares fell 1.3 percent on Thursday.

Many of Cisco's customers are telecommunications companies and big companies with large networks, but Cisco said it saw a $10 billion sales opportunity in the small-business segment.

Chief Marketing Officer Susan Bostrom said a growing number of small firms were using the Internet. "Their technological needs are going to increase," she said.

The $100 million investment will be used to set up dedicated call centers to assist small businesses, the company said, adding that it will also create a dedicated sales group and work more closely with its routing unit Linksys to focus on small business needs. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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