Cisco Expands Small Business Technology Portfolio

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

Cisco's offerings include IP phones and cameras as well as My Cisco, a personalized Web page for company partners.

Networking specialist Cisco Systems announced a slew of products and services for its small business technology portfolio, including a class of Cisco small business switches, IP phones and video monitoring software. Cisco is also making its support available across the entire small business technology portfolio and enhancing its small business product warranties, as well as simplifying its Partner Development Funds profitability program and offering a personalized workspace for partners called My Cisco.

Cisco 300 Series managed switches are energy-efficient managed switches the company said save up to 74 percent on power; feature globalization support for languages, a lifetime warranty and replacement options; and support for IPv6. The switches' list prices start at $217, depending on the model, with most models currently available.

The company also released three IP phones, supported with the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series and hosted IP telephony systems, and a new desktop administration tool, as well as HD voice (wide-band audio) across the Cisco Small Business IP Phone portfolio. The SPA 525G2 IP phone is a wireless IP phone with Mobile Link, a feature that pairs with a mobile phone to allow the transfer of calls back and forth, plus the import of contacts wirelessly. The Bluetooth-enabled IP phone also includes a USB port to charge a mobile phone.

The SPA300 Series list prices range from $83 to $125, depending on the model, while the SPA525G2 IP Phone lists at $430. The Office Manage desktop administration tool, customized by the Cisco partner, helps enable a small business office administrator or IT person to handle routine operational tasks for the Cisco Smart Business Communications System. Office Manager is a no-cost download and is available only in English, the company noted.

Cisco Advanced Video Monitoring System (AVMS) software offers monitoring and control with advanced analytics for small business video surveillance deployments of up to 64 cameras. By adding licenses, the business can detect motion; receive alerts if items appear, disappear or move; and integrate video cameras and point-of-sale equipment. The VC 220 Dome IP video camera offers enhanced ability in bright-light and low-light situations, while the VC 240 Bullet IP camera offers weatherproof casing. The monitoring system software lists starting at $1,000, while the Dome camera and the Bullet camera list at $794 and $921, respectively.

"Our reseller customers—who support a wide range of IT solutions needs among small and medium businesses nationwide—always benefit when an industry leader like Cisco introduces a new portfolio of solutions designed for the small business market," said Angela Beltz-Norrie, vice president of the Cisco Solutions Group for Tech Data. "By adding these products to their own solutions offerings, Cisco resellers will be able to provide even greater value to their SMB customers, especially in the areas of networking, collaboration and security."

Cisco is also streamlining Partner Development Fund (PDF) to four tracks instead of eight to help simplify the program for partners and implement automatic re-enrollment for eligible partners enrolled at the end of the company’s fiscal year 2010. Also, Cisco will implement a single enrollment process so that partners can enroll in either VIP or PDF, but not both. My Cisco provides access to the Cisco business applications and information that partners use most frequently, and the company has created an integrated, personalized Web page that can be customized with modules a partner selects from a new catalog to create its own My Cisco workspace.