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Cisco’s celebration of its year anniversary of a $100
million investment in small business
comes with some good news for

The networking giant says that it is now creating a new partner presales
technical support and new hardware advanced-replacement service designed
specifically for its reseller channel partners selling to the small business

In addition, Cisco says it is expanding its portfolio of products designed for
the small business market.

The program and updates to it are all designed to deliver the right level of
service and support to partners serving small business as well as ensuring
their Cisco sales offer strong profitability, Andrew Sage, vice president of
worldwide small business sales, tells Channel Insider.

The predesign support gives small business partners access to a team of expert
engineers focused on Cisco Small Business technology, says Sage. It’s offered
via phone or online chat in nine languages. Cisco has previously offered
similar services to partners serving larger customers, but this is the first
time it will be available to small business customers.

The Cisco Small Business Pro Rapid Replacement Service offers 4-hour hardware
replacement and 24-hour technical support for Cisco Small Business Pro
products. Sage points out that when voice goes down it’s important to get help
right away. The three-year $999 on-site service also includes software updates,
24-hour phone access to the Cisco Small
Business Support
Center and access to the Cisco
Small Business Support Community.

New products include the Cisco AP541N, an 802.11n dual-band clustering access
point for small business. On the security side, the Cisco Configuration
Assistant now enables the Cisco SPA 525G IP
Phone to receive and display live video streaming from Cisco Small Business
security cameras. VPN support for that phone now lets workers take their phone
to any broadband-enabled location and have it function as part of the overall
phone system.

And the Cisco SA 500 Series Security Appliances have gained an intrusion
protection system, the Cisco ProtectLink Gateway, which blocks attacks through
a hosted service, and Cisco ProtectLink Endpoint, which prevents users from
accessing the Internet if their systems are not up-to-date.

In addition, Cisco has updated its Smart Business Communications System with
Release 2.0, which now supports up to 100 users.

Sage points out that Cisco continues to offer zero percent financing for 36

“We are doing a lot of work to get acceptance rates up as high as possible,” he