As the product owner, one comment I get most of all is “Wow, I had no idea Cisco had these products“. This is the case even though we ship well over 20 million switch ports delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year in this portfolio – to customers in all geographies, markets, verticals, and customer types.
Which products are we talking about? It’s the Cisco SMB portfolio.
See what independent testing agency, Miercom, found when they compared Cisco 300 Series Switches (SG300) to other switches in the market from competitors -- Miercom lab test report.
Cisco was top performer in the test in Performance, Energy Efficiency, Usability, Capacity/Scale, Feature/functionality, and was the most Economical. For further dialog around this report, see the following link for more details: Competitive dialog on the Miercom test report.
Almost identical results were found when comparing the Cisco 500 Series Switches (SG500) to other Stackable switches in the market from competitors – Results from Stackable Switch Lab Test Report.
“We were impressed with the comprehensive set of features, performance, overall power efficiency, and ease-of-use of the Cisco switches”
– Rob Smithers, CEO, Miercom (Miercom report: DR120119C)
Over this last year, here’s a small sampling of additional features Cisco has added to the 300 Series portfolio in addition to what has been tested in the Miercom lab (a free software download for customers, I might add):
- Web-based Authentication - Provides network admission control through a web browser to any host devices and operating systems
- IPv6 First Hop Security – Protection against man-in-the-middle attack, malicious or rogue devices, and IP address theft
- RA Guard
- ND Inspection
- DHCPv6 Guard
- Neighbor Binding Integrity
- UDLD - detect unidirectional links caused by incorrect wiring or cable/port faults to prevent forwarding loops and black-holing of traffic in switched networks.
- Time-based POE - time-based shutdown of ports or POE for operational cost savings
Here’s a list 100+ intelligent features many/most of which are not present in the corresponding competitive products. Read it and decide for yourself: Detailed feature differentiators post.
So more features means it costs more, right? Nope. These Cisco switches are actually just as affordable—and in many/most cases, even more affordable — than Competitive switches. See for yourself. Here’s a few examples of comparable products you can look up:
- Cisco SG300-28 versus HP 2530-24G (J9776A) -- $513 versus $724
- Cisco SG300-52 versus HP 2530-48G (J9775A) -- $910 versus $1,129
- Cisco SG300-28PP versus HP 2530-24G-POE+ (J9773A) - $876 versus $1,218
- Cisco SG300-52P versus HP 2530-48G-POE+ (J9772A)- $1,232 versus $2,324
(Prices collected on CDW Website on 2/20/2014)
But don’t stop there. Have a look at the features and pricing for rest of the Cisco Small Business portfolio. You will see very similar results in other parts of the portfolio as well (For example, compare Cisco SF500 switches against HP 2620 series). By the way, these Cisco switches come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, which includes next business day (NBD) advanced replacement as part of the product – no need to purchase a separate Service contract to get this. We can only do this since we truly stand behind these products.
“Cisco has raised the bar for this product category”
Kevin Tolly, founder, The Tolly Group (See Link)
Bet you didn’t know many of these things as well. Awareness is the biggest problem for this portfolio. So, let’s change this to “Did you know Cisco had these products?”.
Tags: 300 series, 500 series, 500 series managed stackable switches, affordable, Cisco Small Business, engineering, HP, products, Proof, SG300, smb, superior, while products are more affordable
The 2013 Cisco Product Quick Reference Guide is now shipping, and you can order it right now on Cisco.com.
The 2013 guide provides an overview of the many Cisco products, services, and solutions for every part of your business. It’s all you need in one portable guide: An easy-to-use reference that includes chapters on routing, switching, wireless, collaboration, security, data center, video and broadband cable, optical networking, network management, and much more. Time-saving features include specifications, part numbers, and ordering information.
You can purchase your hard copy now at cisco.com/go/guide, and a super-convenient mobile app is coming soon.
Tags: documentation, products, reference, routing, switching
Who is running digital marketing in your company? Your company’s social media team? The web marketing team? The product marketing team? Your bloggers?
Truth is, everybody in your marketing organization should be engaged in digital marketing today; the marketing message, vision and goals of your company should be reflected in everything your employees do that is related to the product and your customer.
With that being said, wouldn’t it make sense for your marketers pertain to understand how these digital channels come to life? Wouldn’t an educated and able internal workforce help you build integrated marketing programs and break down silos?
Here at Cisco, our answer was yes. And with that the Digital Marketing Forum was born. The Forum provides a communal place where we can demonstrate, educate and enable our internal workforce to use digital marketing, while encouraging best practices and the opportunity to share learnings.
After successfully pulling off our first Forum, we want to share 10 tips which will help you plan yours:
- Get executive commitment. Work with your executive team on topics and get their support for the forum.
- Make it count. Research the groups that should be invited, gather email alias and names and send out a save the date ahead of time. Be aware of global teams and their time zones.
- Plan for success. Treat this internal event as you would any external event and plan ahead of time with firm deadlines.
- Pick one topic or message. Don’t overwhelm your audience, keep it to one simple message or topic of great importance.
- Be flexible. Have a back up plan in case a speaker or topic falls through.
- Be mindful of the event length, date and time. Try to limit your event to 2 hours maximum and pick a day and time of the week that is not crazy busy (don’t try to get people Monday morning… )
- Put on your teacher hat. How can you present your learnings and best practices so people can easily follow and remember? What worked for us was 10-minute case studies.
- Use digital channels. Make sure mobile and onsite workers can attend through online channels.
- Get an outside speaker. Share industry thoughts and knowledge from a different perspective; define topics beforehand.
- Evaluate and adjust. After the event solicit feedback trough surveys, polls, chats, comments on your community sites; ask people for ideas and new topics.
Tags: Cisco, cisco.com, education, integrated digital strategies, marketing, marketing communications, mobile, products, social, social learning, social media, social networking, training
The Global Certification Team (GCT) is proud to announce the addition of the Catalyst 6500-E to the Unified capabilities (UC) Approved Products List (APL). The Cat6K was tested as a switch in Virtual Switching System (VSS) mode with Software Release (Rel.) 15.0(1)SY1, Tracking Number (TN) 1132001, as an Assured Services Local Area Network (ASLAN) -- Layer 2/Layer 3 Access, Core, and Distribution switch. The UC APL Memo can be found here.
The Cisco® Catalyst® 6500 and 6500-E Series sets the new standard for IP Communications and application delivery in enterprise campus and service provider networks by maximizing user productivity and enhancing operational control. As the premier intelligent, multilayer modular Cisco switch, the Catalyst 6500 Series delivers secure, converged, end-to-end services, from the wiring closet to the core network, the data center, and the WAN edge.
For more information on the Catalyst 6500-E Series, please visit Cisco.com.
Tags: 6500, 6500-E, apl, approved, aslan, capabilities, catalyst, certification, certified, IOS, list, products, UC, unified, vss
They may seem simple changes, but we think some recent updates to the Products & Services page on Cisco.com will make this page easier and quicker for you to use.
Here are some of the main things we’ve improved:
- Links are more obvious. Previously, some links were hidden behind drawers. Examining the metrics — plus testing with you — convinced us to make all the links visible, which will definitely help for findability.
- Scanning the list of products is easier.
- Scanning the list of services is easier and the lists are more obvious.
- There’s a new “Key Topics” module which allows a clear navigation path to these important areas.
- Borderless Networks; Collaboration; and Data Center & Virtualization are highlighted.
- We’ve updated the “Let us Help” content to reflect all of our main contact methods so you can connect with us more easily.
- It’s easier find key links to areas like Visio stencils and EOL products. And, we’ve added a few new links places like the Developer Network Marketplace and Developer Network (Resources).
A lesson is this update is that sometimes, simpler is better. The previous design was an improvement over its earlier version, but also had some interactive elements such as switchable tabs and popup drawers; these may have been “cool” to play with, but didn’t do much to help usability or speed of navigating on the page. We’ll let you know how this new, more simple version performs.
The new page:
For comparison, the previous version:
The older one is shorter, but in the end, we find that people don’t mind scrolling or swiping a bit to get to the information they need. It’s much better to have the information visible.
Tags: products, usability