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“Wow, I had no idea Cisco had these products”

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) 

300 Series Family MR

 

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?”.

 

 

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Summary: TelePresence for SMBs: It isn’t just for the big guys anymore

If you’re in an SMB company you might think of telepresence as a tool built for enterprise, something that would be nice to have for your small business but just out of reach. You’d be wrong.

Video conferencing solutions like Telepresence and even web-based technologies like WebEx are more affordable than ever, making them a viable option for SMBs.

Read my full article for a closer look!

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Cloud and Advanced Services Are Service Providers’ Keys To Tapping the Fragmented $200 Billion Small and Medium Business Market

neerkumakevsuhBy Neeraj Kumar and Kevin Suh, Cisco Consulting Services

The small and medium sized-business (SMB) commercial-services market is important for all types of service providers (SPs). SMBs account for more than half of total U.S. commercial-services spending, according to AMR Research/Gartner. And, the portion of the U.S. SMB commercial-services market that service providers could capture is expected to grow to more than $200 billion by 2015, according to analysis by Cisco Consulting Services (CCS) and industry research analysts.

To capture this opportunity, service providers need a deeper understanding of who the SMB customers are and what they buy, as well as how they purchase these commercial services. To better understand SMBs’ detailed service delivery needs and expectations, Cisco Consulting Services (CCS), surveyed 761 U.S. SMBs with five to 1,000 employees in 2012. The study revealed that although this is a big and complex market, there are specific opportunities for SPs in cloud and advanced services.

Complex, Diverse Market, with Varying Expectations

The SMB market is complex — spanning Read More »

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Continuing Our Midmarket Momentum With Partners

Cisco Partner Summit 2013 was an amazing event this year, and as you saw throughout the week, we had lots to tell you about the huge opportunity for partners focused on the midmarket.  Partner participation was excellent both live in Boston and at Virtual Partner Summit. Together with Cisco regional leaders, we engaged with more than 1,100 partners during our VPS Dialog Sessions.

Some of the topics covered during our VPS Dialogs: Grow your Business with Cisco sessions included:

  • Midmarket opportunity: 1.4 million midsize customers, $25 billion in potential product revenue and $30 billion in potential services revenue and how Cisco is helping all of our certified partners capture this  opportunity.
  • Enhanced Training:  New SMB Specialization, SMB University and an updated Smart Business Roadmap
  • New Mobile App: Cisco Engage Mobile App designed especially for Select Partners
  • Business Focused Event Series: An opportunity for hands-on product demos and networking with peers
  • Customer Case Studies: Developed by Cisco to promote our partners successes
  • Meraki Acquisition: New cloud offering available for partners

Participating partners responded very positively to polling questions during the sessions. According to the feedback we received: Read More »

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How Are You Weathering Industry Storms? Five Ways To Help SPs Turn Disruption into Transformation

Service providers (SPs) have been wracked by wave after wave of disruption, creating new winners and losers on every front. Traditional carriers continue to look for ways to make up for lost voice revenues; over-the-top (OTT) players have redefined the ways video is delivered and consumed; exponential growth in mobile data traffic devours network capacity without creating comparable revenue; and new cloud services are transforming IT consumption and challenging old operating models. The industry is changing with whiplash speed—leaving service providers scrambling to get ahead of the next wave.

For years, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group has engaged with global and regional service providers to help them navigate and seize the opportunities afforded by industry disruptions. Now, as part of Cisco Consulting Services (CCS), we have identified key industry areas where SPs have transformative opportunities for new services, operations, and business models.

Five Areas of Opportunity for SP Growth and Transformation

Based on Cisco’s own market sensing of trends, tracking of customer behaviors and industry inflection points, and strategy engagements with leading SPs around the world, Cisco Consulting Services has developed unique expertise to help SPs address their challenges and capitalize on opportunities. We are specifically focused on transformative engagements with SPs in five key areas—helping them identify and address the strategic questions they need to answer to be successful: Read More »

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