You’ve heard us say it before, there’s nothing small about the small business initiative at Cisco. Rick Moran, our WW vice president of SB Solutions Marketing, has this week been discussing our latest news with ‘connect’ and ‘secure’ products focused on Small Business with analysts from across the globe.
The launch this week is particularly exciting as it includes a expansion of the “built for small” portfolio with a range of Ethernet switches, a business-class network security Firewall as well as a backup Service for storage products and the financing offers and options for small business to go with them.
It’s an exciting time for small businesses to evaluate their needs – there are lots of challenges for growing businesses to overcome, but lots of solutions to those needs as well. And yes… cost is a major component of successfully running IT, that’s why Cisco Capital is currently offering competitive financing for small business customers so they can get the technology they need to stay competitive and profitable. Three-year, 3 percent financing in the U.S and zero-percent financing in Europe and Canada is now available to small business customers.
Of course, we’re always listening to our customers, acting on their feedback and developing new solutions that can help drive their business performance to the next level. Analyst feedback is a great prism through which we can look at the challenges, and opportunities for small businesses, and so discussions with analysts really build on this process and are an invaluable part of helping us to push ourselves and our products as far as possible.
Our latest discussions re-iterated many of the key things that matter to a small business – good value, ease of use and reliability. Small business remain hungry for advice on how they can innovate, while keeping things simple. For example, we recently ran a Talk2 Cisco webinar session on how small businesses can gain an edge on the competition. Ian Pennell, senior vice president for Cisco’s small business technology group and co-lead of Cisco’s small business council, and Andrew Sage, vice president, worldwide small business sales, enjoyed discussing many of these issues and answering small businesses’ questions on these areas. To paraphrase one of the analysts we were speaking with, ‘small can still be complex we still want quick and easy to use solutions’. Amen to that.
In case you didn’t catch it yesterday Cisco hosted a session about Small Business on Talk2Cisco a live, real-time, social, interactive, online video broadcast. Some of our SMB leaders driving the initative here shared their views, and took questions live, online all around the topic of Small Business. They tackled the question from a viewer why should small businesses even care about technology when they have a business to run, shared real life stories of small busiensses that used IT as a real business tool and, of course, gave a bit of advice on what small businesses should look for in technology as part of the session.
After jumping on two planes, and lugging along all of my video equipment, I’ve made it to Barcelona, Spain, for Partner Velocity, which is taking place this week. This annual event brings together thought leaders from across the marketing world to talk and engage with our partners, helping them learn the latest marketing tips and tricks.
Today I had the chance to host a Ustream broadcast with Scott Klososky, the former CEO of three startups. Scott filled us in on cloud computing, one of the most disruptive technologies since the advent of the Internet. Scott will be hosting a session here at Partner Velocity titled “What Is the Cloud and Why Should I Care?” With that as the jumping point for our discussion, we had a far-ranging talk on why cloud is critical right now.
Here’s a replay of the broadcast:
Want to read more about what we talked about? Read on for a recap. We also have information about our next Ustream broadcast, which is on hosting a Ustream broadcast, scheduled for tomorrow, at 11:45 a.m. CET.
The service provider (SP) industry is at an inflection point. During the past couple of years, SPs have dealt with the economic downturn by focusing the majority of their attention on cutting costs -- to the point where there’s very little left to cut. Despite continued economic uncertainty, there is a shift underway to revitalize revenue growth. SPs are eager to identify and execute on new sources of revenue growth -- however, there is also clear recognition that revenue growth cannot come at the expense of profitability. Growth under such conditions means taking advantage of market transitions as they are happening, creating new platforms for growth.
One key opportunity for SPs lies in providing a more expansive set of services to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs)—particularly leveraging cloud-based capabilities. Based on our estimates, the SMB communications and IT infrastructure market collectively represents more than $120 billion in spend for 2010. SPs currently address 60 percent of this spend. By extending into cloud services, much of the remaining 40 percent becomes addressable.
Cisco IBSG Service Provider Director, Tine Christensen, addresses this opportunity in this video:
I’m really excited about today’s small business announcement. Not just because of the initial praise that we’ve received but because our new offerings will make it even easier for our customers and partners to benefit from Cisco technologies and services.