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Cisco focuses on SMBs

CISCO HAS ANNOUNCED a US$100mn global strategic initiative focused on small business networking and communications solutions for companies with fewer than 100 employees. Cisco aims to help small businesses gain greater agility and efficiency in working with customers who are increasingly expecting to do business on the move, on the Internet and via video. According to research firm IDC, the SMB market in the Middle East will account for more than a third of all IT spending by 2011 and comprises 70 to 80 per cent of businesses in this region.

A new Cisco? Small Business Technology Group (SBTG) is being formed to develop technologies focused on six areas consistently highlighted as top priorities by small businesses for enabling business growth: connectivity, security, remote access, productivity, customer interaction and customer support. The SBTG is part of a company-wide initiative composed of sales, marketing, services and technology groups that will focus solely on the small-business segment. Samer Alkharrat, managing director of Cisco Gulf and Pakistan, said: ?The No. 1 priority for small-business owners is growing their companies, not becoming technology experts.

Small businesses learn about and implement technology in different ways than do large enterprises. In recognition, Cisco has transformed the way we communicate with small-business customers with a customised SMB-specific Website and marketing campaigns that focus increasingly on business capabilities and benefits of complete solutions rather than on products and technologies. ?Small businesses are the lifeblood of today?s economy and in today?s environment, it?s critical that small-business owners have a technology partner they trust .?