CISCO UNVEILS NEW SME INITIATIVE
SAN JOSE - 11/17/05 - Known in the business as "the ruler of routers and the sultan of switches," high-tech giant Cisco Systems Inc. has unveiled a new initiative to help small and medium sized companies (SMEs) with their communications needs.
Called Linksys One, the offering will combine data, Internet telephone and other services in a single platform for companies with fewer than 100 employees.
Linksys One will be priced on a per-seat basis - or about $62 per seat per month, according to a Cisco spokesman, and it will be sold through resellers and hosted by service providers, such as MCI Inc. and others.
The program is expected to be available regionally in the next few months, with full US deployment by next summer.
Linksys One is being described as Cisco's seventh "advanced technology" - a name the company applies to businesses that are expected to generate at least $1 billion in annual sales over the next five to seven years.
The others - wireless, security, home networking, optical, Internet telephony and storage - have been growing at a faster rate than Cisco's traditional business of selling routers and switches that direct traffic over the Internet and other networks.
There are more than 35 million small businesses with fewer than 100 employees worldwide, according to the research firm AMI Partners.
This year, more than $12 billion will be spent by small businesses on networking and telecommunications infrastructure - a number that is expected to grow to nearly $19 billion by 2010.
With Linksys One, SMEs will be able to add a variety of other services without having to hire a staff to manage the system. Some of the expected add-ons include e-mail, messaging, customer management, and other tools.
If the business ever needs to relocate because of disaster, everything - including speed dial numbers programmed into the Internet phones - can be quickly re-established by entering a unique code into any Linksys One equipment, the company said.
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