Cisco Continues to Address the Particular Needs of SMBs, Adding D&H as Authorized U.S. Distributor
John DiLullo, VP, Worldwide Distribution, discusses the announcement and its implications for SMBs
July 11, 2005
Never before has access to the highest quality networking products and services been so important to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). In response to this evolution and as part of its continuing commitment to address the particular needs of SMBs, Cisco Systems recently added D&H Distributing to its list of authorized distributors in the United States.
The announcement follows on the heels of a series of Cisco advancements targeted at the SMB market during the past 18 months, including the introduction of 30 new SMB-focused products over a 12-month period (three times more than any other year); SMB-Select partner designation, which in less than a year has 1,200 channel partners enrolled; and SMB Support Assistant, a support services offering tailored for the SMB market.
News@Cisco spoke with John DiLullo, vice president, Worldwide Distribution at Cisco, about the D&H announcement and its implications for the SMB market.
What prompted the decision to bring on an SMB-focused distributor?
John DiLullo: The bottom line is that we're optimizing our distribution strategy. By working with a high-volume distributor that focuses on the SMB market, we're driving growth, reducing costs, increasing our share in a critical market, driving commercial revenue, reaching a wider set of resellers and improving field productivity.
The SMB market is both our fastest growing customer segment and our largest market opportunity, so in order to accelerate our growth there, we need to embrace new opportunities and build innovative new routes to market. We felt the market was being underserved and that we could gain some acceleration by adding D&H.
Several years ago we realized that it was not enough to offer SMB customers purpose-built solutions; we also had to create innovative sales and channels support offerings. This announcement is the next step in that course of action. We're very excited to have come so far so fast.
Why did Cisco select D&H, in particular?
John DiLullo: The decision to go with D&H was very clear-cut. D&H specializes in providing superior service and support to SMB-focused VARs and provides us access to thousands of resellers that are currently not served by our existing distribution network. We had also heard great things from Linksys, whose products are currently distributed by D&H.
So is this in essence a new distribution strategy for Cisco?
John DiLullo: No, we're merely optimizing and expanding our existing strategy. It's a natural progression, as our acceleration in the SMB market continues to gain traction.
We're very happy with our current distributors; D&H's market coverage simply expands our current footprint.
Does Cisco have similar plans in other geographic theaters?
John DiLullo: We're always looking at new routes to market to advance our success worldwide, but we don't have anything specific to announce right now.
Why is it important to address SMBs differently than large enterprises?
John DiLullo: We often find that SMB and commercial companies have different networking needs, different support requirements, and purchase through different channels. If we want to be successful in capturing the SMB opportunity, we need to adapt our approach to suit these customer's unique needs.
So the benefit to SMBs of this announcement is one-stop shopping for Cisco products?
John DiLullo: That's definitely part of it; but it goes much further.
Quality, feature-rich Cisco products are just one facet of the offering that this new relationship brings to SMBs. These customers require creative financing; specialized training, service and support; ease of installation and competitive pricing.
Just like our Enterprise customers, SMB companies need more than just technology; they need solutions to real-world business problems. All of our partners, including D&H, help customers realize the full potential from their investment in Cisco products.