News Release

Cisco Thinks Small

New Program Focuses on Helping Small and Growing Businesses
Apr 19, 1999

New Program Focuses on Helping Small and Growing
Businesses with Big-Time Networking and Software Solutions

COMDEX, CHICAGO, IL. -- April 19, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today unveiled a program that enables small and growing companies to grow as they want to, giving them access to the same powerful applications and network capabilities traditionally available only to much larger organizations.

Through its Resource Network for Growing Businesses, Cisco is providing simple ways for small and growing businesses (businesses with 20-100 employees) to streamline business processes and take advantage of Internet-based technologies. This initiative combines a series of marketing alliances and programs designed to offer these customers complete Internet business solutions. In support of this goal, Cisco has formed joint marketing alliances with SalesLogix, Great Plains, Netmosphere, Employease, and eCompany Network, and has introduced programs to assist resellers in more effectively serving this market.

The small and growing business market in the US and Canada represents over one million businesses with growth forecasted at over 12,000 new businesses per year. Cisco continues to expand its outreach to small and growing businesses because, although many of these firms have begun to adopt Internet technologies, many have not yet realized the full potential of the Internet. Cisco is committed to helping small and growing companies accelerate their growth and profitability while maintaining close relationships with their customers by delivering complete solutions.

Cisco leadership in internetworking solutions enables it to provide a foundation for new solutions offered by independent software vendors (ISVs) and resellers, empowering small and growing businesses to participate in the Internet economy. Integrating software solutions with the network enables Cisco and its resellers to provide small and growing companies with an end-to-end solution that is fully optimized. Customers can now rapidly deploy advanced technology to foster growth and maintain customer intimacy, avoiding lengthy, piecemeal implementations.

"The Cisco Resource Network for Growing Businesses enables small and growing businesses to fully participate in the new Internet economy," said Richard Steranka, Cisco director of marketing, small and medium business. "It also opens up the small business market for resellers, creating new avenues for increased value-added services and revenue opportunities."

Great Plains is a leading provider of business management solutions for the midmarket. Dynamics is the company's solution for small to mid-sized businesses that need comprehensive accounting, payroll and human resource functionality, unparalleled access to decision-driving information, customized reporting, and seamless integration with the Internet. Through the Cisco and Great Plains marketing alliance, businesses can compete and grow with business management solutions that leverage the Internet to extend the availability of mission-critical information across the organization and to key customers and suppliers. Small and growing businesses will be able to enhance employee productivity, invest in the Internet for growth, and take advantage of secure, high-performance solutions that are specifically designed for them. "This alliance will enable us to better serve our mutual customers," said Tom Eide, General Manager of Dynamics at Great Plains.

SalesLogix Corporation is a leading developer of sales and support automation software. Through the Cisco/SalesLogix marketing alliance, small and growing businesses will be able to leverage remote account and contact management sales automation software to increase the productivity and efficiency of their sales force, boosting revenue and reducing costs. Cisco and SalesLogix have teamed to reduce implementation time and effort for resellers and customers, making the decision to implement a logical one. "We are addressing the needs of all the sales, marketing, and support communities that comprise the 'virtual front office'," said Pat Sullivan, SalesLogix president and CEO. "This advancement enables us to better address the evolving interactive selling networks that are now driving the growth of mid-market businesses."

Netmosphere develops and markets project management solutions that provide high visibility, analysis, and performance improvements throughout the organization and beyond, including the virtual organization of outsourced resources and clients. Through the Cisco/Netmosphere marketing alliance, small and growing businesses will be able to take full advantage of software that prevents project problems by providing visibility of the up-to-the-minute schedule to everyone on a team. Teaming Cisco and Netmosphere streamlines implementation, reduces costs, and provides a complete solution for sales force automation in the small and growing business market. "We are excited about working with Cisco to bring this capability to a wider market," said Kevin Nickels, president and CEO of Netmosphere, Inc.

Employease offers affordable, Internet-based, easy-to-use, easy-to-learn, and easy-to-implement human resource and benefits applications for small and growing companies. Customers use the Employease Network, a leading Internet-based network for managing employee information, to simplify and organize their HR and benefits administration paperwork. Combining the power of Employease applications with the power of Cisco intelligent networking enables small and growing companies to fully leverage the capabilities of the Internet and optimize the efficiency of their HR and benefits functions. "Growing organizations have many of the same employee benefit administration, communication, and education needs as the Fortune 500," said Michael Seckler, president of Employease. "Our marketing alliance with Cisco exposes even more of these organizations to the power of the Employease solution."

As Web-based applications, eCompany Network solutions reduce information technology requirements while allowing small and growing companies to run powerful business applications, such as accounting and eCommerce order processing across multiple sites. "The eCompany Network fundamentally changes the way small and growing companies can achieve business process efficiencies by taking advantage of our Web-based applications services," Said Dave Larson, chief operating officer, eCompany Network. "Teaming with Cisco enables us to offer an unparalleled, end-to-end Web-based solution."

Cisco is enabling resellers to broaden their customer base by removing both time and cost from the sales cycle via a wide range of software tools, training programs, individual certification programs, and pre- and post-sales support. Resellers enrolled in the program will be well prepared to serve a rapidly growing base of small business customers. Through new marketing alliances with ISVs and through a number of new tools and programs, Cisco is working with the reseller community to reduce the time and cost of the sales cycle with powerful Internet business solutions designed specifically for this market.

Cisco is committed to continually expanding its Resource Network for Growing Businesses to include various software applications that enable small and growing companies to enter and effectively compete in the Internet economy. Ongoing announcements will expand on this initiative, detailing efforts to provide small and growing businesses with easier access to sophisticated business applications.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

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