News Release

Cisco Launches New Channel Initiative to Address The Small Business Markets

New Channel program links customers with Direct Marketing Resellers to ensure greater customer convenience
Feb 12, 2004

HONOLULU, HI, February 12, 2004 - Highlighting its continued commitment to the Small to Medium sized Business (SMB) market, Cisco Systems Inc. today launched a new initiative focused on driving business through its Direct Marketing Reseller (DMR) channel. Under the initiative, SMB customers can be linked quickly and easily with Cisco authorised resellers via a new "Buy Now" online buying option. This new route to market combines the popularity of with the convenience of ordering from direct marketing resellers, addressing the purchasing needs of today's SMB customer.

Combining traditional catalogue, telephone and online selling channels the DMR services more than 2.2 million SMBs (10-249 employees) in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. The decision to include DMRs into Cisco's channel strategy emphasises the importance of this sector. The initiative will also see Cisco offer marketing support to its strategic DMR partners for a range of low-end products, specific to the needs and requirements of the SMBs.

"Small and medium sized businesses that understand the networking products they need are looking for a simple method of ordering, via catalogues, online or over the phone," said Edzard Overbeek, VP, EMEA Commercial & Distribution Operations at Cisco Systems. "The direct marketing reseller programme will create an immediate path for these customers to order from authorised channel partners, thus making it more convenient for small business customers to engage with suppliers who are capable of meeting their needs."

"Small business customers have a unique set of purchasing needs that are not easily met by standard channel players," said Derek Lloyd, Managing Director at PCWB. "In order to succeed in today's dynamic markets, vendors need a well thought out strategy to address specific target markets as well as geographies. By opening a strategic line of promotional support for SMB-centric partners, with 'buy-ready' prospects, Cisco is moving in the right direction."

Increase Small Business Customer Satisfaction and Productivity

Cisco will provide leading DMRs (agreeing to standard terms and conditions) with support for its marketing activities as well as promotion on the pages. In the past, if a small/medium business customer wanted to purchase a product they first had to find the Cisco product that addressed their business needs and than had to go out to each direct marketing retailer to check for availability. Addressing this time consuming task, the "Buy Now" online ordering option provides the customer with one convenient location to gather product information, check product availability and make online purchases through authorised resellers, increasing customer satisfaction and productivity.

Product and Partner Selection

Although DMRs will not be restricted selling Cisco products, under the terms of the agreement customers have approximately 60 different Cisco products to choose from, including the Aironet 1100 and 1200 product families, Catalyst 2950 and 3550 product families, the Cisco 1700 product family, the 800 series and SOHO routers, the 501, 506E and 515E PIX firewalls as well as the CiscoWorks for Windows 6.1. The products available through the "Buy Now" option of will be specific to small businesses, products that may easily be deployed without systems integrators or IT managers. To learn more or to order selected Cisco products online simply go to the ordering page of or