News Release

Cisco Introduces SMB Class Solutions Initiative Delivering Products, Services Tailored for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 22, 2004 - Cisco Systems, Inc.®
Apr 22, 2004

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 22, 2004 - Cisco Systems, Inc.® (NASDAQ: CSCO), today announced the launch of its SMB Class solutions initiative for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which combine Cisco products with services, financing, applications, and training. Cisco SMB Class solutions provide proven technology, implementation simplicity and comprehensive services that help SMBs build secure, reliable and flexible networks that will scale easily and cost-effectively as their companies grow.

Through its SMB Class solutions initiative, Cisco is continuing its long-standing commitment to the SMB market with a series of investments in sales programs, research and development, marketing, and service and support as part of the SMB Class solutions initiative for small and medium-sized businesses.

"Cisco is committed to helping small and medium-sized businesses become more productive, more efficient, and more effective by enabling them to maximize the return on their investment in information technology," said John Chambers, president and CEO, Cisco Systems. "It's about helping them create value that extends to their customers and, ultimately, to competitive differentiation and the bottom line. An existing $2 billion investment, which will continue over the next two years, will help strengthen our portfolio of SMB Class solutions, enhance our award-winning channel partner programs, and help build awareness about the role of networking solutions in SMB success."

"SMBs are under continuous pressure to improve their operational efficiencies in order to grow their business and become more responsive to customers," said Peter Alexander, vice president, worldwide commercial marketing segment, Cisco Systems. "When you listen to what SMBs are asking, they are not asking about technology for technology's sake, nor the newest leading edge issue, it's how can they change their underlying business process. The SMB Class solutions help level the playing field for SMBs, not just from the geographic perspective, but from a customer satisfaction and operational efficiency standpoint as well."

SMB Class solutions include Cisco solution enhancements and product packages, service, financing, training and application offerings that help SMBs simplify doing business to allow them to maintain their business agility and stay competitive.

  • Solution Enhancements - Express Setup, Smartports, Cluster Management Suite and Security Device Manager helps improve the usability of Cisco SMB Class products by enabling easy access to rich functionality, simplifying monitoring and management, and cross-launching device managers via intuitive menus.
  • Bundles - Combine integrated telephony and voice mail, enhanced routing, switching, security, and VPN with wireless connectivity at special pricing which will enhance value.
  • Services - Cisco award-winning support services help customers protect their network investment, and help enable them to accelerate their success by improving productivity, increasing operational efficiency, and extending the life of their network assets with Cisco SMARTnet support.
  • Financing - Simple one-page credit applications and quick funding, zero percent 36-month IPC leasing option and service-only financing starting at $5,000 per year for three years are now available to SMBs.
  • Training - SMB Class Solution Designer tool educates SMBs on networking and helps develop high-level, customized network designs available in 90 countries. SMB online training curricula offered via Cisco Learning Connection.
  • Applications - New Cisco IP Contact Center Express program offers an integrated, full-featured solution for managing customer voice contacts with all the benefits of Cisco IP Communications architecture. The new Cisco CRM Communications Connector provides a comprehensive communications solution by providing intelligent telephony features such as click-to-dial and screen pops on incoming calls.

"Small and medium-sized businesses are becoming more reliant on networked applications to run their fast-changing business — from managing company cash flow and performing on-line interactions, to servicing customers and scaling office sites and connecting an increasingly mobile workforce," said Helen Chan, senior analyst, Yankee Group. "For long-term survival, SMBs must be able to adjust quickly to unpredictable market conditions. They look for flexible and scalable technology solutions that meet their business requirements today and future-proof their business needs tomorrow."

Scalable Infrastructures for Convergence in the SMB Market

Cisco SMB Class solutions are a comprehensive suite of tailored intelligent networking solutions and support packages with enhanced capabilities in the areas of core routing and switching, IP communications, security, and mobility.

  • Core Routing and Switching - provides easier network manageability, better performance, better reliability, and better throughput.
  • Security - offers SMBs a way to create a secure and reliable network, protecting from both internal and external threats while ensuring properly authorized individuals can efficiently access digital resources.
  • IP Communications - allows SMBs to transition from their proprietary PBX phone systems, helping them to combine voice and data applications, save capital and operating expenditures by running all communications on the same network
  • Mobility - helps SMBs smaller, flexible workforces take advantage of the latest advances in secure wireless and mobile worker communications

"By introducing an IP contact center, we have stopped dropping or losing calls, and the functionality increase is considerable. We can now route calls right to any handset within our operations, help desk, and information services departments," said Robert Gamboa, Senior Vice President of Information Services, Cascade Bank. "We're clearly seeing improved service and response times. Using the unified messaging capability of Cisco Unity, bank employees can view voice mail in their inboxes. With the new phone system our customer satisfaction is tremendous."

Cisco Growing with Technology Awards 2004 Begins

In its ongoing commitment to the SMB market, Cisco today also announced the start of its Cisco Growing with Technology Awards 2004. Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2004. For more details, please visit


The Cisco SMB Class solutions are now available in the U.S. To learn more about Cisco SMB Class solutions, please visit