Nathan Eddy

April 14, 2012

2 Min Read
Cisco Sets Sights on SMB Space with Wireless, UC Wares

A VAR’s ability to provide products and services to aid an increasingly mobile workspace is a critical component of its customer relationship, as “work from anywhere” demands grow and Wi-Fi capabilities expand. Partners of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) just got offered a slew of products and services to help their small-business customers connect in this increasingly wireless business world: The networking giant unveiled a boatload of routers, switches, wireless access points and other products aimed at SMBs.

Products range from the WAP121 and WAP321 wireless access points and RV180 and RV180W Wireless-N VPN routers to the Small Business 500 Series stackable managed switches and UC320 Unified Communications system, which supports up to 24 phones with voice mail, auto-attendant, hunt groups, call forwarding and e-mail notification of new messages.

The WAP121 and WAP321 wireless access points, priced at $173 and $310 respectively, provide customers with robust coverage to support increased productivity from devices while protecting sensitive data and offer Power over Ethernet (PoE) support.

To address SMBs’ increasing connectivity needs, Cisco has added the RV180 and RV180W Wireless-N, priced at $182 and $246 respectively, to its line of routers that are purpose-built for small businesses, boasting Gigabit Ethernet WAN technology, four-port Gigabit Ethernet and up to 10 concurrent VPN connections. The RV180W can be deployed as a router, wireless access point, bridge or repeater.

Cisco’s 500 Series stackable managed switches, which range in price from $590 to $5,556, are IPv6-compatible and offer automated management of redundant broadband connections through Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol to support the need for always-on connectivity to cloud services. Models range from 24 to 52 ports.

But that’s not all, folks! Designed for Cisco’s SPA300 and SPA500 Series phones, the WBPN Wireless-N bridge converts a wired IP desk phone into wireless IP phone, and is available for $62. Version 2.2 of Cisco’s UC320W UC system ($995) includes an integrated wireless access point, Gigabit WAN connectivity, an integrated four-port switch and an analog phone/fax port.

According to the February 2012 Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, the number of mobile-connected devices is expected to exceed the world’s population in 2012, the adoption of cloud services by SMBs is expected to hit 98 percent by 2015, and during the next two years, SMBs in the United States alone are expected to spend $50 billion on cloud services. Because the numbers come from a vendor, I take them with a grain of salt, but if they’re even half accurate, VARs should sit up and take notice of the SMB space. There’s a lot of money being left on the table.

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