The S of SMB is Cisco's next target

Getting the channel strategy right will be the real challenge for Cisco in the SMB arena, says one analyst

The second challenge will be selling the marketplace on Cisco (or Linksys) as an SMB player. Without the incumbency that its pervasive routers and telecom equipment gave it in the enterprise space, Arnold said Cisco is starting from scratch in a very crowded, competitive market.

"I think if that brand translates well for them they'll have an easy sell into that market," said Arnold. "But if it doesn't translate that well they really have to start from scratch and build a story that's going to work, with a strong value proposition."

While Cisco has high-end tools and technology that only appeals to a segment of the SMB market, he said. Most of the space is very value-driven, so it will take a new approach from Cisco to earn their trust.

"It's going to be a harder market to crack then the enterprise space," said Arnold."They've got to start from scratch like everybody else and earn their way in, and I think that's going to take a little longer then what they're used to doing.

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