Cisco Opens Channels Initiative for SOHO Market

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Aiming to focus more on small businesses and home office users, Cisco Systems Inc. began an initiative complete with a Web-based ordering option on Cisco.com that links customers with fewer than 50 employees with Cisco authorized online direct marketing resellers, the San Jose, CA, computer networking equipment maker said yesterday.


The new system works like this: After visiting Cisco's Web site and selecting a product, customers are asked whether they prefer to buy from a systems integrator or an online reseller. Customers selecting systems integrator are dropped into Cisco's partner locator, where they can choose a partner based on geography and specialization. If they choose online reseller, they get a choice of CDW, Insight, PC Connection and Micro Warehouse.


Customers have 45 Cisco products to choose from, including the Aironet 350 and 1200 product families, Catalyst 2950 and 3950 product families, the Cisco 1700 product family, the 805 and 806 SOHO routers, the 501, 506E and 515E PIX firewalls as well as the CiscoWorks for Windows 6.1.


Previously, if a small business or SOHO customer wanted to buy a product online, Cisco said, they first had to find the Cisco product that addressed their business needs and then had to go to each direct market retailer Web site to check for availability.


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