Company will deliver new networking, security solutions at Cisco Live digital event next week
The Lowdown: Cisco officials on Wednesday unveiled the new offerings in the Cisco Designed portfolio that they will talk more about at the virtual Cisco Live event, which kicks off June 2.
The Details: Cisco is looking to address a number of challenges facing SMBs at this time, with offerings around collaboration, cybersecurity, workplace monitoring for when workers begin returning to the office, cloud technology, and improving productivity and security for the office of the future.
Among the new offerings to be discussed next week:
> Webex Work: A cloud collaboration solution that includes services for meetings, calling, and messaging, all in a single subscription with flexible monthly pricing starting at $19.95 per user per month.
> Enhanced e-mail security: An offering to protect the top threat vector for all businesses, including SMBs.
> Cisco Business Dashboard: The latest version of the network management tool that includes a streamlined user interface enabling SMBs to manage the entire network with integrated lifecycle management and automated alerting.
> New business switches: Two new series of switches will be easy to set up, offer secure connectivity for both remote workers and those in the office, and include advanced security options. They also will be priced for small businesses.
> Network management in the cloud: Meraki Network Assurance will enable SMBs to monitor all aspects of their networks in the cloud from the Meraki Dashboard, including detecting and fixing issues in a matter of minutes.
The Impact: SMBs have the same challenges in the new business environment that their larger brethren do, but also have fewer resources and often turn to channel partners for help. A survey by the National Small Business Association of more than 980 small businesses in March and April found that the number of employees working remotely has doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the trend will likely continue. SMBs also are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals, making security the top issue for smaller businesses.
The Buzz: “The phrase ‘new normal’ has become the de facto motto of the global pandemic that has wreaked havoc on businesses everywhere, especially small businesses,” DD Dasgupta, vice president of product marketing at Cisco, wrote in a blog post. “While the full impact of the pandemic threatens to be long-lasting, I know that small businesses and owners will bounce back in time because they are more resourceful and resilient than perhaps the media seem to be giving them credit for right now. Yet, there is no question that small businesses will have to adapt as things they were accustomed to may be changing forever.”
“Small businesses are investing in mobility because it contributes to cost savings, increases market reach, improves productivity, and establishes better ways of working,” said Anurag Agrawal, an analyst with Techaisle. “Security remains the top constraint for accelerating remote work adoption as small businesses struggle with data protection and mobile management. The Cisco Designed portfolio of small business-focused solutions directly addresses the needs and threat vectors for secure workplaces, better collaboration, simplified manageability, and organizational productivity empowerment.”
“As a drone delivery company, our mission is to make physical access to physical goods as seamless as the Internet has made access to data,” said Paolo Resmini, vice president of engineering at Matternet. “With several stations and drones around the world, it is critical for all of them to be able to communicate reliably and securely. What we love about the Cisco Meraki solutions is the ease of deployment and seamlessly being able to secure our various IT stations. As a smaller company, Cisco Meraki allows us to have all of the greatness of an enterprise-level Internet infrastructure with minimal IT staff and management.”
“As a small business and nonprofit, we have noticed that we can be even more vulnerable to security threats compared to enterprise-level organizations. We have seen a sharp and significant increase to security threats in the last year,” said Elizabeth Whamond, director of IT at Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. “Being able to work with Cisco and our partners to easily deploy all of the necessary security solutions we need to mitigate this kind of risk has been invaluable to the team and instead allows us to focus on our mission of ensuring our community has the food they need to thrive.”
“In-person team collaboration has always been critical to giving our clients the best possible product,” said Bryan Shetsky, CEO of Lamark Media. “However, at the onset of the pandemic, we were able to move our entire company to remote in two days thanks to the secure collaboration technology we had in place and we have been even more productive as a remote workforce. With the right technology, the right security, and the right components, we have learned that we can run a very successful business even when all of our employees are remote. Cisco has been a great partner for us because they have all of the technology components you need, from collaboration to security to networking.”