Cisco coming on SMB and Consumer markets !

I had the chance last week to attend a Cisco training session specially adressing the Small and Medium Business market. Yes guys out there, be careful because the network giant wants to conquer the world, it’s moving, and it won’t stop there !
Although their approach still has some old relinquishments (not sure its the correct word for my feeling, so please mind my wording :-D) of their traditional approach for larger companies, their direction is pretty clear. As an example the UC500 product line directly adresses the companies with less than 50 collaborators, and embeds every functionnality needed network wise : from Routing, Wifi, Firewalling to VOIP (with all the features you would excpect from a traditional telephony solution and even more like Meet-Me conferencing that is audio conferencing). Of course the price is still a little high : 4000$ without any phones or other Wifi access point than the embedded one. For those of you worried with the configuration of the appliance, they now have a graphical configuration tool that bypasses the traditionnal IOS language… Of course you can always contact me if you need specific help 😉
Finally I had a chance to discuss over lunch the recent (actually not so recent) acquisition of Linksys. It turns out that yes the brand will soon disappear and you will see the Cisco brand up on you traditional one stop shop for computer devices like Best Buy, Fnac, Carrefour or WallMart. I’d really like to meet the marketing guru who took that decision, considering that I today don’t see how a buyer would even imagine buying a Cisco device (with the image the company today has)… and you were wondering why Cisco was sending numerous ads at 19:55 right before the evening news report !

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