Cisco holds back assault on SMB market

Cisco holds back assault on SMB market

Cisco Systems is content to let 3Com and others do the hard yakka in the Australian small-to-medium networking market before it moves in for the kill, local managing director Gary Jackson has claimed.

"We've been very successful in small-to-medium business, but at the high end of that space," Jackson said, speaking at the announcement of Cisco's excellent local and international fiscal year results. Small-to- medium businesses account for a growing portion of Cisco's revenue, up to 30 per cent of its local business last year.

"I'll let Gerhard [Rumpff, 3Com MD] do all the hard work and then I'll come in and take market share," Jackson boasted. "That portion of the market still needs a lot of education, but in a year and a half we'll absolutely be in that space."

The telco and ISP market also represents an increasing opportunity for Cisco, accounting for 25 per cent of its local revenue last year. Enterprise business was 45 per cent of revenue.

Overall the local operation grew its business by 70 per cent this financial year.

"We've had very good performance across the board, despite the incredible price pressures in our industry," he said.

On the international front, revenue was up by 31 per cent over the previous year, to $US8.459 billion. Net income for the year was $US1.35 billion.

Cisco aims to grow its business by 40 per cent in the coming year, Jackson said. The only way it can do that, is to continually improve its channel relations. "It's like an unfinished symphony, you never do good enough, but we will continue to strive for the respect and business of our partners," he said.

Cisco was also far less reliant on its routers, as well this year, with its switch business accounting for up to 38 per cent of last year's revenue. By next year, switching revenue will be on par with that from routing, Jackson claimed.

"We must continue to take market share in switching," he said.

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