Cisco and NBN Co have announced a new partner program for managed services providers (MSP) aimed at digitising Australian small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
The program, which will start in April, will reward MSPs with cash rebates for deploying bundles using Cisco and the National Broadband Network (NBN).
Announced during Cisco Live in Melbourne, the two companies will also conduct a heavy digital marketing campaign over the next three months to promote their joint services.
“[Partners] will be adequately incentivised and compensated to go after this,” Cisco vice president of Australia and New Zealand Ken Boal said. “Not everybody wakes up and wants to go after small businesses in terms of the ease and the scale.
"So we want to put some extra gold on the table in terms of cash rebates on the NBN service side and on the Cisco solutions side.
“The market is there. We will stimulate it with marketing, which will drive demand back into us. We will be looking for partners to work with.
"We want you to position [Cisco and NBN bundles] but you can work with us to create your own as long as they’re on NBN and Cisco."
The move follows Cisco’s $61 million Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program announced last week, which is aimed at funding skills development and innovation in Australian industries.
The partnership with NBN Co will be the first investment made from this fund.
“We don’t just want businesses to transition to the NBN," Boal added. "We want them to transform in the way that they work."
Describing small businesses as low-hanging fruit, NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue said partners ranging from ‘small computer shops’ to larger organisations could take part in the program.
“You have to remember that a lot of people don’t get the technology like we do,” he said. “They just want to sell stuff.
"They need help and guidance on how they set their systems up; how do they take care of security; how do they transition to NBN and also how do they buy the right suite of products to drive their business.
“When I talk to small businesses, they’re crying out for guidance on how they can use this suite of service. There’s a real opportunity here."
The announcement comes three months NBN Co first signed a strategic deal with Cisco to promote education of the SMB community through both its channel partners and distributors, Ingram Micro, Dicker Data, Westcon-Comstor and Aria Technologies.
Eleanor Dickinson attended Cisco Live in Melbourne as a guest of Cisco.