“There are more than 50,000 po­ten­tial SMB cus­tomer for Cisco” “Our Key fo­cus area is the smart cities” —Viv­otek

PCQuest - - PORTADA - Jy­oti Bha­gat jy­otib@cy­ber­me­

What is Cisco’s play with the SMBs in In­dia?

Cisco is fo­cused more on cus­tomers and part­ners be­cause ob­vi­ously we sell ev­ery­thing through our part­ners. To­day the way we look at the mar­ket is that there are 51 mil­lions, SMBs to­day and out of which there are at least 5 mil­lion which have some level of IT propen­sity into and that’s sort of be­come our first go to cus­tomer places as oth­ers are still work­ing on their IT pen­e­tra­tion. About 38 % of the GDP comes from the mid mar­ket cus­tomers and more than 46 % comes from ex­ports. It is a very sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness for In­dia and for other SAARC coun­tries as well. To­day we do busi­ness with about 25000 to 30000 cus­tomers in this seg­ment and the big goal that we re­ally have is how we re­ally triple our cus­tomers over the next 3 years. If I fur­ther slice and dice the mar­ket, there are more than 50,000 po­ten­tial cus­tomers based on var­i­ous stud­ies. What is im­por­tant is that there are 50000 plus cus­tomers who are IT savvy and they have more than 100 to 150 em­ploy­ees.

What are the ver­ti­cals amongst SMBs in which Cisco has made its pres­ence felt?

We are present in Ed­u­ca­tion, re­tail, Man­u­fac­tur­ing, bank­ing and fi­nance and ITes or the ser­vices com­pa­nies. Th­ese 5 will be the big­gest in­dus­tries in the SMB space and will cover about 75 to 80 % of the space.

What is Cisco START and what has been its up­take in the In­dian mar­ket?

We launched a new dig­i­tal so­lu­tion of­fer­ing in In­dia and SAARC, called as Cisco START. We looked at what are the needs of start-ups and we sort of cus­tom­ized that and pack­aged that into a so­lu­tion where we will help you to get on to a net­work in a se­cured way. So se­cu­rity is built-in, the switches, routers which are re­quired are also built-in into that. The col­lab­o­ra­tion soft­ware which is re­quired is also built into that.

The other thing that we re­ally looked at was how easy it is to ap­proach and how easy it is to de­ploy. The max­i­mum clicks that you need to buy the so­lu­tion are 7 clicks. In 7 clicks you should be able to in­stall this, get dig­i­tal and within 10 min­utes you should be up and run­ning. So you don’t need to have spe­cial­ized IT peo­ple which a large or­ga­ni­za­tion has. That’s how we cus­tom­ize it. We also pack­aged it at a price point that In­dian cus­tomers are re­ally look­ing at i.e. about $ 70 per user per month for a typ­i­cal 50 user sort of or­ga­ni­za­tion.

We have seen a very good up­take of this so­lu­tion and are happy to report that we have in the last 12 months, we have al­ready sold this to 5000 plus cus­tomers in In­dia and SAARC. We keep on fine tun­ing the of­fer­ing based on cus­tomer’s feed­back that we get. It has been a suc­cess for us and we plan to triple the num­ber of cus­tomers over the next 3 years.

In which sec­tor you have seen the max­i­mum trac­tion?

This is heart­en­ing to say that we have seen adop­tion of this in very typ­i­cal In­dian man­u­fac­tur­ing houses which In­dia is known for. Sec­tors, like man­u­fac­tur­ing re­tail, have seen a huge up­take. In Ed­u­ca­tion, we are be­gin­ning to see a rise in ad­di­tion to the smaller fi­nan­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions and the ITes com­pa­nies. It is re­ally heart­en­ing to see that Bharat or­ga­ni­za­tions are be­gin­ning to adopt so­lu­tions like that.

What are the dif­fer­ent part­ner en­able­ment pro­gram and spe­cific ini­tia­tives by the com­pany?

We have the part­ner en­able­ment pro­gram where we spend lot of money, time and en­ergy and buy com­pe­ten­cies. We have brought 4 ar­chi­tec­tures – en­ter­prise net­work­ing, se­cu­rity col­lab­o­ra­tion and dat­a­cen­ter. Each one of them has a level of spe­cial­iza­tion by the part­ner sales or pre-sales per­son, with very nicely de­fined cur­ricu­lums. We run a num­ber of on­line cour­ses, num­ber of face to face train­ing pro­grams across ver­ti­cal cities and we have a cen­tral­ized team which runs that, so that the stan­dards are sort of very tightly ad­hered too. That’s a huge en­able­ment pro­gram that we run for th­ese 2500 part­ners. Th­ese are peo­ple who are re­ally help­ing us to reach out to mul­ti­ple of th­ese cus­tomers be­cause what a cus­tomer is re­ally look­ing is an easy ac­cess point near around them to be easy to use and if they need any help, they should be able to get the help ei­ther from Cisco or from the part­ners. That’s what we are do­ing on the part­ner’s side.

We have a big pro­gram called Cisco Net­work­ing Academy rolled out, where we are go­ing and ed­u­cat­ing the stu­dents in the ed­u­ca­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions so that when they come out, they are ready to de­ploy IT and any of the cus­tomers pick them up, they are ready to go and de­ploy. They also learn practical things, so we call it a net­work aca­demic pro­gram. In In­dia across 186 acad­e­mies na­tion­wide, we have trained 150,000 stu­dents since its in­cep­tion through ar­range­ments with ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, pub­lic sec­tor agen­cies, and non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions. Stu­dents get trained on a cur­ricu­lum which is pre­scribed by Cisco jointly in agree­ment with an ed­u­ca­tional de­part­ment, so that when they be­come ready, they can de­ploy th­ese sys­tems.

Do you have any Dig­i­tal mar­ket­place?

We don’t have our own dig­i­tal mar­ket place. One of our dis­trib­u­tors has launched their own dig­i­tal mar­ket place and we are sup­port­ing them and giv­ing them all the sup­port which is re­quired. When I say dig­i­tal I mean, we present dig­i­tal in ev­ery sin­gle plat­form which is a third party plat­form, you know.

The way we look at the dig­i­ti­za­tion drive is that there are two dis­tinct parts to it. Why does ev­ery cus­tomer or most of the cus­tomers want to go dig­i­tal? Be­cause ob­vi­ously they want faster go to mar­ket, they want to do bet­ter for their end cus­tomers, give them the speed, ac­cess and the fa­cil­i­ties that they are of­fer­ing. That’s why ev­ery­body is think­ing dig­i­tal, right. So on one side, we are we have made a huge in­vest­ment into what we call a dig­i­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion where we have come up with spe­cific so­lu­tions for var­i­ous in­dus­tries. We cover about 5 in­dus­tries into that.

SUDHIR NA­YAR, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor for Com­mer­cial Sales, Cisco In­dia & SAARC

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