Looking to play matchmaker to medium-size companies planning to get into e-commerce, Cisco Systems announced this week that it is partnering with a variety of vendors, resellers, and integrators to offer one-stop shopping for e-commerce suites, networking hardware, and services.
The new Cisco Resource Network for Midsized Businesses (100 to 500 employees) is an extension of Cisco's first "resource network", for companies with fewer than 100 employees, which was launched in April, a company spokeswoman said. The resource network includes referral services and two Web sites, one to bring prospective customers up to speed (www.cisco.com/go/resource) and the other to help VARs (vallue-added resellers) of applications, platforms, and networking coordinate their efforts (www.cisco.com/go/mediumbiz_register), she said.
Tying all these purchases together through the Cisco Resource Network helps companies avoid the hassle, delay, and expense of buying business applications and then realising they need bigger servers, which requires a last-minute upgrade of their networking, the spokeswoman said. For Cisco and its resellers, the combined sales channel generally leads to bigger networking sales up front, she added.
The first systems integrators in the Resource Network for Midsized Businesses are KPMG, Ernst & Young, and EDS, while the first reseller members are Arqana, Avnet Computer, N2N Solutions, and Forsythe Solutions, Cisco officials said.
IBM and Hewlett-Packard are the founding hardware members of the network. JD Edwards, Lawson, QAD, PeopleSoft, Oracle, and SDRC are the first business application partners.
Down the road, Cisco hopes to add more application partners in five specific areas: business-to-business e-commerce, manufacturing and supply chain, finances, customer relationship management, and human resources, plus more hardware vendors and VARs, the spokeswoman said.