In a first of its kind, Pacific Internet has partnered with Cisco to supply SMBs with managed end-to-end IP connectivity and security.
The deal will see Pacific Internet selling Cisco's Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) to SMB customers for as little as $220 a month over a two to three year contract.
The ISP will offer Cisco 800 and 1800 series ISRs as customer premise devices, providing a range of security services with the aim of reducing the amount of work and maintenance customers have to perform.
Pacific Internet managing director Dennis Muscat said he plans to push the solution hard through the channel.
"We have over 250 active resellers and partners downstream, most of which are systems integrators that I think will find this solution very attractive," he said.
"The Cisco-based PacNet Secure Site allows SMBs to deploy a complete and simple package, delivering network security, future proofing and business grade connectivity," said Muscat. "The integrated services router-based solution also gives Pacific Internet customers the flexibility to grow their network, enabling them to roll out services such as VoIP and secure wireless access."
Muscat hopes the move will double Pacific Internet's five per cent SMB market share in the next two to three years.
"As competitors focus more on the low hanging fruit in the residential market, we will hopefully pick up more of the business customers," said Muscat
Rather than purely increasing market share though, Muscat emphasised that the move was mainly focused on the bigger picture and on filling a gap in the market place.
"Our research shows that there are some 200,000 businesses with less than 99 employees in Australia and (in trying to reduce costs) 40 percent of these SMBs are still using residential-style connections," said Muscat.
Muscat said that by removing the barrier of high set up costs, this partnership offers SMB's the same solid and secure foundation for business applications that is normally only available to enterprise customers.
Cisco Australia managing director Ross Fowler said that it was an exciting move for the SMB market, particularly as security is becoming a bigger issue.
"It is also an important move for the channel as partners can still have an integration role, but Pacific Internet will do the rest of the work."
Fowler said that this was not an exclusive partnership but that it was innovative of Pacific Internet to be the first ISP to initiate such a joint venture.