Right-Sizing Technology, Cybersecurity, IoT, and New Cisco Strategy for SMB Success Previous item Podcast: A Look Back at... Next item Podcast: Moving from a...

Competing against the enterprise has long been a struggle for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Digital transformation has made it harder and required both SMBs and technology providers to do more than “paint enterprise-level programs with a different color” and call them SMB programs.

As we look back on 2019 and how the SMB market opportunity has evolved, we learn from Qube, Cisco, Cisco Meraki, and others. This roundup highlights how SMB success requires right-sizing technology, understanding cybersecurity, and adopting IoT. We also learn how Cisco and Cisco Meraki are reimagining the SMB space.

Helping SMBs Right Size Enterprise-Level Technologies to Stay Competitive in a Digital World

Every organization – no matter the size – must be prepared to compete and succeed in this digital world, according to Forbes. This requires that value-added resellers help guide their SMB customers to “right size” enterprise technology, principles, and best practices — even if they don’t have an enterprise-sized budgets — to stay competitive. According to Bobby Mueller, founder and CEO of Qube, making enterprise-level technology “right-sizable,” leverageable, and cost effective is one way that VARs can approach their customers. “The ability to right-size the solutions to a specific business and leverage more scalable elements makes it easier for a VAR to create enterprise-class capabilities that are accessible and affordable to any size organization,” Mueller said.

Read the article here.

How SMB Resellers Can Simplify IT to Ensure Security Hygiene

The Comstor Cisco Meraki program focuses on expanding the IT offerings of Value-Added Resellers (VARs) without adding in-house resources and provides VARs with tips on how to secure the IT that they do run in-house. Recently, on the Cisco Meraki blog, the relationship between IT simplification and security hygiene was discussed. From physical location safety to web credentials, security is top of mind for IT organizations – especially as news of breaches and attacks become more frequent. For organizations to reduce their cyber risk, simplicity is the best approach, and simplicity means good infrastructure. Three main areas that Cisco Meraki focuses on to promote good security hygiene through advanced infrastructure include Human Error, Automated Firmware and Patch Updates, and a Security-First Approach.

Read the article here.

Cisco SMB Partner Strategy: Don’t Call It Small

After a two-year journey back into the small business market, Cisco Systems doubled down on the strategy with a “renewed” commitment that includes branding, product, service and marketing initiatives to help partners capture the SMB market. The central rallying cry is a new “Cisco Designed for Business” brand campaign. The word “small” is noticeably and perhaps wisely absent from the campaign. After all, businesses have a common focus and pursue — i.e., profits. Moreover, small business owners don’t necessarily think small, the networking giant notes. Some familiar names are leading the SMB partner effort, including SAP, Microsoft and VMware veteran Marc Monday, global head of small business at Cisco. Andrew Sage, VP of global distribution at Cisco, is also deeply involved.

Read more here.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins on the ‘Incredibly Powerful’ DevNet Platform, SMB, and As-A-Service Opportunities

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins recently spoke with CRN about the company’s ‘heavy’ investments in artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps), its partnership with Amazon Web Services, and why DevNet and the SMB market represent huge opportunities for partners. Here’s some of what Robbins has said about Cisco’s SMB commitment: “We used to joke that we had an enterprise ‘Mini-Me’ strategy. We would take enterprise products and paint them a different color.” Today, Cisco has purpose-built solutions and has segmented customers and worked with partners to define programs, sales strategies and incentives that all line up with what’s needed in that segment. Today, the rise of SaaS applications and the ability to deliver solutions as a service certainly make it easier to service the SMB market, Robbins notes.

Read the interview here.

Small Businesses, It’s Time to Ride the IoT Wave

Over a span of years, disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, AR/VR seems to have created a huge impact on our lives. Everything seems changed right from the way we view, use, analyze and most important of all interact with these smart devices especially in the profit-spinning realm. To small businesses, IoT may sound like complicated or expensive tech at first and one that should only be inherited by giants. Today, large, small and medium-sized businesses have not just accepted, but are seen fully embracing, IoT. Small businesses should always remember that the key to any successful implementation begins with having an exact understanding of what you wish to achieve using the tech and what you will do with the data that is communicated.

IoT Business offers five tips for small businesses to incorporate the technology here.

Stay tuned as the EDGE360 editorial team continues to look back on the milestones of 2019 and forward at the predictions of 2020.  Subscribe to get the latest in your inbox or connect with us on twitter @ComstorEDGE360.