Cisco PH launches ‘starter’ package to help SMEs undergo digitization

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

Network equipment maker Cisco has announced the rollout of its new product portfolio, Cisco Start, which targets small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines to help them in their digitization efforts and enable them to compete alongside their more established and digitally oriented counterparts.

Cisco Philippines country manager Enri Rodriguez (left) and general manager for SMB markets and distribution for Asean Bidhan Roy

Cisco Philippines country manager Enri Rodriguez (left) and general manager for SMB markets and distribution for Asean Bidhan Roy

Speaking at the launch held at the Cisco Philippines office in Taguig on October 26, Cisco Philippines country manager Enri Rodriguez explained that more millennials and digital natives are entering the workforce and they expect digital platforms and the like in the workplace.

“They also expect that they will be productive even if they’re in different locations,” he said.

Online shopping which is the current rage, is disruptive, he added, and poses a challenge to the small businessman.

“How will the SMEs now compete?” he asked. “The only way they can compete is to be in the digital world as well.”

To get their foot onto the digital space, Cisco Start is offering local SMEs with the right-sized and right-priced solutions.

Among these are connectivity solutions for simple plug and play, thus eliminating the need for physical device configurations.

Cisco Start also has a suite of collaborative solutions to enable seamless and convenient collaboration with partners, customers, and the ecosystem via voice, video, and web technologies that can work anytime and anywhere.

Also part of Cisco Start are security solutions, a complete end-to-end suite of plug and play portfolio which secures calls, networks, and endpoint devices in the face of increasing cyber threats.

These are flexible enterprise-class on-premise and cloud solutions which will enhance operations, services, and processes to reduce overheads and TCO or total cost of ownership.

Cisco Start will also improve productivity and innovation to allow an SME to keep up with current business demands as well as those of the future. In addition, it provides user-friendly dashboards to manage multiple devices.

“No one is more vulnerable to competition than a small and medium-sized business,” said Bidhan Roy, Cisco general manager for SMB markets and distribution for Asean.

According to him, it is “how nimble footed you are and how well digitized you are” that pushes you at the forefront of business.

“Forty percent of businesses today, [whether] large enterprises or SMEs, will be gone in five years if they don’t digitize,” said Rodriguez.

In the Philippines, SMEs are huge economic drivers, accounting for 95% of total enterprises, contributing up to 30% of the GDP, and employing 60% of the total workforce, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

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