Cisco rolls out new services for small firms

Cisco Systems is launching a new communications system aimed specifically at smaller businesses, after years of focusing on big companies, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report said Cisco'sSmart Business Communications System product includes software to enable Internet protocol telephony, or Web-based calling, and instant messaging. It will also support wireless LAN connection and provide firewall protection, an AFP report said.

Cisco said the product is for companies with fewer than 250 employees, a market it sees as one of its strongest growth areas, and will be available from June with a US list price starting at $699 per user, the Reuters report said.

Similar communications systems sold to big companies are generally more complex as well as expensive, the report added.

The move comes amid Cisco's efforts to expand its product line and client base to keep enlarging its business, which is expected to generate revenue of around $35 billion this fiscal year, the report further said.

Better known for selling routers and network gear to big corporations and telecommunications companies, Cisco has tried in the past few years to sell a wider range of products to different kinds of customers, including consumers, it added.

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