Cisco Sees Strong Demand for SaaS Solutions from SMBs and Tier 2 Cities

BENGALERU : Networking leader Cisco is seeing strong demand for its software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) in India’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as users of Internet are increasing and “just as -a-service” is gaining in popularity. Gartner predicts that more than 85% of organizations will adopt a cloud-first approach by 2025.

According to Cisco’s annual Internet Report, the Asia-Pacific region will have 3.1 billion internet users (72% of the region’s population) by 2023, up from 2.1 billion (52%) in 2018. By 2023, Asia-Pacific will have 13.5 billion networked devices. /connections, compared to 8.6 billion in 2018.

“To keep up with changing consumer needs, at Cisco we catalyze innovation in areas such as cybersecurity, collaboration, analytics, and the cloud data center. We have demand not only from large enterprises, but also from small enterprises and Tier 2 and -3 cities,” said Daisy Chittilapilly, President of Cisco India and SAARC, in an interview.

Traditional or non-digital native sectors such as manufacturing, government, healthcare, logistics, education, and agriculture are increasingly adopting technology to improve efficiency and create new value. “We’ve seen good traction for our SaaS and networking offerings in these areas,” Chittilapilly said.

Analysts believe that Indian SMEs are increasing their investment in technology through the SaaS model.

“One of the main reasons is that SMBs don’t have a large in-house IT team to manage their technology backbone and need integrated, easy-to-use solutions that SaaS delivers through opex-led models. For example, Cisco offered a suite of SMB-centric solutions through Cisco Designed, a suite of tools to help SMB customers with networking, collaboration, compute and security,” said Nitish Mittal. , Partner, Europe Technology Practice, Everest Group.

“There are huge opportunities in the SME segment, but this requires careful market selection as the market can be quite fragmented. The main challenge remains the long tail that the SME market represents, smaller deal sizes, as well as longer sales cycles to sign and onboard customers,” added Mittal.

Cisco’s competitors like Dell and HPE are also betting big on the SMB segment in India by offering bespoke solutions.

Cisco is also focused on building a strong cybersecurity portfolio as security has become a top priority for companies accelerating their digital transformation. Cyberattacks have increased nearly 500% from the pre-pandemic period to 1.15 million incidents in 2021, according to a CERT-In report.

“As the threat landscape continues to expand and become more complex, at Cisco, we have been focused on building a comprehensive portfolio that provides near foolproof, end-to-end security for newly distributed enterprises,” said Chittilapilly.

As India prepares to roll out 5G, Cisco is partnering with major telecom providers to stay ahead. Cumulatively, the economic impact of 5G is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2035 in India, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

“We believe 5G will be a key growth driver for Cisco in the low-touch economy. To accelerate the deployment of 5G, Cisco is building the Internet of the future. Our network architecture is centered around silicon, optics, software and security, powered by throughput, AI/ML, IPV6, telemetry and Industrial IoT (IIOT). We are engaged in 360-degree partnerships with all major telecommunications service providers to prepare their networks for 5G by enabling an open, intelligent and secure network platform, improving their go-to-market strategies and guaranteeing a better return on their 5G investments,” says Chittilapilly.

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