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Cisco Mobility Express fills SMB gap in wireless portfolio

Cisco looks to give partners a competitive edge in the small and medium-sized business market with Cisco Mobility Express.

Today's announcement of Cisco Mobility Express, the latest addition to the vendor's wireless portfolio and one that fills a gap in that portfolio, provides Cisco partners with another Wi-Fi offering for their small and midsize business (SMB) customers.

Cisco Mobility Express, an embedded software controller, requires less than 10 minutes to deploy and manages up to 25 access points and 500 users in a single cluster, according to Cisco. The product ships with the new Cisco Aironet 1830 cost-optimized controller and existing 1850 series 802.11ac Wave 2 access points.

With 80% of Cisco's products sold through the channel, partners are the primary go-to-market strategy for the SMB-targeted Mobility Express, said John Growdon, senior director of channel business development, data center and enterprise networking, at Cisco. The top customers segments for Cisco Mobility Express are the K-12, retail and hospitality verticals, the vendor said.

Growdon admitted that Cisco is late to the game with the embedded software controller, already a competitive market, but Mobility Express rounds out the vendor's Wi-Fi portfolio and arms partners with a viable offering for SMB customers.

Additional Cisco updates

Cisco also announced two analytics tools, Presence Analytics and Social Analytics, additions to its Connected Mobile Experience (CMX 10.2) technology. CMX is a Wi-Fi product that uses Cisco's wireless infrastructure to detect and locate smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Additionally, the company is offering new partner enablement. The Cisco CCNA Wireless Certification has been updated with additional focus on cloud-managed and Unified Access wireless architectures, as well as 802.11ac access points, controllers and wireless standards. The update is available starting today.

New partner training and resources include Partner Account Manager, System Engineer and Field Engineer training available worldwide, as well as Quick Sell training and sell sheets available for distributors and direct-market resellers.

Cisco also updated its cloud-based predictive Radio Frequency (RF) Planner Tool to include the latest offerings. The partner tool helps with initial site estimates, such as the number of access points for a given environment, without requiring an on-site inspection.

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