Cisco ST>RT aims to make digital transformation easy for SMBs

Credit: Katherine Welles /

Cisco today launched Cisco ST>RT (pronounced “Start”), a new initiative to help Asia’s midmarket and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to take advantage of the vast opportunities created by the region’s booming digitization by making it easier and cheaper to build their digital foundation.

Cisco says that ST>RT focuses on the midmarket/SMB sector because they are the key to ensuring that digitization spreads faster across the region. They account for almost 50% of Asia’s GDP, 70% of the total workforce, and over 90% of total enterprises. They are also a huge source of competition and innovation, have a much wider geographic footprint than large enterprises, and provide better income distribution.

However, many SMBs face common challenges in seizing the opportunities provided by digitization – the biggest being access to (and financing of) the latest technologies.

Cisco ST>RT aims to make it easy for SMBs and midmarket businesses to embrace digitization by providing them with access to a suite of simple, secure and smart enterprise-class technologies, specifically tailored to their needs.

More specifically, in bullet points, Cisco ST>RT provides:

  • The right-sized, right-priced solutions wherever they are on their digital journey
  • Enhanced operations, services and processes to reduce overheads and TCO
  • Improved workforce productivity and innovation to meet the increased demands of today and the 
evolving opportunities of tomorrow.

“We are making Cisco technology available to all,” declared Dave West, Cisco’s Vice President for Architectures, Asia-Pacific & Japan. “SMBs and midmarket businesses now have easier access to the same quality, reliability and security we provide to our enterprise customers. Technology should empower, not hinder.”

The full portfolio comprises a number of Cisco’s existing switching, routing, wireless and network management products and solutions, as well as unified communications, unified computing servers, and its security product range.

Two new elements introduced under the ST>RT initiative are the new Find IT Network Manager and the Cisco Catalyst 2960-L switch.

The Find IT Network Manager provides the information and visibility needed to oversee, manage, and troubleshoot the network, and incorporates it into a dashboard. The user- friendly interface and configuration tools mean that setting up a wireless network takes 10 minutes; installing a switch, seven steps; adding security, nine clicks, etc.

“By providing SMBs and midmarket businesses with an easy way to manage and deploy their network and services, FindIT allows businesses to focus on innovating, growing and transforming their business rather than spending all their time troubleshooting or maintaining the IT infrastructure.” added West.

From a hardware perspective, the Cisco Catalyst 2960-L switch is the enterprise backbone that fulfils all fundamental switch operations and delivers support for enhanced mobile experiences both at the front and back end.

The 2960L has Bluetooth embedded, so that once installed, it can be configured and managed without the need to physically access the unit. The 2960L is also quieter as it has no fan (the benefit: distraction free working in space-constrained operations).

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