SMEs to get networking and connectivity solutions through Airtel-Cisco alliance

Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel and network gear maker Cisco have partnered to bring networking and connectivity solutions to SMEs in India, media reports say.

The partnership entails Airtel offering software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) services built on the Cisco-Viptela platform. This solution will have a centralised policy and a management controller for SME customers to view data flows in order to optimise them.

In a company statement, Airtel Business CEO Ajay Chitkara said that Digital India has opened up a huge residual opportunity to help SMEs in their digital transformation and achieve the next level of growth.

“We look forward to working closely with Cisco to bring best-in-class digitisation and collaboration solutions to customers and consolidate Airtel’s leadership position in the Indian B2B segment,” he added.

As part of the alliance, the central platform will help SMEs monitor and cut networking capex and lower migration issues during the transition of applications and data to the cloud. A company statement also said that Airtel will also offer the Cisco-Webex service as a one-stop destination for all conferencing and collaboration requirements of SMEs.

The alliance seeks to leverage Airtel Business’ client base of over 1,000 global enterprises, 2,000 large and 500,000 SMEs across India.

The announcement comes less than a year after the Cisco-YourStory series of events. These events drove conversation on digitisation, its relevance, and trends that SMEs need to keep a tab on as they continue to build and drive their business in an economy that is going digital faster than ever before.

The second leg of the CISCO YourStory ‘Future is Digital’ series of events in May 2018 saw entrepreneurs and founders of SMEs come together to explore and find solutions to the challenges and opportunities that came with digital transformation.