Cisco has put the brakes on direct sales by pausing development of its Australian online store .
Channel chief Tara Ridley told CRN that the Cisco Start marketplace has been "put on pause" since global chief operating officer Irving Tan commenced a review of the program.
Cisco launched Start in May 2018. The site targeted small and medium businesses and looked like it offered direct sales from Cisco, but was channel partners actually fulfilled orders.
Some of the early partners on board included Gcomm, Partner Wholesale Networks, JB Hi-Fi Solutions, Kytec, Computer Merchants, UComm Goup and R1i Services.
The website sold a range of products aimed at SMBs including routers and switches, access points, IP phones, telepresence sets, cloud-based applications, collaboration tools and other accessories.
Australia was used as a testbed for the model and Cisco planned global rollout.
It’s unclear whether those plans will continue in the future.
While the marketplace was intended to be part of Cisco’s recent push to win over SMBs, the company now has other plans to win business from the sector.
At Cisco Live in Melbourne this week, the vendor unveiled a new partnership with NBN Co to target SMBs that haven’t transitioned to a commercial connection on the national network.
As part of the partnership, the two organisations will create a new managed service provider program to help transition customers to the NBN, along with combined business bundles to be sold through the channel.