Bharti Airtel and CISCO ink pact to cater to B2B market

Bharti Airtel and CISCO ink pact to cater to B2B market Bangalore: Telecom leader Bharti Airtel and the American networking equipment maker Cisco today announced a strategic business alliance to create products and services for the small, medium and large enterprises.

The alliance would use the strengths of both Airtel's network service and Cisco' Internet Protocol (IP) technologies and expertise to create and sell in a phased manner a set of products and services - including managed data services, hosted unified communications and connected branch services.

The duo would appoint a team, led by Bharti's Senior Vice -President Sanjay Mittal, to develop and manage these services to fulfill needs of customers across SMBs and large enterprises, Bharti's CEO and Joint MD Manoj Kohli told reporters here.

"From the B2C market where we already have a leadership, we are shifting focus to B2B market comprising large and medium enterprises and over 6 million small and medium enterprises," he said, adding "timing of the pact is important as the Indian economy is on the threshold of a major B2B growth".

Cisco Services Chief Globalisation Officer and Executive Vice-President Wim Elfrink said "building on Indian government's commitment to rapid broadband deployment of 700 million broadband customers in next five years, we will together create and deliver transformational services for large enterprise and small and medium-sized businesses".

"With this alliance we will expand our market coverage in the rapidly growing managed services market and simplify purchase process for our mutual customers by facilitating joint sales, partner planning and customer engagements,", Kohli said.

The products and services offered by this alliance will incorporate Cisco technology with the Airtel network to target the burgeoning Indian managed service market which is expected to grow from the present USD 1.1 billion to USD 4 billion by 2013, Cisco India President and Country Manager Naresh Wadhwa said.

"We are looking at capturing a large share of this USD 4 billion market", he said.

Kholi also said: "We are looking at increasing our customers to 200 million from the present 110 million in less than three years."

Bureau Report