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Cisco Small Business Partner Summit to Explore Growth Opportunities Across MEA

Riyadh, KSA, Gulftech – Cisco’s Small Business Partner Summit is taking place virtually
this week, outlining the importance and growth potential of the small business sector across the
Middle East and Africa.
Small businesses account for 44% of all IT spending and continue to outpace traditional
enterprise growth. On Tuesday 2 nd March, summit attendees will be provided with insights into
Cisco Designed – a tailor-made portfolio which delivers simple, secure and flexible products,
available at competitive price points to help small businesses to thrive.
Participants will also learn about Cisco’s Partner Programs, incentives and rewards to expand
their own business offerings, while simultaneously empowering small business customers in
their endeavors to leverage digital solutions.
“The pandemic has intensified the digital divide that was already present in the small business
market, and it is pushing companies to accelerate their digitization agendas,” said Hani Raad,
General Manager of Small Business at Cisco MEA. “Businessowners are realizing that
digitization is essential, not only to ensure continuity today, but to secure future growth and
resiliency. With our growing portfolio of software and hardware solutions for small businesses,
alongside tailored advisory, Cisco is playing a pivotal role in empowering the sector to thrive – at
times of crisis and beyond. We look forward to sharing key learnings from the past year and
exploring new growth opportunities at the Partner Summit.”
Indicating strong progress and understanding of the importance of investing in technology,
IDC’s META DX Survey notes that 60% of small and medium businesses in the region have
brought forward their digital transformation roadmaps by between 1 to 2 years. This acceleration
has led to significant growth on digital and non-digital IT spending. Cisco notes growing spend
on areas including advanced malware protection, intent-based networking and intelligent
meeting spaces.
At the Small Business Partner Summit, attendees will hear from local and global experts on
research, advisory and digital transformation services designed to navigate the following
opportunities and challenges:
Organizations are at Different Stages of their Digitization Journeys
While the Middle East and Africa as a whole has witnessed accelerated efforts to invest in
digitization, small businesses remain at varying stages of maturity and digital readiness. Early
adopters of technologies such as digital network architecture, cloud solutions, AI and machine
learning are better equipped to not only ensure continuity but also streamline operations, gain
valuable insights and thrive. Businesses with greater digital maturity are not only better
equipped to deal with cyberthreats and changing network demands, they also have a higher
rate of recovery, due to their ability to respond faster to changing market conditions.
The Potential of Technology is Commonly Understood, But Shared Challenges Remain
The pandemic heightened the fact that digitization can no longer be a choice for small
businesses, it is a necessity. The majority of small businesses in the region and worldwide have
accelerated investments in digitization in recent months. Yet, small businesses are also facing
challenges related to different working styles, ensuring employee safety and managing
cashflow. Additionally, a shortage of digital skills and talent, alongside a degree of resistance to
change and lack of budget are key challenges for small business, and some of these factors
were the case even prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Small Businesses are Investing in Similar Areas
As small businesses become increasingly reliant on digital technologies, decisionmakers are
investing in solutions which have the potential to improve outcomes for their employees and
customers alike. Over the next year, small businesses are planning to invest in cloud adoption
and cloud optimization, as well as on-premises infrastructure, including both software and
hardware. Security optimization services, enhancing customer experience and collaboration
technology and intelligent meeting spaces are some of the key areas focus areas for small
business decisionmakers today. More mature businesses are also deploying intelligent
networks which leverage AI and analytics to further drive visibility and competitiveness.
At the Cisco Small Business Partner Summit, attendees will learn how to adapt to the current
climate and futureproof their business offerings while empowering small business growth.
Following the event, all content will be made available to the public for on-demand viewing for a
period of 60 days.

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