Cisco Systems Inc, Menlo Park, California has staked a claim to the European low-end router market and says it plans to own this business segment. The firm intends to create a new, high-volume, highly commoditised European market for router technology, similar in character to today’s personal computer market. According to David Allen, newly appointed director of market development, the vehicle for this initiative is Cisco’s recently launched access router family, for which the firm is looking to establish new sales channels. Allen says the access router family is targeted at more price-sensitive clients, rather than those where functionality is all. He continues that this market breaks into two segments: the existing corporate users of internetworking products which are now looking to extend their internetworks to every branch within their organisation – who will be looked after by existing channels; and the millions of much smaller organisations, probably running fewer than 10 networks all told, who are looking to exchange data electronically and who need the functionality only routers can provide to do it. This market has been held back by price, complexity and, latterly, lack of customer awareness, says Allen. But, with the cost and ‘plug-and-play’ issues resolved by the access router family, he feels that only the issue of creating awareness of a previously unrecognised need in the minds of low-end users holds the mass-market back – hence Cisco’s search for distributors. Allen’s ideal distributors will have a successful track record of supplying networking implementations, to medium-sized enterprises, solid technical support capabilities and expertise in the Novell environment. The first of these should be announced within the next fortnight. Cisco will also support the new channel with European telemarketing, direct mail and product advertising campaigns. Emphasising its commitment to the low-end, Cisco has introduced a new remote access router system that extends the enterprise network to remote sites. The Cisco 2000 is a two-port router priced from $3,200. Two versions of the 2000 are available: one with an Ethernet and a serial connection, and the other with a Token Ring and a serial connection.