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Cisco giving tech help

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By Todd Cohen

Adapting its business strategy of forming partnerships to deliver integrated technology solutions, Cisco Systems in San Jose, Calif., is teaming up with local tech-assistance groups in four regions to better serve nonprofits.

Cisco’s system-engineering managers are working on a pilot basis with tech-assistance groups in Boston, North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park area, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C., to develop plans to provide tech solutions to local nonprofits, says Bob Deutsch, Cisco’s senior community investment manager in Herndon, Va.

While local Cisco managers and the local tech groups will develop their own plans for each region, Deutsch says, consulting services provided by the tech groups might focus on needs ranging from software applications and databases to hardware, security and systems integration.

Cisco might provide advice and design services on networking issues, plus advice on using the Internet to solve business problems, he said.

The company, which also is studying other ways of working with nonprofits to better meet their tech needs, hopes to expand the tech-assistance initiative to other communities later this year, Deutsch says.

“In Cisco’s for-profit world, we work with systems integrators and develop relationships with them so Cisco’s set of components is part of an overall solution,” he says.

“Our vision is to form meaningful partnerships with technology-focused nonprofit organizations to help deliver services and functionality to the overall nonprofit community.”

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