The new offering is being rolled out in China, India, Hong Kong and South Korea, and will cover services sold to SMBs directly by Cisco or through its partners.

The scheme was earlier introduced in Australia and some other countries in the Asia Pacific region, and based on the positive feedback from these markets, it is being extended to other countries in the region, a Cisco spokesman said.

The services covered under the scheme include break-fix support, planning, installation, and management of IT infrastructure for SMB customers, G.B. Kumar, senior vice president for customer advocacy at Cisco India, told reporters Thursday at the Indian launch of the program.

In India, the interest-free program will cover services deals of at least US$50,000 a year, Kumar said.

The finance will be provided through Cisco Capital, the financing subsidiary of Cisco set up in 1996. Cisco Capital is a sales-enabling business, said Gautam Munish, vice president of Cisco Capital in India. On equipment finance, for example, it takes technology risks by offering to take back an asset from the customer if the business has outgrown the technology or the technology has become obsolete, he said.

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