BOSTON – Cisco Systems announced at its annual Partner Summit that they plan to double its investment in Partner-Led resources from $75 million to $150 million.
The Canadian portion of that investment has not yet been defined nor has it been allocated, said Rebecca Leach, Director of Partner Led Programs and National Direct Integrator Partners at Cisco Canada.
“Cisco is prepared to provide a significant investment for the PartnerPlus program in general and with the Partner-Led community in Canada,” she said.
Demand generation with partners will be a key focus for this increased investment that include targeted customer campaigns combined with incentives and Cisco Rewards program.
Cisco is committing to generating $1 billion in sales-qualified leads through marketing for channel partners in the company’s next fiscal year.
“New customer acquisition is a big focus for us and we want to close as many of these leads that are net-new customers to Cisco and the partner,” Leach said.
She admitted that the sheer number of leads will not be enough. Leach said that another focus will be on qualifying those leads. Cisco has developed a formula for that comprising intelligence on the right content; the right time in the buying cycle, the right technology and if there is a service integration component to the lead.
Leach said that Cisco Canada has seen the line of business manager and not the IT department manager take control of contracts lately. “Those can be different conversations than what the partner is used to. IT contracts may not be with the CIO and could be the realm of the line of business manager,” she said.
Another new piece will be Winner’s Circle that will reward an individual inside a solution provider company with exotic vacations.
Since PartnerPlus launched last year Cisco has on-boarded 88 solution providers into the program in Canada. Leach said that these partners have both Select or Premier status and Canada ranked highest in PartnerPlus support among all the Cisco regions.
These partner will be offered a new incentive piece if they meet growth targets. “What we have found is partners are using their rebate dollars on marketing campaigns and other demand generation programs instead of just putting it towards the bottom line,” Leach said.
She added that Cisco Canada does not have any goals in place to increase from the 88 partners they have today in PartnerPlus. “Those inside the group did very well so now we are looking to provide them with more tools that make them more compelling especially for the mid-market,” she said.