Cisco to launch services-focused channel program

SAN FRANCISCO – Following a one-on-one discussion with Karl Meulema, senior vice-president of global strategy and operations at Cisco Systems, (Nasdaq: CSCO) the executive revealed the company’s plans to introduce a services-focused channel program by the end of next year.

Edison Peres, senior vice-president of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization, said that the “everything-as-a-service” delivery approach will be a “huge area of focus for (Cisco) moving forward.”

“We’re going to empower the services business for our partners because this is where they’ll drive margins and profitability,” Peres said. “Our Cisco product and services-coverage model is partner-centric.”

In testament to its commitment to the services and partner space, Meulema revealed that the company is currently working on developing a services channel program.

“Partners are an integral component of our business because they have the local presence and the industry expertise,” Meulema explained. “We’ll be making announcements in the next 12 months about our services channel program, which will roll out in the next 18 months.”

While Meulema couldn’t go into too many specifics about the new program, he mentioned that this will be a separate program which will address both professional and technical services. The program, he says, will complement Cisco’s existing channel program and will target its existing channel partners, he added.

Cisco’s chairman and CEO, John Chambers said during a press conference that the services part of the business is one of 20 “major budget areas” that Cisco will focus its efforts on moving forward.

“Customers have told us that if they’re to standardize on us, we have to offer services,” Chambers said. “Partners also see the opportunities that services bring to their business.”

When asked about how he feels about other major vendor competitors in the market, Chambers said, “We never compete against companies. Instead, we compete on market transitions and growing our business through acquisitions. We’re also focused on helping our partners make money and we don’t force them to choose who they want to work with.”

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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