With the release of its fourth generation routers, Cisco Systems Canada will make additions to its Value Incentive (VIP) and Opportunity Incentive (OIP) programs.
Steve Simmons, vice-president of channel operations at Cisco Canada, confirmed partners and other companies who provide managed services
will now be part of the Cisco incentive programs. This will enable them to hunt for new opportunities and enjoy between five and eight per cent extra margin through the OIP program. In terms of VIP, Cisco will be working with partners in exploring new demand generation possibilities inside their own installed base. From there Cisco will provide these partners with incentives to migrate over to the new integrated services routers.
When the VIP and OIP programs were launched it did not include router products.
The new routers are targeted at SMB businesses as well as the enterprise. The Cisco 1800 Series, 2800 Series and 3800 Series will provide a long life cycle for customers, said Julie O’Brien, technology marketing manager for Cisco Systems of Santa Clara, Calif.
“”Cisco took a two-year long look at this,”” she said. From that research, the company believed a shift would happen in its customer base. “”The shift was from cost cutting to investment in productivity applications with the Internet as the key enabler. The infrastructure has to last. Today, we are looking at switches lasting four to six years, while routers lasting five to six years in SMB business and enterprise businesses,”” O’Brien added.
According to a Yankee Group study, more than 50 per cent of respondents said they wanted integrated services so that they can lower operational costs, while adding security, voice in a single converged solution.
Functions that were previously only available in a blade such as firewall, VPN, intrusion detection and IP telephony should now be integrated right in the router, the Yankee study revealed.
The longer life cycle does not necessarily mean a long sales cycle for resellers, Simmons said. He anticipates the sales cycle to be quicker depending on the customer.
Simmons believes customers today want to leverage security across the network, which is why the company released an integrated services router line that can handle voice, video and data applications. “”It should be quicker because it is an integrated technology approach if we execute properly and train the partners well,”” he said.