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Steve Simmons, VP Channel Operations, Cisco Canada

Number 12: It was another busy year for Cisco's channel man, who helped bring in many new programsrn

It is no secret that Cisco has prospered in Canada mainly due to its channel strength.

Steve Simmons, the vice-president of channel operations, has been pulling the strings for most of the company’s plans here and 2004 has been no different.

With his assistance this year Cisco

• created

a new program to add more resellers selling security solutions to small and medium businesses;

• sweetened its Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP), made significant additions to its Value Incentive (VIP) program along with OIP;

• announced the Cisco Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Communications Connector for Microsoft CRM.

In addition, Simmons was influential in helping Cisco’s channel land the Toronto Pearson airport wireless infrastructure business.

For his work realigning Cisco Canada’s channel organization and strategy around small-to-mid-size businesses, Simmons moves up one step from his position on last year’s Top Newsmakers list.

Realizing that small and mid-size businesses here spent close to $9 billion last year on IT products and services, he made sure those resellers were designated SMB Select Partners.

The program, which he said is a first, “”will provide Cisco’s channel with marketing and financial services with dedicated sales support and preferential treatment to sales leads.””

Simmons also developed direct marketing campaigns to build up the VAR base. Cisco is investing more than $2 billion over the next two years in research and development and that means more products.

In 2005, Simmons confirmed, the company is committed to releasing 30 new product solutions to the SMB market.

“”That is two to three times more than our current investment spend on products and solutions,”” he said.