Cisco’s Partner Summit 2010

Write the rules. Own the game.

Cisco held its annual Partner Summit in San Francisco last month, where the vendor introduced several new channel initiatives and programs to help its network of partners accelerate growth.

During the opening keynote speech, Keith Goodwin, senior vice-president of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization at Cisco, encouraged partners to “write the rules and own the game.”

At this time, the vendor also announced new initiatives around collaboration, video, the virtualized data centre, and the cloud.

Cisco’s new Teaming Incentive Program to fast-track growth

By: Maxine Cheung of Computer Dealer News

Are you ready for the cloud?

Cisco announced its new Teaming Incentive Program (TIP), where partners can benefit from earlier engagements with the vendor to be able to increase their sales and value-add opportunities.

Based on certain criteria determined by Cisco, if a partner is deemed eligible for the customer deal, they will receive a five-point differential discount advantage, Goodwin said.

The TIP complements Cisco’s other existing incentive programs which also include the Value Incentive Program (VIP), Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP) and the Solutions Incentive Program (SIP).

Cisco also announced a new Global Partner Network which encourages more partner-to-partner collaboration in order to meet their customers’ global business needs. Through the network, partners have the ability to act as the “host” partner in the headquarters location of a specific customer. These partners can also establish an “agency” relationship with another qualified Cisco partner or distributor to help meet the needs of their customers who may have more remote offices.

Among its key focus areas moving forward this year, Cisco executives also discussed the importance and relevance of the cloud.

Cisco and VMware team up for partner acceleration initiative

A shift in specializations

Some of the other planned enhancements include a shift in Cisco’s partner specializations.

Edison Peres, senior vice-president of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization, go-to-market group, said specializations will shift from a product and technology focus, to an architecture-based one.

While the content for these specializations will change, the way in which this information is delivered to partners will stay the same, through complimentary e-learning and/or optional instructor-led training.

By next July, all of the content as it relates to partner specializations will be around architecture.
For more on Edison Peres click here

Five technology predictions from the CTO

Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s chief technology officer, outlined her five key technology predictions that she says will help shape the way we work, live and compute in the next three to five years.

These five areas are ones partners should pay attention to as customers start to adopt and consume technology in different ways.

Here are her predictions:

1) the Internet will serve as the platform that will transform industries,

2) there will be a shift from an information-based economy to a networked-focused economy,

3) the “Next Internet” will offer more media-rich experiences with opportunities in areas such as video,

4) customers will want more collaborative experiences, made possible through collaboration tools, which also includes video,

5) customers will adopt and consume IT in different ways, both on-premise and through the cloud.

Five technology predictions from Cisco’s CTO

Market transitions

Rob Lloyd, executive vice-president of worldwide operations at Cisco, said the company will focus its efforts not on the competition, but instead on developing partner programs to support market transitions such as video, collaboration, the virtualized data centre and the cloud.

“This is where we’ll make our huge gains in the market,” Lloyd said. “When customers ask ‘Why Cisco,’ I tell them it’s because of our network-centric approach, where the network is the platform for everything we do.”

Canadian partner perspective

John Breakey, CEO of Oakville, Ont.-based systems integrator, Unis Lumin, explains that Cisco’s evolving services and specializations strategy will help his company better engage with its end-user customers.

“Forty-five per cent of our revenue comes from services,” Breakey said. “This evolution (partner specializations) is more of a process than technical and it’s about helping customers use technology, rather than just deploying it. The content is around how to deploy and sell architecture, which is something that our customers are asking for.”

New services-focused channel program

Karl Meulema, senior vice-president of global strategy and operations at Cisco, said the company plans to introduce a services-focused channel program by the end of next year.

“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.”

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.”
Cisco to launch services-focused channel program

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