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Cisco Introduces New Channel Initiatives At Partner Summit

 

The Cisco Partner Summit in San Diego has been buzzing with new developments from the company, including the release of its Global Services and Partner Plus programs, which are both designed to increase profitability among Cisco’s extensive partner networks. The annual event began April 17, 2012, and will continue until April 19.

Through the new, Global Services partner program, members will obtain access to Cisco’s smart services portfolio and be compensated for the value of services they offer customers. According to the company, services now account for approximately 50% of channel partners’ business, up from 20% five years ago. Cisco executives anticipate that this trend will accelerate due to its partner program, as well as the ability to embed Cisco smart services capabilities into partner service offerings.

“Cisco is building the IT industry’s most partner-friendly services model,” said Nick Earle, SVP of Worldwide Services Sales and Channel for Cisco in a press statement. “To do that effectively, we need to be clear, consistent and predictable in the way we approach our relationships with our channel partners. Today, we are delivering a global services program that will help partners build even more profitable business models based on Cisco smart services.”

The new program was designed to consolidate 47 programs into a consistent services business relationship for partners worldwide. Partners will be rewarded for the quality and overall value of their relationships with end-users. Rewards and compensations are evolving to a discount plus pay-for-performance rebate program. Participants also will be able to provide end-users with Cisco’s branded and collaborative portfolio of services. 

Currently, more than 4,000 partners are participating in the program across Asia Pacific, Canada, Israel and the U.S. The program is expected to expand to all Cisco partners in the next 12-18 months.

During the summit, Cisco also unveiled Partner Plus, a global channel program tailored and targeted to mid-sized customers. Participants are expected to receive improved support, and overall greater preference and investment via incremental incentives, engineering support, marketing and demand generation, sales enablement and customer intelligence.

According to Cisco, Partner Plus is a key pillar of its Partner Led strategy, which is designed to empower and reward channel partners to hone in on small and mid-sized customers. Through this approach, sales teams from Cisco and partners will be able to join forces and tackle this growing market.

“For partners that are committed to collaborating with mid-sized customers, Partner Plus will offer greater preference, investment and support,” said Andrew Sage, VP of World Wide Partner Led for Cisco. “This will help both Cisco and its partners grow their business quicker in this growing market segment.”

Other key features of the new partner program include:

  • Incentives and rebates: Partners are rewarded for acquiring new business in the mid-sized market. Incentives are provided to help fund business building activities such as marketing and sales training.
  • Access to Cisco engineers:  Partners will have instant connection to technical resources and capabilities, via Partner Help Plus. This will allow participants to increase their ability to up-sell and cross-sell, and maximize overall deal size.
  • Customer intelligence: Cisco will provide enhanced customer information so partners can reduce their total cost of sale and better target their selling efforts to help them increase their win rate.
  • Premium sales enablement: Partners will have access to Partner Sales Excellence Training to enhance sales and management skills.
  • Premium Marketing: Through co-marketing support through Cisco, partners will receive resources for partner business planning, as well as marketing curriculum, and partner marketing funding.

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About Alicia Fiorletta

Alicia Fiorletta is Senior Editor for Channel Marketer Report. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry.

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