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Happy 2012, partners! Inspired by Channel Maven’s lively list of resolutions, I began to pontificate on Cisco’s new year’s resolutions for partners this year.

1. First and foremost: profitability.

C’mon, who doesn’t want more profits in 2012? Services now represent 40-50% of Cisco channel partners business, up from 20% five years ago. Our recently created Services Rules of Engagement offers partners a definitive roadmap on how to engage with Cisco Services and maximize your Cisco services investment.

Plus profitability programs like Cisco’s Value Incentive Program (VIP) ensure that you’re rewarded for focusing your practice on Cisco’s architectures. Stay tuned for new signup periods.

Check out the full list of incentives on Partner Central.

2. Helping partners help customers become one with the cloud.

To help ensure partners have a successful Year of the Cloud, Cisco’s Cloud Partner program (with three tracks) will help you prepare for growth in cloud adoption. Combine that with CloudVerse to help you build public, private, and hybrid clouds for customers and you’ve got a winning combo. You can’t lose with the intelligence of the network, the power of the data center, and the flexibility of cloud applications.

3. Work less! Programs and services to make your job easier.

Let’s face it: we all spend way too much time working. Cisco aims to help with a slew of programs and services. There’s the Partner Advisor helpline where partners can speak to a live rep, easy-to-use apps like the Cisco Small Business Solution Builder, and handy tools like the Borderless Networks ROI calculator, to name just a few.

4. We’ll enable our partners with marketing and social media help.

If your resolutions include boosting your marketing and social media efforts, check out our resources.

5. More interactions and engagement.

Last year, we hosted a number of live video broadcasts and TweetChats with executives to provide partners a way to engage, learn, and give direct feedback to executives.

Look for more engagements and ways to talk live with Cisco’s execs as well as a host of outside industry experts. Is there an executive you’d like to chat live with or a topic you think we should cover? Let us know in the comments.

6. Streamlining our communications.

We’re looking closely at just how we communicate with partners to ensure that we’re streamlining and simplifying where possible. That’s right, every newsletter, email, community, Twitter account, and Facebook page will be scrutinized.

Suggestions? Please drop us a note in the comments. We’re listening.

7. Talent! Hiring and keeping the best in IT.

As the network continues to evolve, the demand for professionals with skills and training to manage and maintain networks will continue to grow.  Learning@Cisco aims to make it easier for employers and recruitment organizations to match the right jobs to the right Cisco certified professional. Visit this site to learn more and get access to the Cisco Partner Talent Network, white papers, and success stories.

8. Last but not least, coming out ahead while making the competition sweat.

2011 was a tumultuous year and through a number of changes at Cisco, we’ve emerged stronger. And of course, we’ll compete like never before to earn your partnership every day, to innovate, and to make sure customers are happy.

As Keith Goodwin, Senior Vice President of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization, wrote, “In business, competition makes us stronger. Through competition, we strive to create the best products for our customers, the best programs for our partners, and the best Cisco for the networking industry as a whole.”

A very happy new year to every Cisco partner. What are your resolutions for this year?

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