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Partner Summit 2012 Day Two Recap: Cisco and Partners are ‘In It to Win It’

What a way to open an event! Cisco’s 16th Partner Summit began with partners filing into a packed auditorium to the Olympics theme song holding flags from their home countries—with more than 90 countries represented here this week. This year’s theme, “In It to Win It,” was especially apt given the news announced at today’s event.

Senior VP of the Worldwide Partner Organization Keith Goodwin welcomed live and virtual attendees, and then took everyone on a trip down memory lane, sharing recollections of the first time he presented at Cisco Partner Summit on the very same stage six years prior.

In addition to Keith, CEO John Chambers, EVP/COO Gary Moore, SVP Wendy Bahr, VP Andrew Sage, SVP Edison Peres, and SVP Nick Earle all addressed the audience, talking about Cisco’s accomplishments over the past year, and goals and priorities for the year ahead.

There was also plenty of news to share, with announcements about the Cisco Services Partner Program (our biggest Services announcement in 15 years, according to CRN, Enabling Architectures Sales Excellence, the Master Cloud Builder Specialization, the Partner Plus Incentive program, and much more. In addition, Edison shared his vision around the value that partners derive from their relationship with Cisco.

After today’s keynote, we caught up with a few partners to get their thoughts on the value they see in being a Cisco partner.

Our Partner Ambassador Bloggers have also been busy sharing their thoughts about this year’s Partner Summit. Be sure to check out their blogs:

Today there were a number of big announcements, as well as key information shared around Return on Cisco and the value of partnership. Keep reading to find out what was announced today.

Return on Cisco: Maximizing Partners’ Business Value
Edison took the stage to talk to partners about the “Return on Cisco,” and his goal of moving our relationship with partners to the next level.

He noted that in his conversations with partners they consistently say they value technology innovation, our investments in practice enablement, our focus on their profitability, and our partner-centric sales and services go-to-market model, which ensures that we don’t compete with partners. He referred to these values as our Cisco Partnering Value Proposition.

Edison also discussed how Cisco will be focusing on helping partners create greater business value, noting that if you’re a private company value can be defined by what somebody is willing to pay for you. He encouraged partners to look at four key areas: operating profit, growth potential, sustainability, and business risk. Edison also shared that Cisco can proactively influence this investor’s view of partner valuation, and based on this richer context, the company is evolving its thinking and focusing on bringing more economic value to partners.

Cisco Services Partner Program
Nick announced the Cisco Services Partner Program, a global program aimed at helping partners grow both their top and bottom lines. The magic behind the Services Partner Program is the consolidation of 47 local programs into a single, globally consistent services business relationship. What does this mean? Partners will have access to Cisco’s smart-enabled portfolio to increase the value they provide to customers, enhance their own differentiation, and boost profitability.

Gary said that, “Cisco has the most partner-friendly services program in the industry.” With today’s announcement of the Services Partner Program, our partner friendliness has just been ratcheted up another notch.

Already, more than 2500 partners are participating in the program across the United States and Canada. The exciting news is that we are moving forward with a global rollout over the next 12 to 18 months, with a goal of including every partner and every geography.

Partner Plus and Partner Plus Incentive
Andrew took the stage to announce Partner Plus, a program that provides, on a global basis, greater preference, investment, and support for partners targeting the mid-market. In addition to providing qualified partners with premium marketing and enablement, Partner Plus will also provide access to customer intelligence, engineering support, and incremental incentives.

The Partner Plus Incentive, also aimed at the mid market, helps partners accelerate growth through a special rewards program. Yes, rewards! Partners who exceed revenue targets are eligible to receive reinvestment funds for growing their Cisco business in the mid market.

Enabling Architecture Sales Excellence (EASE)
Through EASE, partners have the opportunity to leverage Cisco-funded training for their sales teams to train them on how to best position and sell the value of Cisco’s Architectures.

Additional program details are available on Partner Education Connection.

Architecture Specializations
Cisco is enabling partners even more and ensuring they are properly positioned in the marketplace by announcing a new Master Cloud Builder Specialization. This new specialization rewards and recognizes partners with the greatest depth of knowledge, skill, and experience in development and deployment of data center infrastructure, virtualization, and cloud service practices with customers.

Cloud Managed Services Program
Cisco has consolidated the Cloud Provider program, Cloud Services Reseller program, and our Managed Services Channel Program into a single program. The new Cloud Managed Services Program will offer exclusive program benefits and assets to recognize our partners’ total cost of ownership (TCO) to monetize and accelerate their Managed and Cloud offers based on Cisco architectures.

New Partner Logos
To ensure partner logos are recognizable and part of Cisco’s brand, we announced new logos for Cisco’s entire partner ecosystem. These logos help partners more effectively represent, leverage, and extend the Cisco brand to their customers.

For more information about our partner logos, or for any information about our logo program, please visit the Cisco Brand Center, Logo Program page.

Audit Simplification and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
Cisco has simplified CSAT survey requirements for VIP 19. Cisco Gold, Silver, and Premier Certified Partners will be able to reduce duplication of effort for Cisco CSAT, making it easier to predict qualification for VIP payments. New “Focused Audits” also are being implemented, cutting back the length of the audit process by about 50 percent. (Future audits will only focus on net new requirements and action items from previous audits.)

Cisco Commerce Workspace Tool Retirement (CCW)
The ease of doing business theme continues as Cisco announced the retirement of the Ordering Tool, along with other commerce tools, in August 2013. Functions of these tools are being integrated into Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW) for a simplified, integrated buying and selling experience, making it easier for partners and distributors to register deals, configure, quote, and order products and services in a single unified workspace.

Cisco Partners are Social – Top Tweets Today
Our partners have been tweeting up a storm! Be sure to include the #ciscops12 hash tag and your tweets may be featured in an upcoming blog. Here are some of our favorites:

  • @ggroogle: Embed Cisco Jabber into _any_ web app through open APIs. Cisco showing how it’s done. True ANYWHERE collaboration. #CiscoPS12
  • @force3: A very lucky @force3 getting to meet #johnchambers at #Ciscops12 @Cisco_Channels http://t.co/aPjkIGTA
  • @danielnewmanUV: Loved the keynote from John Chambers @ciscosystems #ciscops12 -- #Cisco is changing the world and how we embrace technology
  • @nexusisinc: #NexusISInc is in it to WIN it with Cisco at this week’s #ciscops12 Partner Summit in San Diego. Great content everywhere we look!

We snagged some great photos from today’s event. Check them out here and be sure to share your photos with us on Facebook. You can either post it directly to our timeline or tag us in your posts.

Share Your Favorite Partner Summit Quotes, Win an iPad
Live and virtual attendees have the chance to win one of four iPads. Simply post your favorite quote on Facebook through the suggestion box application; on Twitter tagging @Cisco_Channels #favequote; or as a comment on the Cisco Channels blog. We’ll review the submissions and select the lucky winners. (Click here for complete details and rules.)

“At Cisco, partnering isn’t something we just do, it’s what defines us,”, said Edison. Stay tuned for more news and announcements tomorrow on how Cisco’s focus on partners extends to innovation around products.

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