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Recap of Broadcast on Partner Profitability with Dave O’Callaghan

December 1, 2010
at 2:18 pm PST

Yesterday, we hosted a live video broadcast via Ustream with VP of Worldwide Commercial Sales Dave O’Callaghan—during our half-hour talk, we discussed everything from Fast Track 2 (our new Commercial sales program), to our partner-led sales strategy in Commercial sales, to what we think Dave’s new nickname should be. (Read on to find out how you can participate in the contest for a chance to win a Flip camera.)

For those of you that didn’t get a chance to tune in live, here’s a replay of our broadcast:

Want to know more about what we talked about? Here’s a recap.

Dave is the former VP of Worldwide Distribution, but now that he is in charge of Commercial sales, he is responsible for sales, strategy, and programs for the mid-size and small markets, as well as driving partner profits.

He told viewers that since he took on his new role in August, he’s been traveling around the world, visiting with hundreds of partners, and during that time, he’s learned that there is phenomenal opportunity for growth, with US$20 billion in total addressable market share up for grabs.

He also said that innovation happens in the commercial space—the key is that we always thought that the enterprise segment was the place where the big market adjacencies such as Data Center/Virtualization or Collaboration would be first adopted, but that actually, that adoption will first be in the mid-market. The talk then turned to the partner-led approach, a new approach in the mid-market and small segments, in which we are focusing all of our efforts on our partners.

We moved onto talking about the Worldwide Partner Organization, and Dave explained that with Senior VP Edison Peres as the new head of Channels, Senior VP Wendy Bahr as the new head of Global and Transformational Partnerships, and with Commercial Sales having been added in to the group, that this team will lead the strategy for the partner-led approach and help will help our partners grow their profits.

Then we discussed Fast Track 2, a commercial sales program that can be very impactful for our partners in a very short time. Dave used his experience from being a professor of marketing at Denver University to explain the four Ps of Fast Track 2:

  • product: those built specifically for the mid-market and small
  • price: Fast Track 2 has a reseller-suggested price list that lets you create a bill of materials and price for your customer in minutes
  • place: this is the marketing term for how you go-to market, and Fast Track 2 is all about going through distribution with a full inventory in the supply chain)
  • promotions: we’re doing promotions for Fast Track 2 at the end-user level, driving demand towards our partners

Give Dave a New Nickname, Win a Flip Cam

I then introduced the “nickname contest.” We used to call him “Disty Dave” when he was the VP of Distribution, but now that he’s in charge of Commercial Sales, he needs a new nickname. Got any ideas on what Dave’s new nickname should be? We’re asking viewers to vote by January 10 on one of these names--Coach Dave O, Coach, Partner’s Partner, or the Partner Professor. You can also submit a new idea for a nickname via Twitter to @daveo14. The new name will be announced on January 31, and the winner will get a Flip video camera.

Viewer Questions

After we talked about the contest, we moved on to tackling viewer questions. Here’s what Dave had to say:

Do you use social media? How do you reach out to partners?

In his travels, Dave has learned that the average age of the partner salesperson is 25-35 years old, and that the ways he’s used to communicating are not as effective for that age group. He asked partners to tweet to him how to best communicate, to find a medium that will be successful, with the ultimate goal of helping our partners be profitable.

What are you most excited about with your new role?

Dave’s happy about his new team being motivated and focused and helping partners, and they will be tweeting out new ideas to get feedback from partners.

How will you help your partners get that $US20 billion market share, and what are your top 3 priorities?

Dave said that in the partner-led sales model, our territory business managers or territory account managers are there to help partners find leads, close business and manage the funnel. Dave wants to know more about our partners: what motivates them, and what training they want. In addition, Brian Carrier will be leading an effort on Partner Relationship Management, because we want to be close with our partners. Lastly, he said the third key point is that we have been very successful in our small segment, and we can’t lose focus on that.

Why is it that innovation happens first in the commercial space?

The mid-market and small customers look at a new Cisco technology, and are quick to move on it. They have incredible trust in our partners. Our partners have on average 106 customers, and those customers trust what the partner says.

How does Cloud fit into the overall partner strategy?

Working with Edison and Wendy, Dave says that they have developed three different business models for addressing cloud with customers: you can be a cloud reseller, cloud builder, or a cloud provider. Cisco has offerings for each type of model.

What was it like transitioning from focusing on Distribution to focusing on Commercial?

Our distributors are unbelievably good at the supply chain, and Dave’s focus in Distribution was to make sure that our Distributor partners were very profitable. Now in Commercial, Dave has to now make sure that our resale partners are profitable. Working with Edison and Wendy, they look at our product offerings and the four Ps and how do we develop channel programs that are going to make these partners profitable.

As a brand new startup and registered partner, is Fast Track 2 available to us?

Dave says that if you are a registered partner, it is absolutely available and partners should just call an available distributor and get going to get the published price list.

What is the greatest benefit of a 100 percent partner-led model?

Dave said that it is leverage—we have just a few thousand sales people working worldwide on the small and mid-market, but with 290,000 partners, we want to be able to stand behind and work with partners.

How has your day-to-day life been impacted in this new role?

Dave says he’s travelling much more, and the focus is moving from the distribution supply chain to communicating with our 290,000 partners and how to help them stay profitable. Dave also revealed that when he graduated from college, he was a partner AM, and he did that job for almost 10 years, so he knows how our partners need leads, the mindshare, and the right products.

What are the biggest challenges you foresee in the commercial space in the next 12 months?

Dave said that credit throughout the world will continue to be the number one thing that we have to pay attention to. We are standing with our partners during this time of questionable credit capability. On that note, Dave ended by remarking on the importance of partnering for life.

It was certainly an informative broadcast, and covered lots of interesting ground. Got any other questions for Dave? Be sure to share in the comments.

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