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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – September 4, 2015

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Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Cisco and Apple Announce Partnership

This week, at our yearly Global Sales Experience Conference (GSX) in Las Vegas, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, surprised everyone by joining John Chambers on stage to announce an exciting new partnership between Apple and Cisco.

The two companies are coming together to optimize Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps, integrating iPhones with Cisco environments and providing unique collaboration capabilities on iPhones and iPads.

Apple  Cisco Partnership

The big news expectedly created a lot of buzz, including this tweet from the Apple CEO:


Stay tuned for more details on how this will benefit our partners.  In the meantime, read what Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins had to say about combining the power of Cisco and Apple.

Karin Surber Asks if You’re Ready for a Fresh New Start

Karin always does a great job sharing sales tips and best practices for our partners. This week’s no different as she provides a clear path for partners to plan out their sales strategy for the year.

Karen lists 7 steps to optimize sales performance and achieve maximum Partner Plus incentives.  Take a moment to check out her full blog post as it’s sure to provide you with a head start for succeeding in FY16.

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Are You Ready for a Fresh New Start? Take a Step Back for Maximum Impact

As summer comes to a close, many of us have kids who are returning to school with shiny new shoes and eager smiles. After a few months off, their minds are ready for the new school year and are open to learning again. Or if you have a high-schooler like me, they may not be as eager and are counting the years until they graduate. Either way, the importance of getting a fresh new start is critical to making the most of their education.

The same is true in the business world. Most of us rush through the day, striving to finish our to-do list, rarely taking time to take a step back and get that fresh new perspective. The opportune time to do this is at the start of the new calendar or fiscal year. As Cisco dives into our new fiscal year 2016, we welcome the new and returning Partner Plus Partners into the FY16 Partner Plus program. This is an exciting time at Cisco and an excellent time for Partners to take that step back and plan out their execution strategy for the new fiscal year.

Follow these steps to optimize your sales performance and achieve maximum Partner Plus Incentive Payouts.

  • Know your quarterly Partner Plus Target. Your quarterly targets can be found in Partner Program Intelligence (PPI). In addition, your Cisco bookings for both services and products are updated daily in PPI so you can see how you are performing against that quarterly target. Make it a habit to check PPI at least 2X per week to stay on top of your bookings.
  • PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Once you know your quarterly target, build out a plan to reach your goal. Work with your Cisco PAM/VPAM to complete your Cisco Business plan. Make sure you incorporate your Partner Plus target into the plan. Strategize on how you will invest your Partner Plus wallet dollars.
  • Starting Building your Pipeline – early and often. A good rule of thumb is to have 3X your target in your pipeline at all times. So if your quarterly targets average $200K, you would want to have $600K in your pipeline of opportunities. If you have any Partner Plus wallet dollars, invest in some demand generation activities to help build a solid pipeline to ensure you meet your quarterly target.
  • Leverage “Partner Help Plus” as a consistent part of your go to market strategy. Partner Help Plus is an exclusive pre-sales engineering service for Partner Plus Partners only. The Elite level can leverage Partner Help Plus directly. Prestige and Aspire levels can access Partner Help Plus through their Cisco Authorized Distributor. Partner Help Plus level 2 and 3 engineers will solve your case with shorter turn-around times and provide exclusive services only for Partner Plus. Leverage our experts to help increase your close ratios.
  • Hone your Selling Skills. Another exclusive benefit for Partner Plus partners are access to Softskills Selling webinars. These monthly online webinars offer advice from outside consultants on a variety of topics including “Prospecting and Lead Nurturing”,” Cross Sell, Upsell & Renew”, “Closing Strategies” and much more. Look for invitations coming your way soon!
  • Use Winner’s Circle as a Motivator with your Teams. Partner Plus Partners receiving Prestige and Elite level benefits have the opportunity to earn a spot in our annual Partner Plus Winner’s Circle event. This all expense-paid trip is available to top performing Partner Sales Reps who help their company over-achieve Partner Plus targets. Winner’s Circle attendees enjoy first class accommodations at premier locations around the globe and get to network with Cisco executives and have fun while celebrating their success. Make sure your sales teams know about this amazing trip. Keep an eye out for upcoming Winner’s Circle Leaderboards to see if your company is in the running to attend!
  • Work with your Cisco Authorized Distributor to leverage their resources to further maximize results. Your distributor has a wealth of resources that you, as a Cisco partner, can leverage to increase your success in the market. By aligning with both Cisco and your Cisco distributor, you can take your business to an entirely new level.

So, with a wealth of resources and benefits, Partner Plus Partners have a competitive edge in the midmarket which can help increase sales exponentially. Make sure YOU are taking advantage of all these benefits and much more. And if you aren’t yet a Partner Plus partner and are curious how to qualify, please visit our website. Most importantly, take some time to strategize and gain a fresh perspective to maximize your results!

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – August 28, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

You might notice the Weekly Rewind this week is coming from a new author. Well that’s because I’m taking over publishing the Cisco Partner Blog. David Durham, who you’ve heard from for two years now, is moving to a different role here at Cisco, but you’ll still see him around here on the Partner Blog from time to time. Consider me your new guide to the Cisco Partner Blog. I’ll be continuing the Partner Weekly Rewind and the popular Partner Voices feature series. We may even try out some new things along the way!

I’m looking forward to working with you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via the comments section.

Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Cisco Completes Acquisition of OpenDNS

The Cisco acquisition of OpenDNS officially closed Thursday morning and Ken Trombetta stopped by the Partner Blog to tell us what this means to partners and how they can benefit.

The acquisition aligned to Cisco’s goal of developing innovative security offerings and accelerating sales for partners.  Be sure to read Ken’s blog to find out all the details of this recent news.

VersaStack expands to more applications and workloads

The IBM and Cisco integrated infrastructure solution, VersaStack, has some recent upgrades that will be of high interest to partners.  Check out IBM’s recent blog post to see why VersaStack in gaining traction amongst partners as it continues to improve.

As always, let us know what you think of the blog. Feedback from partners, especially around partner programs, is vital for Cisco to keep producing programs that work for all of us.

Good Reads

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OpenDNS Helps Partners Expand Their Security Practice and Accelerate Profitability

Frequent and major cybersecurity breaches have occurred this year, with some causing immense financial damage across many industry segments and leading to a loss of reputation and in some cases lost customers. This puts security top of mind for organizations of all sizes, and it’s definitely a number one priority for Cisco.

Today is an exciting day for Cisco and its partner ecosystem as we announce the close of the acquisition of OpenDNS, a privately held security company headquartered in San Francisco that offers advanced threat protection for any device, anywhere, anytime delivered in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. The acquisition builds on Cisco’s Security Everywhere strategy, adding broad visibility and threat intelligence. OpenDNS offers a cloud-delivered security platform that accelerates time to value, as it’s fast and easy-to-deploy. Through our integration efforts OpenDNS accelerates the delivery of the Cisco’s cloud-delivered security portfolio, strengthening our advanced threat protection capabilities.

Cisco is committed to being the security market leader, together with our partners, across all industry segments. The OpenDNS acquisition is well aligned to Cisco’s goal of developing innovative security offerings and accelerating sales for partners.  In fact, today we are announcing our first integration between the technology platforms of OpenDNS Umbrella and Cisco AMP Threat Grid.  And, we’ll announce more offers in the coming quarters that integrate OpenDNS technology into the industry’s most comprehensive security portfolio. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – August 21, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

The Value Incentive Program (VIP) is always of interest to our partners. After all it generates a lot of profit!

We were happy to hear from Robb Berger this week with the latest details on VIP 26. Want to know the key highlights for this iteration? Check out Robb’s blog and see what’s new.

As always, let us know what you think of the blog. Feedback from partners, especially around partner programs, is vital for Cisco to keep producing programs that work for all of us.

Good Reads

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