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Cisco Partner Ecosystem Progress

Back in March, as part of Cisco Partner Summit, I presented the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, which includes our existing channel program and our services program, and involves a much broader set of partners, such as Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), technology and consulting firms.

Since Partner Summit, my focus has been driving the growth of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem by helping partners capture opportunities related to marketing transitions, especially in the Internet of Everything (IoE) space. You’ve heard us say it numerous times, but that $19 trillion opportunity with IoE during the next ten years is there for the taking and we want to make sure our partners do not miss out on their share.

In just about seven months, we are already seeing what can be accomplished by connecting different partner types with the existing Cisco Channel. We continue to see more and more innovative solutions that truly drive the business outcomes our customers seek.

Partner Ecosystem Growth

With the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, we have seen tremendous interest from new partner types, such as ISVs and software developers. In order to continue developing that interest, and expanding our ecosystem, we have:

As we add more ecosystem partners we are really starting to see what types of business outcomes they can bring to our customers. We understand that, for our partners as well as us, it’s no longer OK to just sell a product. It’s about selling a solution, and that solution must deliver the business outcomes that promote growth and profitability. Read More »

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Six “Must-Do”s for Successful Ecosystem Marketing

Everyone is talking about it.  It’s not channel marketing, it’s not alliance marketing, it’s not product marketing.  It’s ecosystem marketing.  So what’s all the hype?

First, let’s talk about what the term “partner ecosystem” means.  A partner ecosystem is not just a list of partners.  It’s a portfolio of partners who are selected because of the value they add from one or more of these perspectives: technology, integration, influence, go-to-market, or market access. But it’s not just about Cisco, it’s about our partners and what they can gain from the relationship. It could be access to Cisco technology, association to the Cisco brand, or even access to the large sales force entrenched in IT organizations across the globe.

Ecosystem marketing seeks a difficult balance between touting the virtues of the whole ecosystem and showing the value of individual partner relationships. It’s a tightrope and often somebody feels slighted if you are not careful in your approach.

So, how do you get started and what makes for successful ecosystem marketing? Read More »

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Partner Voices: Logicalis Goes Back to School with Paradise Valley

October 20, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

Sometimes for series such as Partner Voices, I spend a lot of time planning. I will often spend a lot of time on the phone, sending emails out and generally trying to dig up the latest and greatest Cisco Partner success stories. Sometimes, though, happy accidents do happen and a great story just falls right into my lap.

A few weeks back, I was reading some “back to school” articles. Now I don’t have children, mind you. My wife and I just have our pack of dogs, but it was “back to school” time and I was sifting through a few items some friends with children had posted on Facebook. In the midst of those articles, I stumbled upon a press release from Logicalis called Back to School: Logicalis Helps IT Pros Master Video Collaboration Planning.

If you missed their release back in September, check it out. It does a good job of simplifying just why video collaboration is becoming pervasive and how it makes the world smaller for students. The release walks you through some of the planning involved in video collaboration and then invites you to learn more.

Well, my curiosity was piqued as I was sure that somewhere in there was a Partner Voices blog for Cisco. Since Logicalis is a great partner of Cisco, I reached out through some contacts and was able to talk to Brent Graves, Account Manager, Logicalis; and Lisa Dreher, VP of Marketing at Logicalis. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – October 17, 2014

October 17, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

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

My friend and colleague Lindy Bartell, was in Orlando Florida this week for the XChange event, Best of Breed (BoB) Conference. She gave us some insight on the first couple of days of the event in her blog this week. Of course at some point she had to make her way home to Oregon, so we’re filling in the rest of BoB coverage in the Weekly Rewind.

As Lindy mentioned, Steve Benvenuto, Senior Director of Cisco Channel Partner Programs, gave a presentation on how partners can enable the Internet of Everything (IoE). Steve also met with Kristen Bent of CRN and talked about forging alliances with Independent Software Vendors (ISV) who are developing apps for specific lines of business, and how those line of business apps, or vertical market apps are critical to winning in IoE.

Kristen’s article, Cisco: ISV Partnerships A Must to Seize Massive Internet of Everything Opportunity, is now available on the BoB site. It is a must read if you are interested in learning more about how partners and ISVs can drive IoE solutions.

Bernstein

J.P. Bernstein presenting at BoB

Finally, HP’s Meg Whitman kicked off the Wednesday with a Q&A session. Lindy, however, was most excited to tell me about hearing JB Bernstein’s story , the final speaker of the event. He’s the author behind the book and movie “Million Dollar Arm.”  She said he was incredibly personal, authentic and his story of creativity, resilience, and perseverance is relevant to us all.

It was an informative and exciting week for Lindy in Orlando. Feel free to let me know if there is any additional information you need from this year’s BoB event via the comments section. I’ll be sure Lindy or I get you what you need! Read More »

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Big Changes Become Big Opportunities in Branches

Mobility and cloud innovations have been happening so fast that it’s easy to overlook the place where these technologies have the most impact – the branch. As Andres Sintes mentioned in his blog on Enabling the Branch for the Mobile Cloud Era, clearly understanding both the business and technical aspects of the evolution of the WAN will enable you to uncover many new opportunities to grow your business.

About 80 percent of all network users – employees and customers alike – access applications from branch sites. With a majority of customer interactions happening in branches, they are an area of huge competitive differentiation – for Cisco Partners and our customers. Here’s why:

Business Changes

Personalization is the new mantra for all types of businesses. From retail stores to hospitals to convention centers, virtually everyone wants to use customer intelligence to deliver better experiences and more targeted offers. They’re also gathering more customer details to continually refine this process. Read More »

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