The IT market is changing. Fast. As a result, customers expect their IT suppliers to offer capabilities beyond products and services, and deliver actual business outcomes.
That’s why we’re evolving the Cisco Partner Ecosystem. By expanding the breadth and depth of our partner ecosystem, our goal is to help our partners navigate these changes, achieve profitable growth and deliver the business outcomes our customers demand.
As a shining example of this strategy, Microsoft and Cisco are taking their data center alliance to a higher level. Today, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, we are jointly announcing a three-year go-to-market agreement that creates new opportunities for Cisco channel partners and Microsoft system integrators.
Through this agreement, we’re deepening our existing partnership with Microsoft and aligning our channel programs to encourage and enable solution selling in a partner-to-partner model. A key component of our joint go-to-market is the newly introduced Cisco Referral Program (CRP), which allows Microsoft systems integrators to be rewarded for their contribution to a larger Cisco + Microsoft solution sale. Learn more in this animated overview explaining the benefits of the Cisco Referral Program.
As part of this agreement, Cisco and Microsoft field sales and channel teams will work together on data center and cloud opportunities including Microsoft Private Cloud, Windows 2003 migration to Windows 2012, and SQL Server on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platform. In FY15, we will provide additional focus to our joint selling efforts in six countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia. Taking a long term view, we’ll add focus countries in the years to come, too. By investing jointly in sales, channels and marketing resources, you will see greater alignment between Cisco and Microsoft, which will result in sustainable, incremental growth for our partners.
This greater alignment between Cisco and Microsoft will set the stage for deeper technology integration. Together we will deliver an expanded portfolio of integrated solutions to help customers modernize their data centers and accelerate their transition to the cloud.
But there is no need to wait for the future to get started – as Jim McHugh notes in his blog, Cisco and Microsoft have already developed a robust portfolio of customer-ready solutions validated through the Microsoft Fast Track and Cisco Validated Design (CVD) programs. These CVDs offer prescriptive guidance that enables partners to accelerate customer deployments with lower risk. These solutions have also been pre-approved for Cisco’s Solution Incentive Program (SIP). Customer ready collateral and easy-to-consume online sales training are available at: www.cisco.com/go/microsoft
If you’re attending WPC 2014, make sure to drop by Cisco booth 801 and speak with the Cisco channel partner team about incentives and co-selling opportunities. Cisco solution experts are also on hand to answer your questions about integrated solutions including: Cisco UCS integrated infrastructures for Microsoft Private Cloud and SQL Server; Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V; Cisco PowerTool for Microsoft
PowerShell; and Cisco UCS Manager with Microsoft System Center.
The market landscape for partners is rapidly evolving. Cisco and Microsoft are strengthening our alliance to help our partners thrive in this new environment. There is a world of opportunity ahead. Join us in that journey, and in the meantime, let me know what you think in the comments section.