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VersaStack Solution: Five Things Channel Partners Need to Know

Today, Cisco and IBM announced that we’re joining forces to deliver a new integrated infrastructure solution targeting big data, cloud and mobility deployments.  The VersaStack Solution by Cisco and IBM will combine Cisco’s UCS Integrated Infrastructure—comprised of the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), ACI-Ready Cisco 9000 Nexus switches, Cisco MDS switches, and Cisco UCS Director—with IBM Storwize storage systems.  Sound interesting? Here are the top five things Cisco partners need to know about VersaStack:

  • Data Center Evolution: Cloud.  Big data.  Mobility.  The Internet of Everything.  All of these macro-trends are fundamentally challenging the current IT model. Today, operations—including people, management, software, and facilities—are responsible for the greatest costs in the data center. Nearly three out of four CIOs say that it’s difficult to stay on budget and on-time due to the complexity of deploying traditional IT infrastructure.  As a result, CIOs are looking to modernize their data centers to keep pace with dynamic business priorities.  VersaStack was designed to respond to these needs.
  • Red Hot Market:  CIOs are rapidly shifting away from traditional silos towards integrated infrastructure—in which the full stack of data center technologies is combined into pre-engineered, tested, and supported system designed to operate as a whole.  IDC forecasts[1] that the integrated systems market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 33 percent over the next five years, reaching US$14 billion by 2017.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – November 26, 2014

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each 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

Since we have a short week in the United States due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, I won’t take up too much of your time today, but you should definitely check out Karin Surber’s blog from this week. Karin always has great insights into the sales force and this week is no different.

Karin was here this week to talk about “thermalizing” and “dollarizing” in order to build your protective sales bubble. Want to know what that means? Well, in short it boils down to expanding your reach within a customer account once you’ve landed a preliminary deal, but for the details that make for a top notch read, be sure to read Karin’s blog and let us know what you think! Read More »

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Thermalizing and Dollarizing: Building Your Protective Sales Bubble

Landing the first deal is just the beginning of the customer journey. Many sales professionals make the mistake of closing and immediately moving on to the next opportunity.  But once you’ve got your foot in the door of a new account, why abandon your newly found customer credibility when it can be leveraged to uncover additional business there?

Expanding your reach within an account by asking to be introduced to managers of additional lines of business is an excellent way to cultivate new opportunities and build a protective barrier against the competition, in effect “thermalizing yourself.”  Thermalizing entails asking your new customer to sponsor your introduction to other lines of business, fostering relationships with those contacts and developing opportunities for additional sales. The more entrenched you are in the customer account, the more credibility you build and less likely the competition will get their foot in the door.

Thermalizing is much more effective than cold calling net new accounts. With new accounts, you are always starting at “Square One” from a credibility perspective. In contrast, referrals from existing customers have much higher close rates, shorter sales cycles and tend to be more profitable. You add significant value to a customer when you have successful experience working with them and understand the way they do business. Customers know there will be a learning curve if they work with another vendor. So you automatically have an advantage. Learning to perfect the art of Thermalizing is key to maximizing your effectiveness as a Sales Professional. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – November 21, 2014

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each 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

This week saw the 10th annual Collaboration Summit kickoff and Richard McLeod was on hand as part of the Cisco team to participate in the event. Richard emceed the Partner Awards Ceremony on Sunday night where we honored 27 award winners in 11 different categories. Read Richard’s full recap of the awards ceremony.

Richard also posted about the announcements from Collaboration Summit and provided a summary of the new opportunities available to partners. Be sure to check out both of his posts and see what’s new in video and cloud for Cisco partners.

Partner Voices

In our latest Partner Voices blog entry, TekLinks shared how they use Cisco-powered solutions to provide data security and business continuity.

Learn how TekLinks preserved the data for the Peoples Bank of Cullman, AL when a series of tornadoes ripped away part of its data center. You’ll also get TekLink’s thoughts on ransomware. Give it a look and let us know what you think! Read More »

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Partner Voices: Cloud, Data Security, and Business Continuity with Cisco Cloud-Powered Solutions from TekLinks

Well we’re deep into football season, so I decided what better time to chat with David Powell, TekLinks Vice President of Managed & Cloud Services, than when his beloved Alabama Crimson Tide are fighting for a spot in the College Football Playoffs. (Meanwhile, my Wake Forest Demon Deacons are mired in their sixth straight losing season.)

In short, I thought a little distraction for David would be good for him, and he agreed to give me some insight into how TekLinks is ramping up data protection for their customers using Cisco Cloud-Powered Solutions.

Natural Threats

With all of the malware attacks in the world today, sometimes Mother Nature is still the biggest threat to data security. When a deadly tornado outbreak in April 2011 occurred, Peoples Bank of Cullman, AL, experienced firsthand how important it is to have a backup data center location for their core infrastructure. The TekLinks’ networking team was already watching the tornado’s activity via Skycam when they were alerted that the connectivity at all of the Peoples Banks in Cullman had gone out simultaneously.

The team’s suspicions were confirmed when they received word that the bank’s entire second floor was gone. However, the bank’s primary servers were still intact. Early the next morning, the bank’s CTO and technical staff transported the servers to one of TekLinks’ Birmingham data centers, where an entire team of TekLinks engineers were waiting to get their core servers re-cabled, properly powered up, and reconnected to the network. The TekLinks team worked around the clock with the bank’s IT staff to get the bank’s environment and online customer services back up in less than 36 hours after the incident. Read More »

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