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Cisco and Microsoft: Opening a World of Opportunity for Partners

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.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – July 11, 2014

July 11, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner 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

We had several guests on the Channels Blog this week, including Sherri Liebo. Sherri was back with the next post in her blog series on the Superheroes of Marketing.

This week focused on The Alchemist. Being able to blend the art of relevant storytelling with the science of planning, precise delivery and measurement makes The Alchemist capable of dramatically improving revenue generation marketing by giving you a closed loop that drives sales qualified leads and also measures how those leads perform. The Alchemist then takes those metrics and makes the next marketing mix even more effective.

Be sure to check out Sherri’s blog for and in-depth look at The Alchemist, and give her some feedback in the comments section, or via twitter (@sherriliebo). Read More »

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The Alchemist: The power to blend art with science in a way no one can ignore

July 10, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

In continuing my blog series from Marketing Velocity 2014, I am spending the next few months talking individually about the five superheroes we introduced in Chicago this year:

  • Wonder Vision – The power to see what no one yet can see
  • Alchemist – The power to blend art with science in a way no one can ignore
  • Super Voice – The power to reach millions at the same time
  • Data Man – The power to turn piles of data into competitive insights and deliver real marketing value
  • Mega Mentor – The power to get the most from others

Next up, The Alchemist!

Marketing super powers like those possessed by The Alchemist are required to keep up in our industry. With the ability to “blend art and science” you can define your strategy and objectives by aligning organizational goals and positioning your brand to aid in new customer acquisition, gain new market share and tie in directly with the revenue generation marketing goals I defined in my previous blog series. Read More »

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How Do Partners Make Money in this New Cloud World

As the world has moved to a cloud-based IT model, the rules of the game have changed. This has led to a different way of thinking for CIOs and IT managers.  Let’s face it, an IT manager doesn’t wake up and say, “I have to buy some virtualization today,” or “I have to buy a Disaster Recovery as a Service offering.”  Rather there is a comprehensive adoption lifecycle that IT managers must go through as they determine what services they need and how to migrate these services to cloud.  Within certain phases of the lifecycle, partners have sizable revenue opportunities, especially before and after the service selection phase.

Phase One: Business Model Evaluation

It starts with business drivers. Prospective cloud customers must determine what business model changes are required, the lines of business requirements that need to be considered, and what organizational changes may be necessary.  Evaluating these business and financial aspects are key to consider in their cloud migration plan.  Partners must help the customer determine what is most important in making their journey to cloud and how to build a practice around that initial phase of the cloud adoption lifecycle.  Partners’ consulting services should focus on a cloud business case justification that helps their customer understand the project plan and investment, with a 3-5 year plan and the ROI/business benefits of moving to cloud.

After going through a business case evaluation of cloud, customers must also consider their infrastructure requirements.  The infrastructure assessment should answer questions such as: how will cloud impact fixed facilities?  What will it do to mobile users?  What is the knowledge level of the business stakeholders on the applications that move across the organization?  What applications need to be enabled on the network?

In order to recognize the total cost of ownership (TCO) benefits of cloud, customers must rationalize and understand the type of workloads that need to move to public, private , or hybrid clouds, and what the network needs to look like to support those applications.  This is a ripe area for partners to generate revenues through formal cloud infrastructure assessments.   Read More »

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How Businesses Can Meet Next Generation Workforce Demands

Over the past 10 years, the consumption of technology has become more accessible than ever. The workspace has shifted from being heavily reliant on the fax machine to now allowing people to be in different parts of the world, yet flawlessly connected to their company’s network.

The result of these technological advancements – such as the growth of mobility, cloud and big data – is the evolution of the Next Generation Workforce, which has immense opportunities for businesses and interested candidates.

For example, considering that 74% of millennials want flexible work schedules, the Next Generation Workforce will seek remote collaboration more than ever before. Companies that will succeed at recruiting and retaining these candidates will be those that practice flexibility through the use of technology, while simultaneously showing employees that the work they are doing is both impactful and valuable.

Tailoring to the interests of these future candidates is an investment that companies must think about now – especially because by 2025, millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce. Employers who take new approaches to management, offering flexible benefits and providing effective employee retirement planning strategies will benefit from a three-generation workforce that is engaged, energized and experienced.

Midmarket Next Generation Workforce Blog Image

However, as the Next Generation Workforce evolves, there are certain challenges businesses must overcome to successfully excite and attract top talent. Here’s a closer look at those challenges – especially for those in the midmarket industries – and what they can do today to remain competitive and innovative in a rapidly changing landscape. Read More »

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