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Closing UCS Business Quick & Easy with the NEW SmartPlay Select Program

Cisco launched the original SmartPlay program in 2010. Since then our partners have seen tremendous momentum from special Unified Computing System (UCS) bundled offers. It has been the ‘go to’ program for our partners to accelerate the sales cycle into new & existing UCS accounts, and it was the catalyst for our online build and price tool that went live in 2011. Now we are continuing to evolve the program to meet the needs of the market with the new SmartPlay Select Program.

Partners spoke. We listened.

We spent a lot of time talking to partners, customers and the Cisco field teams to understand what worked and where we could improve the SmartPlay program. We heard you loud and clear that you needed more flexibility and greater partner protection in your deals.  You needed out of the box memory installs and greater quantities so you could scale.  We get it, and we are delivering.

From your feedback, we’ve made many improvements to the program:

  • The elimination of pre-configured bundles gives you the flexibility to build the perfect “Select” bundle based on your customer’s needs – now you can build-your-own-bundles
  • Partner protection was added to ALL SmartPlay Select offers via Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP), Teaming Incentive Program (TIP), and New Account Breakaway (NAB) for Cisco UCS – across all offers
  • Cisco ONE Foundation for compute included with each Server
  • Quantity limitations were greatly increased- buy up to 50 servers!
  • Memory options are now factory integrated in the SmartPlay Select server of your choice;
  • Try & Buy eligibility
  • We’ve expanded the choices of SmartNet [LINK] offerings available

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Making Bold Moves at Partner Summit 2015

‘Be Bold’ was the theme of this year’s Cisco Partner Summit in Montreal, and our keynote speakers made a compelling case for bold new approaches in a fast-evolving landscape.

From John Chambers’ arresting “Disrupt or be Disrupted” opening keynote, to Chuck Robbins’ closing session declaration that “business rules have changed” there was a clear message throughout the event: Partners need to embrace new thinking and new alliances, not just for survival, but because the rewards could be huge!

The Cisco Partner Ecosystem is truly matchless, and we’re all aligned behind a future-focused strategy.  When you bring the power of Cisco’s portfolio and traditional partner expertise together with agile, outcome-focused Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) you enable end-to-end business solutions that totally change the game.  We saw great examples of this in the Internet of Everything session and in the case studies that Denny Trevett and Beth McRae brought to life in the “Winning Together with ISVs in the Cisco Partner Ecosystem” session.

During PS15, we organised a wide range of activities and briefings to foster new connections and innovations.   Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – May 15, 2015


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

Earlier this week, Richard McLeod took a look at the collaboration offers from Partner Summit 2015. He provided everything you need to know about the latest and greatest promotions from the collaboration team. I encourage you to read his blog and let us know what you think!

Introducing Cisco Refresh

Alastair Borissow joined the Cisco Partner Blog for the first time this week. Please welcome him to our great group of bloggers.

Alastair was on hand this week to talk about the evolution of the Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment program into the new Cisco Refresh.

Reset Your Sales Focus to Gain the Biggest Returns

Long time guest blogger Karin Surber brought her expertise back to the Partner Blog this week as well. In her ongoing series on success in sales organizations, she took a look at how to re-energize your sales team and keep them on top of the latest trends.

She also included some videos that are definitely worth a quick look as they show how that approach translates into closed deals. Read More »

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Reset Your Sales Focus to Gain the Biggest Returns

Most sales professionals hit the ground running every work day, focused on meeting with customers and prospects, doing what we can to move deals forward, and completing a multitude of other tasks necessary to get the job done.  Often the weeks fly by without the chance to step back to take a breath and look at the bigger picture. But one of the most impactful things you can do for your business is to take the time to re-establish priorities and objectives for the coming year. Most larger companies have formal planning processes but smaller businesses and individuals often neglect this aspect of their business.

For most sales people, their focus and priorities are governed by their employer’s objectives. This works well for setting annual sales goals and associated job duties.  But the business climate is changing at an astoundingly fast pace. Companies and individuals who don’t keep their finger on the pulse of industry changes miss the opportunity to stay in front of the competition. This translates to lost sales and credibility gaps with customers.

Looking for ways to reenergize your sales focus and stay on top of trends? Follow these tips:

  • At least once a quarter, meet with your sales team to share insights on any new trends, concerns or opportunities you are seeing in your market over and above the day to day operational focus.
  • Make sure you subscribe to at least two trade magazines, BLOGS or RSS feeds to keep up industry changes and announcements.
  • Schedule time on your weekly calendar to actually read the magazines, BLOGS and feeds.
  • Make a mental point to share your insights with customers and business partners to heighten your credibility as a go-to expert.
  • Network with peers and new prospects on an ongoing basis. Networking is one of the most effective ways to find prospects and keep up to date with your local market.
  • Attend at least one tradeshow or industry specific training event annually to maximize your exposure and keep up with new learnings.

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Introducing “Cisco Refresh”

In 2001, Cisco Capital introduced Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment (CCRE) a program designed to sell Cisco’s high-quality refurbished products. To address the growing secondary market, and provide a price-competitive and trusted alternative in those cases when buying new equipment is not an option, Cisco Capital is evolving its CCRE program to become Cisco Refresh. Available through Cisco authorized resellers and the Cisco Commerce Workspace, products sold through Cisco Refresh are remanufactured and backed by the same Cisco warranty and service support options as if buying new. Providing a range of value-added lifecycle solutions, Cisco Refresh also introduces a new sales tool and expanded profitability opportunities for partners.

  • 1 Click Tool (1CT) availability: Now available to all partners worldwide, this tool allows easy blending of customer’s bill of materials along with a simple way of identifying the right discount required to close the deal. The tool also introduces “Watch List,” a new feature that allows partners to insert certain part numbers they are tracking, and automatically be notified when these parts become available.
  • Expanded portfolio: Approximately 500 products have been added to the Cisco Refresh portfolio providing partners with extra revenue potential and product availability. The inventory – consisting now of nearly 4,000 offerings – includes products from all technology areas, including switching, routing, wireless, IP telephony, security, and other advanced technologies.
  • Cisco Refresh Partner Incentive Program (RFIP): Partners registered in RFIP may be able to receive an additional rebate on eligible Cisco Refresh sales.
  • Distributors: Global distributors have full access to the Cisco Refresh inventory and can carry a range of products either in stock or available on request.

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