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Partner Voices: The Power of 3: Cisco, EMC, and VCE

There’s nothing like the energy of more than 25,000 people in San Francisco talking technology over the course of three days, like VMWorld 2015. And now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to let the dust settle and reflect back, it’s the successful relationships with our partners that remains top of mind and defines Cisco’s success.

For me, the focus on our partnerships with EMC and VCE once again demonstrated that both customers and partners are excited about not only our past successes, but more importantly, where we are going and the work we’ll be doing together in the future.

Fifteen years and more than 70,000 mutual customers later, EMC and Cisco remain global technology leaders because of our commitment to customers, leading technology, and support. And if traffic in the Cisco booth at VMworld is any indication, it’s very clear there’s still a buzz.

Add VCE to the mix, whose Vblock with Cisco ACI continues to help customers, and the result is a ‘Power of 3” providing leading Storage (EMC), Networking (Cisco) and Converged Infrastructure (VCE) solutions.

Power of Three

Sarah Phillips (EMC) Mark Murphy (Cisco) Susan Haas (VCE)

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Cisco Mobility Express Solution Helps Partners Reach Small and Medium-sized Businesses

The continued growth of wireless devices in the workplace means that mid-market organizations are taking a new look at wireless networks and the positive impact that mobility can have on delivering tangible business benefits.  However, these mid-market organizations face a wide array of choices on enabling their workforce with wireless mobility solutions, and oftentimes have limited IT resources.  This is where you, the channel partners or integrators, step in.   For many of you, enterprise mobility continues to be one of the most important areas of focus, and an abundance of opportunities are emerging for you to grow and capture new business around small to medium-sized deployments.

Today, we launched the Cisco Mobility Express solution  that is designed to deliver enterprise class Wi-Fi for small to medium-sized businesses.

By offering Mobility Express, you have a new way to accelerate business and help build out your mobility practices.   Mobility Express provides you with a competitive offering that appeals to cost-conscious customers while also delivering the value of Cisco reliability and excellence.   Mobility Express squarely addresses small-scale implementations which allows you to capture new customers by selling into this growing customer segment of mid-market organizations.

Mobility Express is also built on a common technology platform, enabling you to sell investment protection, and fuel additional revenue opportunities through a seamless upgrade path as customers’ needs evolve.  And finally, Mobility Express gives you have a strong ease-of-use value proposition to present to customers.  The solution deploys in under 10 minutes, making it attractive to smaller organizations where flexibility and ease of use is a priority.  For more information, please visit the partner launch page here.

Determining adequate bandwidth, power requirements and security are only part of the challenge with WiFi networks. Increasingly, we are seeing partners build professional services practices to help customers of all sizes with their sophisticated needs around WiFi deployments and driving business outcomes.  Partners offering site surveys/assessments, integration services and management of an integrated technology solution are often the most successful.

To complement this new offering, Cisco continues to invest in partner enablement and training to help prepare our partner community and lead you on a profitable path forward.

Here are some notable resources:

  • Partner Account Manager, System Engineer and Field Engineer training is available globally
  • As the industry job roles evolve, Cisco’s CCNA Wireless certification is also being updated with a focus on cloud managed and Unified Access wireless architectures, as well as 802.11ac access points, controllers, and wireless standards. You can find more details here.
  • To close deals faster be sure to use the new Cisco Cloud-Based Predictive RF Planner Tool. Using this tool, you can now provide initial site estimates for your customers without requiring a physical onsite inspection. You can create a bill of materials quickly and easily from your desktop.
  • Review an on-demand training webinar, Voice of the Account Manager, designed to provide the Cisco Partner account manager with timely and relevant sales updates focused on Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Architecture. Here is a link to access the webinar.

Finally, please provide your feedback in the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts on our announcement.


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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – September 11, 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

Verizon Partners with Cisco to Launch SD-WAN Managed Service

Verizon outlined plans on Tuesday to offer a Managed WAN service based on Cisco’s software-defined infrastructure.  Verizon is the first carrier to do so on Cisco’s platform.

The partnership is a big step in Verizon’s march toward fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless technology.  Cisco’s SVP, Kelly Ahuja, has more on what this means for the future.

As always, let us know what you think of the blog. Feedback from partners, especially around partner programs, is vital for Cisco to keep producing programs that work for all of us.

Good Reads

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – September 4, 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

Cisco and Apple Announce Partnership

This week, at our yearly Global Sales Experience Conference (GSX) in Las Vegas, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, surprised everyone by joining John Chambers on stage to announce an exciting new partnership between Apple and Cisco.

The two companies are coming together to optimize Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps, integrating iPhones with Cisco environments and providing unique collaboration capabilities on iPhones and iPads.

Apple  Cisco Partnership

The big news expectedly created a lot of buzz, including this tweet from the Apple CEO:

Stay tuned for more details on how this will benefit our partners.  In the meantime, read what Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins had to say about combining the power of Cisco and Apple.

Karin Surber Asks if You’re Ready for a Fresh New Start

Karin always does a great job sharing sales tips and best practices for our partners. This week’s no different as she provides a clear path for partners to plan out their sales strategy for the year.

Karen lists 7 steps to optimize sales performance and achieve maximum Partner Plus incentives.  Take a moment to check out her full blog post as it’s sure to provide you with a head start for succeeding in FY16.

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Are You Ready for a Fresh New Start? Take a Step Back for Maximum Impact

As summer comes to a close, many of us have kids who are returning to school with shiny new shoes and eager smiles. After a few months off, their minds are ready for the new school year and are open to learning again. Or if you have a high-schooler like me, they may not be as eager and are counting the years until they graduate. Either way, the importance of getting a fresh new start is critical to making the most of their education.

The same is true in the business world. Most of us rush through the day, striving to finish our to-do list, rarely taking time to take a step back and get that fresh new perspective. The opportune time to do this is at the start of the new calendar or fiscal year. As Cisco dives into our new fiscal year 2016, we welcome the new and returning Partner Plus Partners into the FY16 Partner Plus program. This is an exciting time at Cisco and an excellent time for Partners to take that step back and plan out their execution strategy for the new fiscal year.

Follow these steps to optimize your sales performance and achieve maximum Partner Plus Incentive Payouts.

  • Know your quarterly Partner Plus Target. Your quarterly targets can be found in Partner Program Intelligence (PPI). In addition, your Cisco bookings for both services and products are updated daily in PPI so you can see how you are performing against that quarterly target. Make it a habit to check PPI at least 2X per week to stay on top of your bookings.
  • PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Once you know your quarterly target, build out a plan to reach your goal. Work with your Cisco PAM/VPAM to complete your Cisco Business plan. Make sure you incorporate your Partner Plus target into the plan. Strategize on how you will invest your Partner Plus wallet dollars.
  • Starting Building your Pipeline – early and often. A good rule of thumb is to have 3X your target in your pipeline at all times. So if your quarterly targets average $200K, you would want to have $600K in your pipeline of opportunities. If you have any Partner Plus wallet dollars, invest in some demand generation activities to help build a solid pipeline to ensure you meet your quarterly target.
  • Leverage “Partner Help Plus” as a consistent part of your go to market strategy. Partner Help Plus is an exclusive pre-sales engineering service for Partner Plus Partners only. The Elite level can leverage Partner Help Plus directly. Prestige and Aspire levels can access Partner Help Plus through their Cisco Authorized Distributor. Partner Help Plus level 2 and 3 engineers will solve your case with shorter turn-around times and provide exclusive services only for Partner Plus. Leverage our experts to help increase your close ratios.
  • Hone your Selling Skills. Another exclusive benefit for Partner Plus partners are access to Softskills Selling webinars. These monthly online webinars offer advice from outside consultants on a variety of topics including “Prospecting and Lead Nurturing”,” Cross Sell, Upsell & Renew”, “Closing Strategies” and much more. Look for invitations coming your way soon!
  • Use Winner’s Circle as a Motivator with your Teams. Partner Plus Partners receiving Prestige and Elite level benefits have the opportunity to earn a spot in our annual Partner Plus Winner’s Circle event. This all expense-paid trip is available to top performing Partner Sales Reps who help their company over-achieve Partner Plus targets. Winner’s Circle attendees enjoy first class accommodations at premier locations around the globe and get to network with Cisco executives and have fun while celebrating their success. Make sure your sales teams know about this amazing trip. Keep an eye out for upcoming Winner’s Circle Leaderboards to see if your company is in the running to attend!
  • Work with your Cisco Authorized Distributor to leverage their resources to further maximize results. Your distributor has a wealth of resources that you, as a Cisco partner, can leverage to increase your success in the market. By aligning with both Cisco and your Cisco distributor, you can take your business to an entirely new level.

So, with a wealth of resources and benefits, Partner Plus Partners have a competitive edge in the midmarket which can help increase sales exponentially. Make sure YOU are taking advantage of all these benefits and much more. And if you aren’t yet a Partner Plus partner and are curious how to qualify, please visit our website. Most importantly, take some time to strategize and gain a fresh perspective to maximize your results!

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