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Cisco Smart Solutions: What Makes Them So Smart?

Here at Cisco, we believe that Smart Solutions are game changers: a way to start new conversations with your customers and expand your sales. Now is the time to make sure you understand the Smart Solutions conversation so we can build new business opportunities together.

What is a Smart Solution?
The Smart Solutions concept is designed with two goals in mind: first, how do Cisco and our partners make it easier for our customers to achieve their business objectives by leveraging the full breadth of the Cisco portfolio? Second, how will we scale these solutions, especially through a Partner Led approach, where sales and full life cycle support is provided exclusively through partners?

The simple answer is that a Cisco Smart Solution integrates, pre-tests, and validates Cisco products for how they work together. In some cases, these Smart Solutions include third party technology which is also tested as a part of the whole offer. The idea is to include intellectual assets such as design guides, implementation guides, and customer use cases that partners can use to build a practice and accelerate pilot to profit. Cisco includes a full suite of pre-sales tools such as sales enablement and demand generation programs. Soon we will offer customer intelligence, including market insights and information on buying behaviors to help partners prospect and qualify customers.

What does it mean for the partner community?  Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – March 22, 2013

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have it.

Off The Top

It was a big week for collaboration and unified communications discussion as Enterprise Connect took place in Orlando. Cisco as usual had a lot to talk about, including what Richard McLeod, senior director, worldwide collaboration sales, described as very important enhancements to the Cisco telepresence portfolio.

Specifically, Richard notes, Cisco Telepresence is now Webex-enabled, and partners are also getting their first look at the DX360, the latest addition to Cisco’s desktop conferencing line. Both announcements represent upsell opportunities for Cisco collaboration partners and their customers, as Richard and other executives noted to CRN, Channelnomics and other press.

“Revisit your customer base and start briefing them today on the new capabilities,” Richard urges partners. “Use video in every customer interaction to demonstrate the value and ease of adding video to meetings. Train your sales teams to identify the right video tool for each customer’s use case, which will increase customer satisfaction. And go the extra mile to ensure customer adoption by offering end-user training and creative best practice documentation.”

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How Partners Can Simplify Collaboration and Videoconferencing For Customers

While the use of collaboration across organizations continues to grow, there have still been a few barriers to adoption. Cisco is breaking down one of those barriers with this week’s announcement of simplified pervasive conferencing.

I’m excited to share that Cisco TelePresence is now WebEx enabled. This is another milestone in our effort to simplify the delivery of highly scalable, affordable multiparty collaboration for voice, video and web conferencing. Enabling conferencing on any standards-based video device is critical for people-centric collaboration, and helps companies focus on connecting people across any device and enabling productive conversations across teams, without technology getting in the way.

What does pervasive conferencing mean for Cisco partners?  Read More »

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A Better Cisco Software Experience For Partners

Partners, the Cisco software simplification team has heard you loud and clear on software licensing. You want a better Cisco software experience, from how you request a quote to how you activate and manage your software.

Well, you’ll be happy to know that on March 18 Cisco took a major step to simplify and unify this experience. New for Cisco partners is Cisco Software Central, a site that provides one-stop access for:

  • Quoting, ordering and delivery of software and licensing documents
  • Registering software products and obtaining license files
  • Downloading minor upgrades and patches
  • Ordering major version upgrades

The ultimate goal was to make this site easy to use, and to present you with relevant content and links to applications such as Cisco Commerce Workspace, eDelivery, License Registration and  Product Upgrade Tool, based on your entitlement and access rights.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – March 15, 2013

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind. Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to significant Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have at it.

Off The Top
Edison Peres, senior vice president, worldwide channels, highlighted significant wins for Cisco at this week’s Channel Champions awards, presented by UBM Tech and CRN at XChange Solution Provider in Orlando. Cisco won an overall 16 awards – not too shabby! – and several overall category wins, including Unified Communications, for the 10th straight year, and midrange servers.

Photo Courtesy of CRN

As Edison notes, that server win, for technology crucial to Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) strategy, is particularly significant.

“Just look at how much this community has grown: 3,000 partners actively selling UCS Solutions and more than 20,000 end customers,” Edison writes. “Partners are building software solutions using the UCS developer tools we’ve provided and major strategic allies like VCE, NetApp, and Hitachi are winning in the data center with our combined technology and solutions.”

Check out photos of all the Champs winners, including Cisco, here, and Cisco’s Wendy Bahr, Richard McLeod and Thomas Wells collecting the hardware (at right).

Speaking of UCS, there are now build-to-order and configure-to-order options for UCS available from distributors Ingram Micro and Tech Data in Canada – part of an ongoing push toward UCS enablement for Cisco distributors around the world. As ChannelBuzz.ca’s Robert Dutt notes, it’s an important move because it “could drop the leadtime for a UCS order from months to days.”

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