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Why TCO is the Only True Way to Measure Network Costs

Cost always plays a big part in purchase decisions. It’s certainly a factor as I consider buying  a new car. As you’re well aware, purchasing a new car isn’t just about the initial cost. In my case, I’m considering reliability, speed (not that I need to go that fast carpooling my kids to school), mileage, and looks to a certain extent. (I just can’t bring myself to drive a minivan.) But what does buying a car have to do with your customers, or IT spending for that matter?

To put it simply, customers often cite initial cost as a big factor in their network decision-making, too. But if they are looking only at CapEx when purchasing new equipment, it’s the same thing as only looking at the initial cost of a car: They’re not seeing the entire picture.

Total cost of ownership, or TCO, is a better metric to assess network cost, because it considers the full impact on IT spend, including CapEx, services, labor, bandwidth, and energy consumption. And TCO is not just a measure of the initial expense, but of how much equipment will cost over its lifetime.

In June 2011, Cisco commissioned a third-party business consulting firm to analyze the true TCO of the network, comparing the quantitative costs of acquisition, support, labor, bandwidth, energy, and product longevity. The firm also assessed qualitative business benefits like network uptime, user productivity, and security.

The quantitative results alone show that a network built on Cisco’s architectural approach can yield up to a 13% better TCO, building a powerful business case for you to take to your customers about why the choice of networking gear matters.

Here are some facts drawn from the findings, which support Cisco’s firm belief that a strategic next-generation Cisco network architecture delivers superior value and lower TCO: Read More »

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Checking the Pulse of Cisco Partners in Latin America

One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to meet with Cisco partners around the world.

We just wrapped up the most recent Cisco Partner Executive Exchange (CPEE) with our Latin American partners in beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina. This vibrant city was a great backdrop for a lively discussion about opportunity, technology, programs, and partnership.

We shared Cisco’s vision and the actions we are taking to create the Next Cisco to simplify and be more agile. They agreed with our strategy to be simplified, focused, agile and a bit more aggressive with the competition.

Partners here are positive about growth, and while they foresee some economic challenges in some parts of the region, most said they expect to grow by 20% or more by next year. They are excited about the opportunities, especially around Collaboration and Data Center and the potential of Cloud.

Latin America has led the way for programs like TIP (Teaming Incentive Program) and the Partner Led model. So they were very interested in how we have evolved these over time to be able to make them more global and consistent. As expected, they gave us some great feedback.

Read More »

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Plenty of Room in the Cloud for Cisco Solution Providers

This post is the fourth in a series we’re featuring from Amazon Consulting. Amazon Consulting is a partnering services firm dedicated to helping companies elevate the impact of partnering. The author of this post is Cary Tengler, Director, Client Services.

As Bob Dylan once famously sang, “The times, they are a’changin’.” Recent changes in technology—specifically with cloud computing—have moved technology service providers into an increasingly prominent role in the IT services delivery market.

Many vendors recognized early on the broader value of technology service providers, or TSPs, and created programs to support their role in the partner ecosystem. For instance, “Cisco Powered Network” branding and joint selling efforts have long been a part of Cisco’s service provider strategy.  And it appears the rest of the IT vendor community is coming to the same conclusion.

A recent Amazon Consulting survey of 64 global IT vendors found that 70% view service providers as “very strategic” in their go-to-market plans and only 12% of the vendors viewed them as “customers and not partners.” This increased industry focus on TSPs as part of the emerging “cloud channel” makes it imperative that Cisco’s VARs take a closer look at their own cloud services and partnering strategies. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Westcon Group’s LEAP Centers Focus on Technology’s Business Value

Sometimes it helps to see real-world routing and switching technology, data center security, and virtualized Unified Communications in action. Did you know that there’s a place you can do just that—either in person, or virtually?

It’s been just about a year since Cisco distributor partner the Westcon Group unveiled its LEAP Centers (LEAP stands for Learn, Experience, Architect and Plan). LEAP Centers provide partners with hands-on training  in a lab environment, where a reseller and end-user can come together for hands-on demonstrations.

Cisco partners can take advantage of training to evaluate core switching and routing processes, application delivery, data center security, virtualized Unified Communications and other data-centric and Cisco UCS solutions. Westcon has two LEAP Centers, one in Denver, Colorado, and the other in Brussels, Belgium. If you can’t visit in person, Westcon enables users to access LEAP Center resources virtually, as well.

I got the chance to chat with Bill Hurley, CTO of the Westcon Group, and he filled me in on what’s been going on over the past year, why Cisco partners should take advantage of what the LEAP centers have to offer, and how the LEAP centers have exceeded Westcon’s expectations.

It’s been almost a year since you launched the LEAP centers: What’s been going on with them during that time frame?

Bill Hurley: We have been phenomenally successful in raising awareness about the impact and benefits of virtualization and data center consolidation—those have been our two biggest areas of inquiry and activity. We’ve focused on showing how UCS helps enable business benefits. And we’ve also run specific programs around a service-oriented architecture (SOA)-enabled data center, as well as a UCS bootcamp.

LEAP centers have appealed to both partners and end-users: They’re not just about speeds and feeds, but instead help in putting all the technology in a business context. There’s a real benefit for partners in physically being at a LEAP center—it helps them understand how the technologies really work together. Read More »

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Partner Update Shares Top Cisco News and Magic Recipes

September 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm PST

Fairy dust and magic genies? Is it Halloween already?

Actually, Halloween is over a month away but that didn’t stop Alex from sharing her magic recipe for driving more traffic to your site in this episode of Partner Update.

But that’s not all that happened during Partner Update. We also got a glimpse of Andrew’s presentation skills and why he’ll be joining the upcoming Virtual Partner Velocity, share Keith Goodwin’s thoughts on the importance of healthy competition, find out why Andrew wishes he had a magic genie, learn how to get in touch with live experts, and hear about how Cisco Talent Fairs are helping partners fill talent gaps.

Tune in now to watch the full episode.

Keep reading for a list of links and a written transcript of our newscast. Read More »

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