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The Next Evolution of Cisco’s Cloud Partner Strategy: Cloud and Managed Services Program

As the trend for delivering technology as a service continues, now more than ever, partners must evolve their business to support the demand for new consumption models such as cloud and managed services.  In order to support our partner’s evolution, Cisco continues to evolve our Channel Partner Program to help partners profitably monetize the cloud and managed services opportunity.

In September, we announced an evolution of the Cloud Partner strategy to bring data center infrastructure and cloud into the mainstream of our partner program with the introduction of the Cisco Master Cloud Builder Specialization.

Today we are pleased to announce the next phase of our Cloud Partner strategy. Read More »

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Top-Notch Network Assessments: The Simple, Affordable, and Fast Way to Build Your Business

Virtual assessments made easy

When we renovated our kitchen, one of our top priorities was upgrading to gas appliances. The first step was to have the gas company determine if our current gas line could handle the extra load of a restaurant-grade range.

The same pre-implementation assessment is highly recommended, if not required, before adding a bandwidth-intensive product to a network.  Let’s use Cisco TelePresence as an example. 

You bring a customer to a live TelePresence session. They are wowed. They immediately see the benefits of a face-to-face meeting, and they are sold on how the TelePresence investment can pay for itself in a short period of time with the elimination of travel expenses alone.

They are ready! But is their network?

As your customer’s partner and trusted advisor, it’s your job to find out. An assessment of their network helps you mitigate risk by determining quickly what upgrades are required to ensure a successful implementation. It also helps you customize the solution by adding features and functionality that can help your customer—customization that might not have been identified without an analysis.

On the flip side, an assessment takes time. It costs money. It requires people, travel, and expertise. These things add up and can quickly eat into your profits.

Presidio Networks, however, found a way to accelerate the process. Read More »

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Don’t Even Think of Selling to Executives Without Understanding this First

This post is part of a new series we’ll be featuring from David McNicholas, Director of Strategic Business Development at Comstor US. Comstor is a recognized global leader in Cisco product distribution and an established provider of networking and advanced technology solutions. David is a recognized keynote speaker in the field of the financial impact of technology and executive strategic selling—and the creator of Executive Relevance Selling (ERS), a Cisco endorsed program (more on that below). David has trained and consulted data center, contact center, customer service operations professionals and specialists, as well as Fortune 1000 Executives all over the world on this methodology and discipline.

In my previous blog, I discussed the demise of solution selling due to the New World Sales Era of an investment-centric market. I put a stake in the ground that selling efforts must be driven to and at the executive level. To achieve this, you must be able to “improve business processes that drive the executive agenda defined by hard cash flows.”

But how do you know you’re experiencing the New World Sales Era? Have you heard any of these statements from customers? “We’ll make do with what we have.” “It’s not in the budget.” “Times are tough; we are not spending any money.” “I’m not the only decision maker anymore.” If so, you’re clearly selling in this new era.

Today, the business side of organizations is driving more and more IT decisions, while almost all IT decisions must be approved by top management to get funding. As a result, you must be able to get to the heart of the matter, which is (again):

“Improving business processes that drive the executive agenda defined by hard cash flows.”

To fully understand this definition and what it means to drive the sale at the executive level, we must first have a foundational understanding of corporate top management.  The foundational executive attribute you need to very clearly understand to get started on selling to executives is fiduciary duty.  Read More »

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Listening to Partners: Growing Demand for New Consumption Models

Listening to our partners is one of the most important aspects of my role at Cisco.  The feedback we get from our partners helps to shape our strategy and our programs.

Every year we bring together a select group of partners as part of a series of Cisco Partner Executive Exchange (CPEE) events around the world.  In the last 2 months, we’ve met with Latin America partners, APJC partners, and US and Canada partners.  Last week we met with our Americas service provider partners, and next month we’ll meet with our partners in EMEAR.

During these events, partners gave us feedback on our go-to-market strategies; our programs, tools and incentives; and how to optimize our sales teaming with them. While each region is unique and partners have their own unique challenges, as we talk to partners around the world, it’s clear there are some common themes. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Marketing Velocity Recap: Creating an Integrated Campaign

If you attended the first two sessions of Cisco’s Partner Marketing Velocity webinar series on social mediaBuilding a Successful Social Media Program and Social Media Events Experience—you’re  probably thinking you have everything you need to conquer the world of social media.

But before you set off on your quest, take note. Making social media part of a larger effort, such as a specific company initiative, ensures greater success. In fact, if you tie social media into all of the moving parts of your company’s business strategy, then it has a much better chance of resonating with your audience.

In the third session of the webinar series—Creating an Integrated Campaign—I discussed this very issue, sharing the benefits of using an integrated rather than siloed approach. I also gave examples of how Cisco has integrated social media into its campaign strategy and recommended best practices for creating an integrated social media campaign.

Still want to email your messages and call it a day?  Read More »

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