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
Andrew Sage, Cisco vice president, Worldwide Partner-Led, has good news for top-performing participants in Partner Plus: you’ll not only be recognized as part of Cisco’s new Winners Circle sales initiative, but you’ll also get to attend a special event at a luxury resort with some of Cisco’s key executives. You heard it right: prime networking, a gorgeous location, and an earnest reward for the hard work that goes into building and executing on Partner Led solutions.
“You leverage the same content the Cisco sales team uses, meaning that partners and the field are on the same page when it comes to the fundamentals of business planning for an account or territory,” Andrew explains. “In turn, you can better manage sales. It’s truly a collaborative learning process that we have seen transform partners from salespeople into more strategic advisors that get at what customers really want and need.”
Are you looking to grow your business and boost profits? With close to 500K businesses and an estimated addressable market of $21B globally, mid-size customers offer partners a lucrative selling opportunity.
I recently presented at the Alexander Group’s Chief Executive Forum, an event for Global 2000 leaders that explores sales-related topics and innovative solutions. After the event, I sat down with Alexander Group Senior Vice President Gary Tubridy to discuss how Cisco is engaging with our partners to do more. In particular, we discussed how we are enabling our partners to sell into the Mid-Market with Partner Led, the go-to-market model that empowers and rewards Cisco partners to lead sales with midsized and small customers.
What a way to open an event! Cisco’s 16th Partner Summit began with partners filing into a packed auditorium to the Olympics theme song holding flags from their home countries—with more than 90 countries represented here this week. This year’s theme, “In It to Win It,” was especially apt given the news announced at today’s event.
Senior VP of the Worldwide Partner Organization Keith Goodwin welcomed live and virtual attendees, and then took everyone on a trip down memory lane, sharing recollections of the first time he presented at Cisco Partner Summit on the very same stage six years prior.
In addition to Keith, CEO John Chambers, EVP/COO Gary Moore, SVP Wendy Bahr, VP Andrew Sage, SVP Edison Peres, and SVP Nick Earle all addressed the audience, talking about Cisco’s accomplishments over the past year, and goals and priorities for the year ahead.
There was also plenty of news to share, with announcements about the Cisco Services Partner Program (our biggest Services announcement in 15 years, according to CRN, Enabling Architectures Sales Excellence, the Master Cloud Builder Specialization, the Partner Plus Incentive program, and much more. In addition, Edison shared his vision around the value that partners derive from their relationship with Cisco.
After today’s keynote, we caught up with a few partners to get their thoughts on the value they see in being a Cisco partner.
Our Partner Ambassador Bloggers have also been busy sharing their thoughts about this year’s Partner Summit. Be sure to check out their blogs:
It’s no secret that Cisco has been on a journey to simplify and make it easier to work with us.
In May, we took a leap forward in this process and announced a series of changes across our global engineering, sales, and services teams to streamline our organizational structure and speed decision making.
Today I’d like to outline the next step in this process and how it affects partners. I also want you to know that many of the changes you’re seeing at Cisco are a result of what we’ve heard from you, so I encourage you to keep the feedback coming (via Twitter, by talking to your account manager, or by leaving a comment here on this blog).
Let’s take a closer look at the changes to the Worldwide Partner Organization, which fall into three main areas: Partner Led, Partner Marketing, and geographic alignment.
1) Partner Led
Our Partner organization will assume responsibility for building the global capabilities to support Partner-Led – one of two global go-to-market selling models. The Partner Led global sales model will increase Cisco’s reliance on partners to address the needs of customers across all market segments where Cisco will not have a high-touch sales presence.
Andrew Sage will take on the role of Vice President, Partner Led. A 12-year Cisco veteran, Andrew most recently spear-headed our Small Business Sales efforts and was instrumental in shaping our key strategies for the Partner-Led model.
If you serve small or medium business and aren’t planning to attend Partner Summit 2011, we’ll bring some of the content to your area with the Advantage Now! event on March 1, 2011.
The event will give you the information you need about new and enhanced Cisco collaboration solutions that will help you build a more profitable practice.
After all, the nature of how businesses communicate is changing. Your customers are interacting with their customers in new and different ways – to serve them better and to build stronger relationships.