Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti
Over the past several years, a lot of vendors have established a variety of designations aimed at giving channel partners a demonstrable seal-of-approval for specific technologies or market expertise. In a world where channel partners need to differentiate against their competitors on something more than price, these “specializations” or “specialties” go a long way towards helping customers weed through the various IT offerings based on training, experience, and oftentimes customer satisfaction. Typically, all three of those qualities are necessary in order to “get badged,” as the partners often call it.
But how important should those badges be to you, as the IT decision-maker in a small business? The truth is, it depends.
If you are using advanced applications, and require high levels of security, run complex databases and are heavily dependent on things like CRM tools, unified communications capabilities and such, then I would say that the case for using a specialized partner is a strong one.
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Tags: channel partners, service providers, small business
In a competitive market, differentiation makes all the difference. Whether you’re selling sneakers or servers, being able to offer the widest selection of products to meet a broad set of needs is critical in helping to drive growth and grow profits.
So today’s announcements of three new reference configurations focused on Microsoft applications and technologies will likely please you—now our partners will have even more opportunities to sell a broader set of solutions, giving customers more choice.
Today, along with our storage partners, Cisco is greatly expanding our channel partners’ ability to offer customers Microsoft-based private cloud, data warehouse, or OLTP configurations based on shipping Cisco UCS server and Nexus networking products. Three standalone, discrete reference architectures are now available: A Cisco-developed SQL Server 2008 R2 Data Warehouse solution; a Cisco-developed SQL Server 2008 R2 Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) offer; and Cisco as the server partner with NetApp as they bring to market their NetApp for Private Cloud offer as part of Microsoft’s Hyper-V Private Cloud program.
How will this impact you? Here are more details.
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Tags: channel partners, Microsoft, netapp, partners, services, SQL Server, UCS
Since starting my role in Cisco Channels social media some three years ago, I’ve been asked a lot of questions: “What video camera should I buy?” “Who do you like to follow on Twitter?” “Who does your hair?” (OK, no one’s actually asked me the last question, but drop me a note in the comments if you really want to know.)
But the most commonly asked questions that I hear over and over are: How do I get started with social media, what are the best tools to use, and how do I engage more customers? Well, in the interest of helping Cisco partners around the globe achieve resounding social media success, I’m happy to announce our new Channels blog series: Social Media Spotlight!
In this series, my fellow Channels blogger Kalpana Ettenson and I will be addressing any and all social media questions that you have. For starters, we want you to post your most burning social media questions in the comments below so we can address them in upcoming blog posts.
And we also have a few topics planned based on questions we’ve gotten in the past… Read More »
Tags: blog, blogging, channel partners, channels, channels blog, ciscochannels, facebook, marketing, partner, partners, social media, twitter, video, worldwide partner organization
This post is a first in a series we’ll be featuring from Beth Vanni, Vice President of Amazon Consulting. Amazon Consulting is a partnering services firm dedicated to helping companies elevate the impact of partnering. Beth has over 25 years of experience in technology sales and marketing, with a specialty focus on partnering strategies and supporting operational plans.
A ‘perfect storm’ brewing around the issue of channel development
A variety of economic and industry innovation conditions are currently combining to create the “perfect storm” of channel development issues between IT vendors and their channel partners. These include:
– A rash of disruptive technologies entering the market
– A slowly rebounding economy within a still-uncertain global environment
– Continued industry consolidation among vendors and solution providers
These market conditions are complicating the way in which technology vendors and solution providers engage to grow their mutual success. If vendors are not prepared to meet these conditions with clearly defined partner value propositions, a clear coverage and capacity plan and comprehensive onboarding processes for their channel partners, their indirect revenues will likely suffer (and are). Conversely, if solution providers aren’t prepared to intelligently navigate the vast array of vendor’s sales, technical, marketing and services programs and support materials, they won’t realize the rate of return they desire and will waste precious resources during the process.
In recent exclusive channel research entitled conducted by Amazon Consulting entitled “From Rookie to Rock Star: The Cost and Timing of Developing Channel Partnerships,” we explored the relationship between vendors and channel partners along this issue of the costs and timing of developing a new partnership.
The highlights from this research that we think are relevant to Cisco solution providers include the following:
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Tags: amazon consulting, beth vanni, channel partners, partners, solution provider
How was your week? Well, here at Cisco we had another exciting week filled with interesting technology stories and news. Here’s what happened…
1.) Mobile Technology for Smarter Cars
Today, the only types of collision avoidance systems in cars are expensive radar- and camera based systems, which are few and far between. However, if the U.S. Department of Transportation had its way much cheaper warning systems would be installed in all new cars before the end of the decade. The key is replacing expensive sensors with cheap and ubiquitous global positioning system (GPS) and Wi-Fi wireless technology.
2.) Cloud Providers Combine to Boost Asian Market
Some of the biggest players in technology have come together to form a group that aims to boost the use of cloud architectures in Asia, where adoption lags behind the U.S. and Europe. Eleven companies, including Cisco, primarily from the U.S. and western Europe, announced they were forming the Asia Cloud Computing Association to address regional issues and challenges to the adoption of cloud computing in Asia.
3.) Visualizing Global Mobile Traffic Growth
Check out some insights from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index. According to the VNI, global mobile data traffic will increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015 and there will be nearly one mobile device per capita by 2015. How do you see mobile evolving in the next five years?
4.) Cisco Makes Video Easier to Create, Consume, Search and Share Across the Enterprise
This week Cisco unveiled a host of new offerings designed to make it easy for anyone to be a video producer. Customers now have new ways to create and consume video across the enterprise. With the new Cisco offerings, they can:
- Record and share videos and content on the fly from Cisco TelePresence or other video endpoints.
- Enjoy exceptional search capabilities within videos themselves. Instead of wasting time scrolling through hours of video to find the right clip, with a few clicks of a mouse, users can now simply advance to the right spot.
5.) Cisco Names Gary Moore Chief Operating Officer
This week Cisco announced that Executive Vice President Gary Moore has been appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO), a new position within Cisco.
“Gary is a seasoned and trusted leader who consistently delivers results. He is uniquely qualified to drive strategic prioritization and accountability within Cisco, with a laser-focus on operational excellence,” said John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco.
Cisco also has a TON of things happening next week. Here’s what to look out for…
- The Internet it out of addresses? Check out this feature article next week about how careful planning and slow transition will minimize the impact of the transition to the IPv6 addressing system.
- With the Academy Awards this weekend check out how the Oscars are taking TV and social media to a whole new level!
- Partner Summit 2011 is happening next week in New Orleans! Keep up to date with news from the event.
- Enterprise Connect in Orlando is next week as well! Make plans to participate in the following Cisco activities.
Be sure to check out News@Cisco next week to learn more about all of these news updates! Have a great weekend!
Tags: channel partners, Chief Operating Officer, cisco channels, collaboration, enterprise connect, News@Cisco, partner summit, social media, Technology News, virtual partner summit