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Are You Ready for a Fresh New Start? Take a Step Back for Maximum Impact

As summer comes to a close, many of us have kids who are returning to school with shiny new shoes and eager smiles. After a few months off, their minds are ready for the new school year and are open to learning again. Or if you have a high-schooler like me, they may not be as eager and are counting the years until they graduate. Either way, the importance of getting a fresh new start is critical to making the most of their education.

The same is true in the business world. Most of us rush through the day, striving to finish our to-do list, rarely taking time to take a step back and get that fresh new perspective. The opportune time to do this is at the start of the new calendar or fiscal year. As Cisco dives into our new fiscal year 2016, we welcome the new and returning Partner Plus Partners into the FY16 Partner Plus program. This is an exciting time at Cisco and an excellent time for Partners to take that step back and plan out their execution strategy for the new fiscal year.

Follow these steps to optimize your sales performance and achieve maximum Partner Plus Incentive Payouts.

  • Know your quarterly Partner Plus Target. Your quarterly targets can be found in Partner Program Intelligence (PPI). In addition, your Cisco bookings for both services and products are updated daily in PPI so you can see how you are performing against that quarterly target. Make it a habit to check PPI at least 2X per week to stay on top of your bookings.
  • PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. Once you know your quarterly target, build out a plan to reach your goal. Work with your Cisco PAM/VPAM to complete your Cisco Business plan. Make sure you incorporate your Partner Plus target into the plan. Strategize on how you will invest your Partner Plus wallet dollars.
  • Starting Building your Pipeline – early and often. A good rule of thumb is to have 3X your target in your pipeline at all times. So if your quarterly targets average $200K, you would want to have $600K in your pipeline of opportunities. If you have any Partner Plus wallet dollars, invest in some demand generation activities to help build a solid pipeline to ensure you meet your quarterly target.
  • Leverage “Partner Help Plus” as a consistent part of your go to market strategy. Partner Help Plus is an exclusive pre-sales engineering service for Partner Plus Partners only. The Elite level can leverage Partner Help Plus directly. Prestige and Aspire levels can access Partner Help Plus through their Cisco Authorized Distributor. Partner Help Plus level 2 and 3 engineers will solve your case with shorter turn-around times and provide exclusive services only for Partner Plus. Leverage our experts to help increase your close ratios.
  • Hone your Selling Skills. Another exclusive benefit for Partner Plus partners are access to Softskills Selling webinars. These monthly online webinars offer advice from outside consultants on a variety of topics including “Prospecting and Lead Nurturing”,” Cross Sell, Upsell & Renew”, “Closing Strategies” and much more. Look for invitations coming your way soon!
  • Use Winner’s Circle as a Motivator with your Teams. Partner Plus Partners receiving Prestige and Elite level benefits have the opportunity to earn a spot in our annual Partner Plus Winner’s Circle event. This all expense-paid trip is available to top performing Partner Sales Reps who help their company over-achieve Partner Plus targets. Winner’s Circle attendees enjoy first class accommodations at premier locations around the globe and get to network with Cisco executives and have fun while celebrating their success. Make sure your sales teams know about this amazing trip. Keep an eye out for upcoming Winner’s Circle Leaderboards to see if your company is in the running to attend!
  • Work with your Cisco Authorized Distributor to leverage their resources to further maximize results. Your distributor has a wealth of resources that you, as a Cisco partner, can leverage to increase your success in the market. By aligning with both Cisco and your Cisco distributor, you can take your business to an entirely new level.

So, with a wealth of resources and benefits, Partner Plus Partners have a competitive edge in the midmarket which can help increase sales exponentially. Make sure YOU are taking advantage of all these benefits and much more. And if you aren’t yet a Partner Plus partner and are curious how to qualify, please visit our website. Most importantly, take some time to strategize and gain a fresh perspective to maximize your results!

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – August 28, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

You might notice the Weekly Rewind this week is coming from a new author. Well that’s because I’m taking over publishing the Cisco Partner Blog. David Durham, who you’ve heard from for two years now, is moving to a different role here at Cisco, but you’ll still see him around here on the Partner Blog from time to time. Consider me your new guide to the Cisco Partner Blog. I’ll be continuing the Partner Weekly Rewind and the popular Partner Voices feature series. We may even try out some new things along the way!

I’m looking forward to working with you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via the comments section.

Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Cisco Completes Acquisition of OpenDNS

The Cisco acquisition of OpenDNS officially closed Thursday morning and Ken Trombetta stopped by the Partner Blog to tell us what this means to partners and how they can benefit.

The acquisition aligned to Cisco’s goal of developing innovative security offerings and accelerating sales for partners.  Be sure to read Ken’s blog to find out all the details of this recent news.

VersaStack expands to more applications and workloads

The IBM and Cisco integrated infrastructure solution, VersaStack, has some recent upgrades that will be of high interest to partners.  Check out IBM’s recent blog post to see why VersaStack in gaining traction amongst partners as it continues to improve.

As always, let us know what you think of the blog. Feedback from partners, especially around partner programs, is vital for Cisco to keep producing programs that work for all of us.

Good Reads

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The History and Future of Internet Traffic

Man working in home office

I remember when 1 Mbps was big bandwidth. And 45 Mbps was unbelievably, outlandishly huge bandwidth. One spring day in 1995, at the headquarters of a large technology company outside of Dallas, there was excited chatter at the proverbial water cooler about the T3 access line that was being installed. A T3 line! Nearly 45 Mbps! Every thing really is bigger in Texas! We wondered what we would do with all that bandwidth, even though there were thousands of us at the location being served. Now, in 2015, the average broadband home has a 25 Mbps connection, and 20% of broadband homes worldwide have T3 speeds or higher, serving just the members of that household. And we now talk about yesterday’s data speeds Read More »

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Pssst, IT Operations Analytics Is Actually Cool

OK, using data to make decisions to streamline operations is not a new concept, but the resources and types of data that we have at our disposal is unprecedented. Gone are the days when we had to rely on data only available in the data center. There are new exciting ways to sift through terabytes of data to proactively predict problems before they impact service, optimize your IT and application infrastructure and gain an end-end view of operations.

Today there are more and more applications, devices, users, and tasks. They are generating a large amount of structured and unstructured data at the edge of the network. The net result is the old – read 5 years ago — centralized approach is no longer sufficient enough to guarantee true operational efficiency.

Let’s talk about some of the technology break-throughs and solutions that are driving this:

  • On premise Hadoop offerings are replacing high cost Multi Parallel Processing (MPP) Platforms.
  • Customers are now leveraging NoSQL Databases with Hadoop to uncover analytics from live interactive data to create operational analytics platform.
  • Security solutions are now focusing on meeting the challenges presented by the Internet of Things (IoT) that addresses concerns over malicious intruders and malware.
  • Business users and data scientists are now able to easily and iteratively derive insights from the unstructured data.

Read More »

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The Four Dimensions of Open

Last week, I posted about our Project Thor, our effort at creating a royalty-free next-generation video codec. This post generated lots of comments – which is great! But also illustrated that there is a lot of confusion about what it means for something to be open. I’d like to remedy that here and describe the four dimensions of open. Yup, four.

Dimension 1: “Open as in Open Source”

One dimension of open is whether the technology is available in open source form. Typically this means that the source code is available and that there is a license associated with it wherein the owner of the code makes it available for usage, distribution, and modification within other projects without charge. Cisco is typically favors the BSD license. It’s important to note that open source licenses are really about copyright: They tell you whether or not you can include this code in other projects and distribute it. Whether it really costs nothing overall — that’s the next dimension.

HAI68265Dimension 2: “Open as in Free”

The second dimension of open is whether the technology can be used in a form that does not require payment. Where things get interesting is when a piece of code implements something that is patented. In such a case, it may not actually be free to use the technology, because you need to pay a patent royalty fee to the patent owner. It’s totally possible for code to be open source (Dimension 1) but not free (Dimension 2). A great example of this is x264. This is an open source project – indeed available under the GPL license – but because H.264 utilizes patented technologies, any company that ships a commercial product using it has to pay patent license fees to the patent holders, in this case the MPEG-LA consortium. As a side note, the GPL license attached to x264 would also require a commercial product to open source its own code; but that’s a separate matter. Read More »

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