In the second installment of our Valley Sleep Center case study, we witness the importance of installing a robust, secure virtual private network (VPN). As a medical clinic, Valley Sleep Center needs to maintain HIPAA compliance and also allow employees to review confidential patient records. Overhauling its antiquated VPN technology, the company implemented a high-performance Cisco VPN solution. Now, employees have reliable connections and can efficiently transfer files among the business’s five locations. Perhaps the best benefit, however, is the peace of mind that comes from the security provided by the right network.
It seems like you can’t open an IT magazine these days without being bombarded by cloud, cloud, cloud. Going to tradeshows you see traditional vendors that have taken their existing solution packages and rebranded them as cloud. For Cisco partners and customers this can be confusing; especially since cloud comes in so many types/flavors: IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, and however people are positioning themselves. When I think of cloud I think it fundamentally boils down to an industrialization/simplification of IT. You focus and clearly define what you as a solution provider are providing, and by doing so, drive out the cost. Look at MS office for email etc. has literally thousands of options or ways to use it, but has a high cost/user/month. Gmail limits those options and by offering it free to everyone, it costs Google an ever decreasing fraction of a dollar/month. The economics are compelling. Customers like economics in their favor and partners get excited when customers want to make a transition.
On Dec 6th Cisco announced CloudVerse – an integrated set of capabilities combining Unified Data Center with Cloud Intelligent Network to deliver Cloud Applications and Services. The beauty of this position is that we aren’t telling our partners, “Thanks, we’ll take it from here!” We’re looking to them to offer this integrated Cisco vision to their customers.
“We’re putting our partners in the position to offer CloudVerse as a portfolio and new cloud capabilities.” As Ralph Nimmergood, VP of WW Channels at Cisco, stated in a CRN article published last week.
Partners are key to our cloud strategy and we’re excited to be on this journey with them.
If someone invited you to a dinner party, but then only allowed you to eat the bread at the table verses the entire meal, chances are, you’d leave feeling pretty hungry.
Applying that analogy--let’s look at how a vendors services model impacts the overall partner-vendor relationship. We all know that services are “meat and potatoes” for solution providers. As a matter of fact, services now represent 40-50% of Cisco channel partners business, up from 20 percent five years ago.
But the reality is that traditional services models don’t allow channel partners to fully participate in the services opportunity. HP is a case in point. HP has a traditional services model, with an army of approximately 200,000 services employees and a “hard deck” where they sell direct to 1,800-2,000 of their largest customers.
Cisco, on the other hand, has approximately 11,000 Services employees and allows partners to participate in the Services opportunity at every level, from the largest global customers to the local small business. Our partners are the extension our Services arm.
Through programs such as Collaborative Professional Services (CPS) and Steps-to-Success, Cisco also has a range of initiatives designed to transfer knowledge gained by Cisco Services to accelerate partner success.
To go back to our original analogy, Cisco allows partners to enjoy the entire meal…and the $49 billion services TAM around Cisco technologies and architectures in FY12 definitely offers some enticing menu options!
To take advantage of this tremendous opportunity, Cisco Services aims to work with partners to deliver new services experiences to customers through its unique sales engagement model, smart services portfolio and partner-centric programs. Now, Cisco is taking the next step forward to further clarify our sales engagement model and drive consistency in the field.
At Cisco, we are focused upon internally and externally sharing social media best practices and lessons learned from individuals who have successfully integrated social media into their day job. We recently sat down with one such social practitioner, Jennifer Halim, a subject matter expert (SME) on the Customer Support Team, to learn more about how she incorporates social media into her job at Cisco.
Jennifer joined the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) in 2007 and focuses on security products in Australia. In 2010, she became a Technical Account Manager with ScanSafe, Cisco’s cloud-based web security service. Even after the move, she managed to keep up to date with the technology that she used in her previous role by actively participating on the Cisco Support Community. With over 322,000 registered users and 11 years of history, the Cisco Support Community is a platform on which technical experts and Cisco customers can interact with each other by asking and answering questions in the discussion forums, commenting on blogs, rating videos, and more. While spending an average of one to three hours per day contributing to the discussion forums regarding Cisco Security products, she participates completely out of her own will during after business hours. Through her engagements on this website, Jennifer states that she is constantly learning from other contributors to the community, and she enjoys the satisfaction of being able to help customers by answering their questions and resolving their issues.
Community participants like Jennifer who have responded to customers have contributed to Cisco’s $80 million in annual cost savings that is attributed to the Cisco Support Community and is a conservative estimate based on TAC case deflection. Based on the number of customer cases resolved, Jennifer has been one of the top contributors since she joined the community in 2010.
How does she manage to integrate her Support Community activities into her day job?