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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – July 18, 2014

July 18, 2014 at 9:00 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner 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

Big joint announcement this week from Cisco and Microsoft! Denny Trevett posted about the implications of the announcement of a three-year go-to-market agreement between us and Microsoft that creates new opportunities for Cisco channel partners and Microsoft system integrators.

We are still evolving the Cisco Partner Ecosystem with the goal of helping our partners navigate these changes, achieve profitable growth and deliver the business outcomes our customers demand. The Microsoft announcement is an example of Cisco working to take it’s data center alliance with Microsoft to a higher level.

Be sure to check out Denny’s blog and let us know what you think. Read More »

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Introducing This Year’s Cisco Partner Ambassadors

March 13, 2014 at 6:26 am PST

Heading into Partner Summit in Las Vegas at the end of the month, we have been bringing you waves of news related to this year’s event. Well it’s time we made the conversation less about Cisco and more about Cisco’s partners.

This marks the third year of the Cisco Partner Ambassador program. It provides partners with the opportunity to share their thoughts and impressions about the news they hear about during Cisco Partner Summit. As we continue to evolve the Partner Ambassador program, we are working hard to shape the mix of global resellers, distributors, and Independent Software Vendors (ISV) to more closely represent the participants at Partner Summit. Just like last year, we even have some partner ambassadors who won’t be onsite in Las Vegas, but will be joining us via Virtual Partner Summit (VPS).

Our partner ambassadors will be blogging and tweeting before, during, and after Partner Summit. As always, we’re excited to hear their perspectives and look forward to sharing their content with you. Be sure to follow our hashtag, #ciscops14, to follow their content and to offer your own feedback. We also created a convenient Cisco Partner Ambassadors twitter list to make it easy for you to subscribe to all handles, including some related twitter handles from the partner ambassadors.

Now let’s meet the ambassadors for Partner Summit 2014. Each partner ambassador was kind enough to provide some information about how they play in the Cisco Ecosystem and where you can track their social media information. Read More »

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Introducing This Year’s Cisco Partner Ambassadors

As we dive into Partner Summit in Boston next week, we’ll be offering you plenty of news and key information, as well as ways to keep track of all of it via Cisco Channels social media. But the social conversation around Partner Summit certainly isn’t just about us—it’s also about you, our partners.

We launched the Cisco Partner Ambassador program last year, to provide a range of partners with the opportunity to share their thoughts and impressions from Partner Summit. This year, we’re excited to announce that the program not only will continue, but also has been expanded, with a fuller representation of the global Cisco channel community confirmed to participate, including partners who will be joining us primarily through Virtual Partner Summit.

Each of our Partner Ambassadors will be blogging, tweeting, and sharing content via Facebook and LinkedIn, before, during, and after Partner Summit. We’re excited to hear the perspectives they have, and look forward to sharing their content with all of you, too. Follow along throughout the event – don’t forget #ciscops13 for Tweets — and feel free to offer your feedback. For reference, we have created a Twitter list of all of our Ambassadors’ Twitter handles.

Let’s meet our 10 Ambassadors for Partner Summit 2013. I asked each to share a little about their specialties and where they focus in the Cisco ecosystem, so what follows is each partner’s description and where to find their social content throughout the event.  Read More »

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What Partners Need to Know Before Selling into the Healthcare Sector

This post is part of a new series featuring Brian Higgins, Principal Healthcare Consultant at Comstor US. Comstor is a recognized global leader in Cisco product distribution and an established provider of networking and advanced technology solutions. Brian is a sales and business development executive with 35 years of experience in the global healthcare information technologies industry. He has a proven and successful track record of establishing and executing go-to-market strategies for both start-ups and well-established companies in the healthcare space. He is also a trusted sales and business development advisor to information and medical technology companies selling into all segments of the healthcare industry.

I recently hosted a webinar on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) for a community of technology resellers.

HIPPA and HITECH are the US version of “privacy and security” laws that are getting so much attention in our industry. I thought I had a reasonably good grasp on the subject, but my intuition was that the subject was complex enough to warrant an expert. We brought in a nationally recognized expert by name of Bob Chaput, Founder and CEO of Clearwater Compliance LLC, and (luckily for me) he did an outstanding job of explaining a very complicated set of rules and regulations in a simple and easy to understand way. 

While it was interesting to learn more about specifically who is covered by these laws and what their specific obligations are, the more enlightening discussion related to how far behind most industry stakeholders are in their compliance and the resulting economic ramifications.

For those of us in the channel that recognize the enormous opportunity of delivering technology to the healthcare sector, this is an important subject about which to have a first level of understanding. It not only gives us the credibility that our healthcare end users are looking for in a vendor, it also represents an opportunity to deliver valuable advice and services.  Finally, it’s a law that we might fall under if we are in the business of maintaining healthcare communications or information technology (HCIT) platforms, or delivering cloud services.

Similar privacy and security laws exist around the world, requiring partners to play close attention to what is occurring in their regions relative to this topic. 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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