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Partner Voices: Removing Risk, Lowering Cost – The MCPc & Cisco Partnership

December 11, 2013 at 7:28 am PST

As part of our ongoing Partner Voices blog series, we had the opportunity to hear from MCPc. During the past 11 years, MCPc has bet long on Cisco, using networking, switching, telepresence, and digital media tools within its own business and in the outstanding help for the business of its clients.

For example, since the beginning of 2013, MCPc has used Cisco Telepresence internally for more than 4,320 hours of cumulative communication. That is more than 180 full days of time. Most MCPc associates have Jabber on their mobile devices, and their local media is paying attention to the ways in which MCPc has implemented Cisco throughout the company. But MCPc does more than just make its own travel schedule easier for employees – it has enabled clients to take advantage of Cisco’s full breadth of offerings. Read More »

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Dare to be Bold in Collaboration

November 25, 2013 at 5:14 am PST

Last month we had the most successful Collaboration Summit conference ever, with partners, analysts, consultants, customers and Cisco executives coming together to explore how new collaboration solutions are helping companies become more empowered, engaged and innovative.

My mantra throughout the event was dare to be bold. Just as Cisco is launching a new wave of innovation, I am challenging you, our Cisco partners, to be bold in collaboration around 4 key imperatives:

  • Transform your sales
  • Extend the workspace in new ways
  • Accelerate your cloud business
  • Redefine the services you offer Read More »

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Why Has the Journey to Cloud Been Slow for So Many Clients?

November 21, 2013 at 8:23 am PST

This is the fifth post in a series from Dimension Data and Cisco Channels looking at user adoption and integration of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions. Findings stem from Dimension Data’s 2013 Global UC&C Survey, developed with ICT researcher Ovum and featuring responses from more than 2,700 participants in 18 countries across 20 vertical industries.

In the last blog based on Dimension Data’s research, Nagi Kasinadhuni expanded on the idea that certain technologies were merely a ticket to the game. In this edition of the UC&C series, we had the opportunity to interview Neville Cousins, solutions director for voice and applications at Dimension Data. Cousins gave us more insight on the data from the UC&C study from his perspective.

He focused on the idea that the market has seen a slow uptake of cloud deployment. Based on Dimension Data’s research the adoption rate has certainly been slower than Cousins would have anticipated. Read More »

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If Time is Money, Then it’s Time to Rethink BYOD

Ken Trombetta Cisco blog - 10 31 13When Benjamin Franklin coined the famous phrase, “time is money,” I am sure the advances of mobile technology were not on his mind. However, the adage is more relevant now than ever before as organizations evaluate their mobility and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies.

BYOD is Here to Stay

Earlier this year we announced the results of the Cisco IBSG BYOD Financial Impact study. The global research revealed interesting statistics about the financial impact of BYOD including:

  • Mobile users are willing to invest in BYOD. Mobile employees who BYOD (“BYOD-ers”) spend on average $965 on their devices, and use 1.7 personal devices for work. They spend an additional $734 per year on voice and data plans for their BYOD devices.
  • BYOD is delivering productivity gains around the world. Even with a broad mix of BYOD implementation levels, the typical company is, on average, saving money and its employees are more productive.
  • Comprehensive BYOD pays for itself in hard cost savings. Apart from productivity gains, the major cost savings are in three areas: hardware, support and telecommunications costs. Read More »

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Revenue-Generation Marketing: The Proof is in the Pipeline

November 14, 2013 at 9:47 am PST

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” -- Winston Churchill

In a recent blog, I scratched the surface of revenue-generation marketing and how we’re transforming marketing from a cost center to a revenue generating center within Cisco. This week, I want to dig a little deeper.

Marketing that contributes measurable ROI to the bottom line… that sounds great, right? But how do you get there? The core of revenue-generation marketing and what makes it work is the partnership between sales and marketing. And, the first step of revenue-generation marketing is alignment of the revenue-generation marketing plan with the overall business plan for the company. Without that, the whole revenue-generation marketing process, from executing to managing the funnel with account teams and having regular funnel management business reviews, won’t work. You have to execute against the priorities of the business overall.

As marketing organizations transition into a revenue generators, an almost natural shift happens. Marketing begins speaking the language of the business and sales. We talk about planning, forecast, pipeline, bookings and revenue. Marketing hasn’t historically done that, so there’s another evolution occurring in the industry.

From a sales and marketing revenue alignment perspective, you obviously want to align on priorities with sales. But at the end of the day, what makes the marketing plan a revenue-generation marketing plan is the fact that a revenue contribution target is set, either focused on pipeline or bookings and revenue. That target is usually set or communicated as a percentage of sales. According to Sirius Decisions, the industry standard for business to business (B2B), high-tech marketing contribution-to-revenue baselines is that >$5 billion companies source less than 10 percent of sales pipeline, with high of 20 percent and a low of 2 percent of sales pipeline. The industry standard provides a baseline of where you want to be. At that point, you need to realistically evaluate where you are – your run rate and marketing’s current contribution to revenue.

Beyond run rate, there are only three levers for driving this plan: volume, visibility, and conversion rate. What volume of leads are you driving; how much of that is visibly available and reportable in your sales force or customer relationship management systems; and how much of that is being accepted and converted by the sales team into the pipeline or revenue?

Now we’re humming along. We’re aligned. We’re speaking the language. We’ve set our contribution revenue target based on industry standards. The “Rocky” theme song splits the air, and we’re on top of the world. Well, not quite yet. Now that we’ve taken a look at our plan from a top-down perspective, it’s time to reverse engineer the demand waterfall to determine if the revenue contribution target is realistic. By calculating the amount you need in sales all the way back to how many leads you’re going to have to source to reach that number, the bottom-up piece meets the top-down piece, and you can adjust your revenue contribution goal based on if you have the budget and resources to meet that number.

As you know, that number at Cisco is $1 billion worth of qualified leads in midmarket for partners this fiscal year. We’re here to help you position your business for success, and I’d love to hear your perspectives in the comments section or via twitter @sherriliebo.

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