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Embarking on an Exciting Evolution: What Partners Need to Know

I’ve heard time and again from you (our partners) that we need to simplify, and make it easier to do business with us. Yesterday, we took a leap forward in streamlining Cisco.

Here are the three things I’d like to emphasize about the changes we announced on May 5.

1)    Simplicity.

I promised you at Partner Summit in New Orleans that we would simplify. Yesterday we followed through on that pledge by streamlining our sales, services, and engineering organizations at Cisco.

2)    Profitability.

My top priority is your profitability. We will continue to innovate and invest in industry leading programs like VIP and OIP. And, together we will drive growth and profitability in five key areas:

•    core  (routing, switching, and services)
•    collaboration
•    data center, virtualization, and cloud
•    video
•    architectures

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Partner Update Covers Your Top Cisco Headlines, in Less than 5 Minutes

April 21, 2011 at 7:24 am PST

We filmed this week’s Partner Update newscast from a special location that all too many people are familiar with: Cubicle Prison.

But don’t worry, we didn’t stay there for long. We broke free as soon as the new innovations for Borderless Networks were announced.

Watch how Andrew and I break free from Cubicle Prison to deliver your top news headlines in this week’s Partner Update newscast.

But that wasn’t all we accomplished, read on for a recap of the top partner headlines from our newscast: Read More »

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Broadcast Recap: How Professional Services Can Increase Partners’ Profitability

April 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm PST

On Monday I hosted a live Channels Chat video broadcast with Bob Dimicco, Senior Director of Cisco Services. Bob is responsible for the Collaborative Professional Services program that was launched at Partner Summit.

During the broadcast, he offered an overview of how services are a key differentiator for Cisco partners, and he explained how services can drive partner profitability. Here’s a replay in case you missed it.

Cisco’s services strategy places the partner at the center, according to Bob, because partners are critical to Cisco’s go-to market strategy, whether a partner is selling professional services, managed services, or technical services.

In terms of sales, it used to be that products generated far more revenue for partners than services. Five years ago, 80% of partners’ business was product-based, and 20% was generated by services. Now, partners’ business is almost split evenly between product and services. Bob then told viewers that services help an end-customer see how technology can really generate business outcomes.

Want to learn more? In addition to the video replay above, we’ve got a text summary of the broadcast, along with time stamps to identify sections in which Bob addresses key topics, such as market opportunities around architectures, success stories, and how Cisco’s services are different from those competitors offer.

Read More »

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New Advancements in Borderless Networks: Connect from Anywhere, at Anytime

Remember the days when going to work meant being stuck at your desk, working on a desktop PC? Thankfully, the proliferation of laptops, tablets, and mobile devices, along with a robust network to support connectivity, has enabled all of us to be on the go and working, at the same time.

With new innovations in Borderless Networks, which are being announced today, an organization’s ability to securely connect anyone, anywhere, with their preferred device, while delivering a high quality experience even to the most resource-intensive multimedia applications, has become even stronger.

So how will these new innovations change the workplace even more? Watch this video to find out, and to learn more details on the enhancements.

Luckily, most of us don’t have a boss like that one in the video. And using our smartphones, we can get some work done on the beach! (Ok, maybe).

As for how the new the Borderless Networks innovations will have an impact—they will deliver solutions in three areas: Security, Management, and Multimedia.

Here are the details, and what the new innovations will mean for our partners: Read More »

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Social Media Spotlight: How to Get Started in Social Media

April 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm PST

Over the past few years, so many partners and even Cisco employees have asked me time and again “How do I get started in social media?” Having heard that question so often, it seemed to me that before we use our new Social Media Spotlight series to highlight best practices when blogging, or using Twitter or Facebook, we should explain how to get into the social media game.

I myself came to social media by way of journalism, so when someone asks me how to get started, I usually turn around and ask the person who’s talking to me, “What do you want to achieve in using social media?”

Perhaps you’re not certain what you want to achieve, beyond knowing that you want to use social media at your company. According to a recent survey conducted by IPED and commissioned by Cisco, about 50% of partners are interested in learning how to expand online engagement to drive business. Does that include you? Then read on for some advice on how to start process.

1) Identify Your Goal(s)

Defining what you want to achieve is the major starting point—if you haven’t used social media before, and you are looking to get started, you need to ask yourself what you want to use social media for—what is your goal?

For most businesses, social media can help amplify your company’s message, help you engage with your customers, start conversations, and deepen relationships. So keeping that in mind, you should start thinking about a social media plan by developing a list of clear goals. It should be more than just gaining followers and fans. While gaining followers is one metric, the conversation, interaction, and even leads you generate are important ways of measuring success.

Once you have that list of goals (my rule of thumb is that two or three is ideal) then your next step will be to identify which social media vehicles align with those goals. Read More »

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