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Reevaluating the Timing and Costs of Developing Channel Relationships

March 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm PST

This post is a first in a series we’ll be featuring from Beth Vanni, Vice President of Amazon Consulting. Amazon Consulting is a partnering services firm dedicated to helping companies elevate the impact of partnering. Beth has over 25 years of experience in technology sales and marketing, with a specialty focus on partnering strategies and supporting operational plans.

A ‘perfect storm’ brewing around the issue of channel development

A variety of economic and industry innovation conditions are currently combining to create the “perfect storm” of channel development issues between IT vendors and their channel partners.  These include:

- A rash of disruptive technologies entering the market

- A slowly rebounding economy within a still-uncertain global environment

- Continued industry consolidation among vendors and solution providers

These market conditions are complicating the way in which technology vendors and solution providers engage to grow their mutual success.  If vendors are not prepared to meet these conditions with clearly defined partner value propositions, a clear coverage and capacity plan and comprehensive onboarding processes for their channel partners, their indirect revenues will likely suffer (and are).  Conversely, if solution providers aren’t prepared to intelligently navigate the vast array of vendor’s sales, technical, marketing and services programs and support materials, they won’t realize the rate of return they desire and will waste precious resources during the process.

In recent exclusive channel research entitled conducted by Amazon Consulting entitled “From Rookie to Rock Star:  The Cost and Timing of Developing Channel Partnerships,” we explored the relationship between vendors and channel partners along this issue of the costs and timing of developing a new partnership. 

The highlights from this research that we think are relevant to Cisco solution providers include the following:

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Enhancements to My Cisco Workspace

March 11, 2011 at 11:31 am PST

You probably already know about My Cisco Workspace, which is an area of Cisco.com that’s full of useful support and partner tools.  The My Cisco Workspace is designed as a personalized  venue for our Partners and Customers — a single stop to access applications/modules that enables a holistic, personalized, “One Cisco” view of support applications and online resources to manage their ongoing business with Cisco. The Workspace is especially popular with Partners who can access their deals and quotes, find events and check Partner news. The button link to the My Cisco Workspace is found in the upper right links at the top of most every page.

We’re constantly looking to improve and simplify the My Cisco Workspace experience for our users, and we’ve recently released some enhancements:

More Flexibility: We’ve added new features that allow you to configure your workspace with modules in two columns.

Easier to Find Modules: Within the My Cisco Catalog, you can get a filtered view of available modules based on your role. We also alert you of new modules added within the catalog.

Help for Partners: And we’ve added a new module just for our Partners, “Help for Partners.” This module includes Online Chat and Contact Center Support. The “Help for Partners” module is also available from the Partner Central pages and the Small Medium Business pages.

We would love to hear your comments and suggestions on improvements to the capabilities available through My Cisco.

- Laura Melchionne,  Cisco.com team.

P.S. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you also know that soon we’re removing the toolbar at the bottom of the page, and moving all functions there to the top, including the My Cisco pulldown/popup menu.  Later in April, that My Cisco popup menu will be available right next to the My Cisco Workspace button link that takes you to the workspace.

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Partners Reflect on Partner Summit 2011, Plus Our Favorite Quotes

Last week our partners got to hear from great speakers, whether at the general sessions, theater breakout sessions, or business and leadership breakout sessions. But what impact did it all have—what did partners learn while they were at Partner Summit 2011?

Luckily, we got the chance to catch up with a number of you to find out what made an impact, and what you intended to take back to your business. I interviewed partners from a number of different companies, including: Long View, Comstor, Dimension Data, Migesa, Italtel, and Datacraft.

So what did partners tell us? The messages around cloud and collaborative professional services definitely were critical. One partner also noted the importance of Cisco’s commitment to the partner-led strategy.

While at Partner Summit, we also jotted down some notable quotes we heard over the course of the week, whether at the general sessions, or during breakout sessions. Here’s what we captured.

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Closing out Partner Summit 2011: Big News and John Chambers’ Takeaways

March 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm PST

At Partner Summit 2011, the theme was all about how to create an impact, and how to grow revenues together. We caught up with Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers, who shared his key insights from attending the event this week.

At today’s General Session, the discussion focused on leadership, and how Cisco will work with partners to lead, together. Executive Vice President Rob Lloyd took the stage, and gave a clear directive to partners. He said that the network is the last great IT market opportunity, and because of that, if a competitor asks partners to sell their product, they should just say no—don’t let the competition commoditize the market.

Here’s more details on new deals for partners that Rob announced.

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Partner Summit 2011: News, Highlights, and Tweets

March 3, 2011 at 10:47 am PST

It was another great day at Partner Summit 2011 on the bayou, where the music is fantastic, the beignets are amazing, and the Partner Summit news is awesome!

At Wednesday’s general session, the focus was on how to impact innovation with Michael Capellas, CEO of VCE, and Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s CTO. Both highlighted Cisco technologies to help partners to differentiate.

We’ve got all of the event highlights, news, and details you need to know from Wednesday.

And since social media is such a big part of this year’s conference, we’re going to highlight a few of the tweets that have come through:

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