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Helping Cisco Partners Support SMBs–and Themselves

Our Small Business partners provide customers with expert guidance, hand holding, and support they need to flourish. And Cisco wants to extend that same level of support you offer SMBs every day.

That’s right, our new Cisco Partner Advisor Sales Support Service (PA) for Partners who sell to SMB Customers helps make it easier and more profitable to do business with Cisco.

And we want to get your feedback to make sure PA and some other partner tools are serving your needs. (More on that part later…) But first, here’s what you need to know about PA:

This service helps new partners get started with Cisco and provides existing partners with non-technical sales pricing, program, and tool support. And, partners can chat with a Cisco Partner Advisor agent to find the right resource at the right time to help accelerate sales

Here are a few of the benefits of Partner Advisor: Read More »

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Michael Capellas Shares VCE Strategy, Impact to Cisco Partners

“Cloud is going to be the dominant technology going forward,” as Michael Capellas told us at Partner Summit 2011.

And, he knows a thing or two about cloud—after all he’s the CEO of the Virtual Computing Enviroment (VCE), the joint venture between Cisco, VMware, and EMC.

When VCE was formed, the goal was to accelerate the transition to fully virtualized environments and private clouds. And with the Vblock, VCE delivers the industry’s first completely integrated IT offering that combines best-in-class virtualization, networking, computing, storage, security, and management technologies with end-to-end vendor accountability.

While I was on site at Partner Summit, I got the chance to chat with Michael Capellas and he discussed the value that VCE brings to our partners.

How does that impact you and your business? Read More »

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Reevaluating the Timing and Costs of Developing Channel Relationships

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:

Read More »

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Enhancements to My Cisco Workspace

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.

Read More »

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