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Has Your Company Outgrown Your “IT Guy”

By Ken Presti, Contributing Columnist

It starts with a nagging suspicion that things aren’t in synch, and kind of grows from there.  Symptoms include long response times, an inability to scale, and sometimes just an all-out failure to keep things working.  At one time or another, every company faces the question of whether they have outgrown their IT guy.

The causes can be many, but typically fall into one of two buckets.  The most obvious one is the inability of said IT guy to keep up with the changes of the industry and grow with the job.  In these situations, the answer may be as simple as getting some additional training, as opposed to looking for someone new.  But very often, it’s far more complicated than that.  In some ways, Moore’s Law has now been applied to human resources.  Managers are expected to get more from the people they’ve got, and next quarter they are expected to get more still.  And if you think that’s bad, just wait til the quarter after that.  So very often, it is not a lack of ability or a lack of willingness on the part of the employee, it is simply a matter of trying to get too much done with too few bodies.

When faced with such difficulties with your IT support, there are a couple of different ways you can go.  The least advisable option is to keep bumping along with the situation you’ve got, due to the budget requirements at hand. Unfortunately, a lot of companies go this route, and they do so at substantial risk. The best choice, of course, is heavily dependent upon how much wiggle room there might be for that line item.  For example, you may be able to bring someone onto the team, either as a full-time employee, a part-time employee, or a contractor of some type.  In many cases, you may find channel partners in your area who are ready, willing, and able to either meet your IT needs, or at least add additional resources to the equation without increasing your headcount.

But the important part is that management recognizes the critical role that IT plays in the organization, and is willing to provide the extra support, and least as a defensive maneuver to help protect the company’s ability to deliver on business-level objectives.  In this situation, it may be necessary to make some pretty difficult choices.  But assuming that IT is mission-critical to the company, making such a choice is critical to the bottom line.

The good thing about working with a channel partner is that you can usually find some level of supplementary service that suit’s your company’s budget, whatever that might be. And sometimes the effects of just a little bit of help can far exceed the incremental cost.

Thus, with a little bit of planning, and a little bit of flexibility, you can bring a higher degree of IT efficiency, and oftentimes accomplish that goal while leaving your primary team intact.

Ken Presti has extensive experience in channel program analysis and development.  He is the founder of Presti Research.  His company  focuses on channel and go-to-market programs and strategies in order to help our clients build successful and profitable partnerships with compatible companies.

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Staying Focused On Our Partners’ Success

As we enter Q2 FY11, I’d like to take a moment to speak to you, our partners, about our plans for the year ahead.

On November 10, Cisco released Q1 earnings and as CEO John Chambers said, “Cisco delivered solid financial results, during a challenging economic environment. While we have seen capital spending moderate in some areas of our business, our execution in the areas we can control and influence speak to the success and relevance of the company’s strategy.”

Adding to those comments, I would like to reiterate that our overall vision for the Worldwide Partner Organization has not changed—we are still focused on building the world’s best partnerships.

In support of this objective, we recently launched Partner Horizon, our three-to-five year initiative for taking us to the next level.

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Top 10 Reasons to Give Thanks at Cisco

November 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm PST

A (U.S.*) Thanksgiving tradition in many households is to go around the dinner table and have everyone state what they are thankful for.  As we enter the twilight of 2010, I thought that it is a good time to reflect on what I am thankful for at Cisco.

Here is my (decidedly) Cisco-centric list…in reverse order (David Letterman “Top 10 List” style):

#10 – Quality of Life.  We have the technology to make it easy and productive to work from anywhere at any time.  Broadband was the first step.  Collaborative technology is the second.  And, now, pervasive video makes it quite seamless indeed.  This could also easily be the #1 reason I am thankful to be at Cisco.

#9 – Teamwork.  Two heads are better than one.  We have a collaborative culture and that makes success much sweeter.

#8 – Fun.  We have fun at Cisco.  While it may sound trite: if you aren’t having fun, why are you doing it?

#7 – Diversity.  Diversity makes us stronger.  Diversity of thinking, background, geography, products and more

#6 – Empowerment.  Cisco was just recognized as the best employer in all of Canada.  One of the reasons stated was because we empower employees to do their job.  It may be tough to get into Cisco (I, for instance, interviewed with 11 different people), but once you are hired, we trust you as a professional to do your job.

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Join a Live Video Broadcast on Partner Profitability

November 19, 2010 at 2:44 pm PST

As a Cisco partner, being profitable is most certainly your number-one priority.

And the new Vice President of Cisco’s Worldwide Commercial Segment Dave O’Callaghan gets it. Dave previously served as Vice President of Worldwide Distribution driving Cisco’s distribution strategy. In his new role, he’ll be responsible for sales, strategy and programs for the mid-size and small markets. (And driving partners’ profits!)

Want to know more about what he’s going to do for you? Then tune into our live video broadcast.

How to participate…

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Capturing Year-End IT Spend

It’s a well known fact in the IT industry that there is a spending push at the end of the calendar year as companies look to close out their budget. This year-end spending trend represents a great sales opportunity for both Cisco and our partners.

Helping our partners boost profits and provide value to our mutual customers are two core principles of our partner strategy. With that in mind, we recently launched a global sales initiative called “Year-end Sprint” (YES), which will allow us, together with our partners, to capture coveted year-end IT spending.

YES is a collection of several high-value, global architecture product and service offerings for customers that include additional incentives for partners. These offers span our four key architectures: Borderless Networks, Collaboration, Data Center, and Service Provider, including IP NGN and SP Cloud.

The countdown to the New Year has already begun, so  I encourage you to quickly learn more about YES, by visiting the YES Sales Initiative page on Partner Central (CCO login required).

To give you a flavor for YES, let me take a moment to highlight three of our YES architecture offers.

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