Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:
Off the Top
This week we announced the largest portfolio expansion for Cisco UCS since the launch of the product five years ago. Partners will now be on a whole new level of delivering business outcomes for their customers.
John Growdon talked about how partners win big with the new technology solutions that transform how customers deliver IT. These solutions also cut across all market segments with positive and sustained impact to customer businesses and they innovate and grow business too. With the commitment of our partners, Cisco has grown to #1 in the US and #2 worldwide in x86 blade server market. Our hats are off to you!
Additionally, Cisco and Red Hat announced a significant expansion to its partnership, bringing our cloud and integrated infrastructures together with Red Hat’s market leadership and domain expertise of open source and OpenStack – essentially building on-ramps to the Intercloud. This blog from Denny Trevett (@dtrevett) details how Cisco Channel Partners will benefit with opportunities to grow their data center practices. Integrated solutions from Cisco and Red Hat enable partners to drive profitable growth and increase customer value with solutions that drive business outcomes. Cisco and Red Hat will offer enterprise and solution provider customers the most robust and open portfolio of integrated solutions for data center modernization, open hybrid cloud and big data. Read More »
Tags: channel partner program, Cisco, InterCloud, Internet of Everything, partners, red hat, social media, UCS, Weekly Rewind
Today at Cisco we announced the fifth anniversary of the Unified Computing System (UCS), along with innovations in our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) portfolio.
It’s pretty exciting considering that when we entered the server market five years ago, there were questions about what we were doing. Was it the right play? Could Cisco be successful in this new market? Well history has borne out that it was indeed a good idea. With the help of our channel partners we have gone from “zero to hero.” Our partnerships with our channel and technology partners took us from not being a player in this space to becoming a multi-billion dollar business with over 30,000 UCS customers worldwide.
More than 80 percent of all Cisco UCS sales go through our channel partners, and we are now ranked second worldwide in x86 blade server revenue market share. These accomplishments are nothing to sneeze at, and we know just how important it has been to work with our partners to make such a rapid move in this market. Cisco’s data center partner community continues to thrive and grow, with partners investing in their data center practices using Cisco UCS as a foundation. We have more than 3,850 channel partners that sell Cisco UCS today, with more than half of them possessing UCS Specialization credentials. In fact, a year ago, in Q2FY13, there were about 1,600 Cisco Specialized partners on UCS. In Q2FY14 a year later, Cisco had approximately 2,000 UCS Specialized partners – a 25% increase over the previous year. Read More »
Tags: ACI, Cisco, ciscops14, cloud, InterCloud, john growdon, partners, UCS
At Cisco Live! Milan, I talked with people from all types of organizations from around the world and hearing their excitement at how they envision the cloud is going to change the way they do business. Their stories are incredible and inspiring. They range from a small startup hoping to expand their business without having to create their own IT department all the way to global companies looking for ways to deliver new services faster in a more secure and cost-effective manner.
No matter the size of their organization, they are all looking for similar things. Assured performance is top-of-list for most. Faster to time market is another important factor. Many are turning to the cloud for a competitive edge that lets them take advantage of continuous innovation without having to reinvest in a completely new data center. And most are looking forward to the cost savings of not having to manage their own IT infrastructure. However, what’s often not talked about is that behind every cloud service is a network that is responsible for the performance of your data and applications. And the truth is, not all cloud services are created equal.
Read More »
Tags: Cisco Powered, cloud, cloud providers, partners
Over the past few months, the We’re Listening blog has brought you ongoing news about updates to our RMA processes, and the improvements keep on coming. I’ve asked Jim Fuller, Senior Director of Services Entitlement, to return to the blog to share details on the new 3-Way RMA process. The new process represents a significant improvement for many of our customers and partners, and in the spirit of the We’re Listening blog, was undertaken by Jim’s team in direct response to customer and partner feedback. Share your thoughts on other ways we can simplify your interactions with Cisco, and your suggestions may end up as new capabilities featured on the blog!
By Guest Contributor Jim Fuller
Our partners provide constant feedback to tell us how we can improve their experience doing business with Cisco. One of our partners’ number one requests is to help them create an RMA via a single step, versus opening a support case with Cisco to remedy contract updates as a result of RMA transactions.
We heard your feedback, and if you’re a partner who “self-spares” (spares inventory from your depot) or a customer who contracts with a partner who self-spares, your Return Material Authorization (RMA) process just became easier. We’ve introduced Partners 3-Way RMA/Self-Sparing.
With this new process, service contracts are automatically updated with the associated serial number swaps when processing 3-Way RMAs. Available now, the new capabilities provide the following benefits:
1. Delivery of an automated RMA process that supports 3-Way RMA transactions at the time of RMA creation
2. Two serial numbers can now be entered at the time of RMA creation for those partners that self-spare, via the Service Order RMA Tool (SORT):
- The serial number of the claimed defective part from customer network
- The serial number of the spare part used by the partner to replace the claimed defective part on the customer’s network
3. Ability to minimize or even eliminate partner overhead to monitor and coordinate contract swaps
Previously, the Partner Self-Sparing model was not systematically supported making equipment difficult to track. Without a standardized process, contract and installed base updates had to be performed manually via a support case process. Now, systematic contract updates will occur at the time of RMA shipment reflecting the spare part (replacing the claimed defective part) on contract, making it easier to do business with Cisco and drastically reducing support cases.
To date, more than 175 partners globally have been enabled, with an RMA success rate of 95%. In FY14, we’re focused on reducing contract cycles and the number of customer escalations even further.
Please contact your Cisco Partner Support Development Manager (PSDM) for further information about enabling these new capabilities in support of your 3-Way RMA/Self-Sparing needs.
Tags: cisco_services, partners, RMA, we-are-listening
Today, Cisco introduces a newly-defined Small and Midsize Business (SMB) Specialization, an improved and combined version of the existing Small Business and Small Business Foundation Specializations. This evolution captures several market and technology trends critical to your customer’s needs, and positions existing and future Cisco SMB Specialized partners to succeed in the midmarket space.
The SMB Specialization curriculum has been revised to mirror the architectural go-to-market strategy employed by Cisco’s Advanced-level specializations. This new curriculum positions our SMB partners to sell across all technologies. The major focus for the enablement tracks are Borderless Networks, Collaboration, and Data Center, as well as updated Services training. And for the first time, Cisco introduces enablement focused on Cloud , SMB-level Cisco TelePresence® products and formal virtualization and data center switching.
What else is changing with the new SMB Specialization? Read More »
Tags: Cisco, partners, SMB specialization