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‘Power Up’ Your Profits in 2012 with Cisco’s New Connected Grid Portfolio

January 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm PST

Dodging downed power lines isn’t fun. But building a self-healing, reliable smart grid to help eliminate costly downed power lines is. And it just got easier to build your business in the utilities sector with our newly expanded Connected Grid portfolio of solutions and services.

This “whole offer” pumps up Cisco’s relevancy in this market segment—and, more importantly, puts our partners at the forefront of this important transition.

With the Connected Grid portfolio, you can offer customers the end-to-end intelligence they need to update the world’s electrical grids. And the entire process begins with the all-inclusive blueprint known as the Cisco GridBlocks Architecture.

This brand-new architecture provides a forward-looking view of integrating the electrical grid, as well as specific network deployment guidance. It also includes a framework to help with the design and deployment of comprehensive grid management and security solutions.

So don’t think this innovative, multi-service communications platform—the utility industry’s first—is reserved solely for partners already working with customers in this space. It provides an excellent opportunity for partners who want to generate new sources of revenue.

Want to get in on the action? Read More »

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How Do You Shorten Time to Market, Increase Profits, Deploy the Best Solutions for Customers?

January 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm PST

Last week I wrote about 8 new year’s resolutions Cisco is making to partners. And if you’ve ever set a resolution and successfully achieved it, you know that having a trusted friend there to help track your progress or call when you need support is key to keeping those resolutions.

Consider Cisco your trusted friend to help make and keep those resolutions with two programs to ensure you achieve success in 2012: Steps to Success and Partner Practice Builder. Both are free resources that are available to all Cisco Registered partners. Oh, did I say they’re free?

These two programs help you optimize, support, plan, and develop strategies for success and profitability in 2012.  Here’s how these tools work: Read More »

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Partners are Going to Love Cisco CloudVerse

December 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm PST

It seems like you can’t open an IT magazine these days without being bombarded by cloud, cloud, cloud. Going to tradeshows you see traditional vendors that have taken their existing solution packages and rebranded them as cloud.  For Cisco partners and customers this can be confusing; especially since cloud comes in so many types/flavors: IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, and however people are positioning themselves.  When I think of cloud I think it fundamentally boils down to an industrialization/simplification of IT.  You focus and clearly define what you as a solution provider are providing, and by doing so, drive out the cost.  Look at MS office for email etc. has literally thousands of options or ways to use it, but has a high cost/user/month.  Gmail limits those options and by offering it free to everyone, it costs Google an ever decreasing fraction of a dollar/month.  The economics are compelling.  Customers like economics in their favor and partners get excited when customers want to make a transition.

On Dec 6th Cisco announced CloudVerse – an integrated set of capabilities combining Unified Data Center with Cloud Intelligent Network to deliver Cloud Applications and Services.  The beauty of this position is that we aren’t telling our partners, “Thanks, we’ll take it from here!” We’re looking to them to offer this integrated Cisco vision to their customers.

“We’re putting our partners in the position to offer CloudVerse as a portfolio and new cloud capabilities.” As Ralph Nimmergood, VP of WW Channels at Cisco, stated in a CRN article published last week.

Partners are key to our cloud strategy and we’re excited to be on this journey with them.

Click here to read the entire CRN article.

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What’s for Dinner? Cisco Serves $49 Billion Services Opportunity to Partners

If someone invited you to a dinner party, but then only allowed you to eat the bread at the table verses the entire meal, chances are, you’d leave feeling pretty hungry.

Applying that analogy--let’s look at how a vendors services model impacts the overall partner-vendor relationship. We all know that services are “meat and potatoes” for solution providers. As a matter of fact, services now represent 40-50% of Cisco channel partners business, up from 20 percent five years ago.

But the reality is that traditional services models don’t allow channel partners to fully participate in the services opportunity. HP is a case in point. HP has a traditional services model, with an army of approximately 200,000 services employees and a “hard deck” where they sell direct to 1,800-2,000 of their largest customers.

Cisco, on the other hand, has approximately 11,000 Services employees and allows partners to participate in the Services opportunity at every level, from the largest global customers to the local small business. Our partners are the extension our Services arm.

Through programs such as Collaborative Professional Services (CPS) and Steps-to-Success, Cisco also has a range of initiatives designed to transfer knowledge gained by Cisco Services to accelerate partner success.

To go back to our original analogy, Cisco allows partners to enjoy the entire meal…and the $49 billion services TAM around Cisco technologies and architectures in FY12 definitely offers some enticing menu options!

To take advantage of this tremendous opportunity, Cisco Services aims to work with partners to deliver new services experiences to customers through its unique sales engagement model, smart services portfolio and partner-centric programs. Now, Cisco is taking the next step forward to further clarify our sales engagement model and drive consistency in the field.

Read More »

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Managed Services: OnPlus for Small Business Reseller Partners

December 13, 2011 at 10:33 am PST

Imagine being alerted of a customer’s network issue at your son’s baseball game. Now imagine being able to fix that issue between innings, before the customer even becomes aware of it.

That’s the power of OnPlus, a new managed service Cisco is announcing today to help VARs easily and affordably provide network assessment, management, and advisory services to their small business customers. This new service provides VARs with a cost-effective, scalable business model for those beginning to establish their managed services practice.

So what does this really mean for our channel partners?

If you ask Liberty Technology President and Cisco certified partner Ben Johnson, he’d say that, “Liberty Technology focuses on making technology easy for both consumers and businesses. With Cisco OnPlus, you’re able to get a more complete, 360 degree picture of your customer’s network. We’ve used OnPlus in a number of scenarios, from doing network surveys to quickly troubleshooting and identifying problems with customer’s networks, which has greatly saved us time and of course money.”

What else can you gain from using Cisco OnPlus service? Read on for all of the advantages. Read More »

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