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Partner Update: Fresh Batch of Cisco News in Less than Five Minutes

October 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm PST

As Andrew learned the hard way, doing your research before you make an investment pays off, whether you’re buying a car or equipment for your network.

In this episode of Partner Update, we explore total cost of ownership and why it’s the only true way to measure network costs. We also cover storytelling tips and methods learned from esteemed author and presentation expert Nancy Duarte (she created the presentation you see in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth), our October 18 TweetChat with Nancy, our October 20 broadcast covering LinkedIn for B2B, virtualization technology news, Cisco’s own Edison Peres’ travels to speak with partners in South America, LEAP centers to help partners test out data centers, tips for solution providers, and much more. Whew!

Tune in for the latest partner news:

Keep reading for a text summary and list of links mentioned during Partner Update. Read More »

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Cut Costs, Go Green with Cisco Certified Pre-Owned Equipment

Cutting costs is always a priority. And if your customers need to purchase new products, they likely will want to find the best deal. Did you know that one of the best ways they can do that is by purchasing Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment?

Pre-owned equipment is Cisco hardware that has been fully refurbished to Cisco factory specifications. It’s backed by the same warranty, and has the same maintenance and support options as new Cisco products. And…Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment can be had at discounts of as much as 30% off new product prices!

But did you know that less than 5% of Cisco channel partners currently take advantage of the availability pre-owned equipment for their customers? I got the chance to chat with Maryann Von Seggern--senior director, pre-owned equipment, Cisco Capital--and she filled me in on why partners should consider Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment for their customers’ networks, how the equipment is certified, and the financing available to partners for Certified Refurbished Equipment.

Keep reading for my full Q&A with Maryann. Read More »

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Checking the Pulse of Cisco Partners in Latin America

One of the best parts of my job is the opportunity to meet with Cisco partners around the world.

We just wrapped up the most recent Cisco Partner Executive Exchange (CPEE) with our Latin American partners in beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina. This vibrant city was a great backdrop for a lively discussion about opportunity, technology, programs, and partnership.

We shared Cisco’s vision and the actions we are taking to create the Next Cisco to simplify and be more agile. They agreed with our strategy to be simplified, focused, agile and a bit more aggressive with the competition.

Partners here are positive about growth, and while they foresee some economic challenges in some parts of the region, most said they expect to grow by 20% or more by next year. They are excited about the opportunities, especially around Collaboration and Data Center and the potential of Cloud.

Latin America has led the way for programs like TIP (Teaming Incentive Program) and the Partner Led model. So they were very interested in how we have evolved these over time to be able to make them more global and consistent. As expected, they gave us some great feedback.

Read More »

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Plenty of Room in the Cloud for Cisco Solution Providers

This post is the fourth in a series we’re featuring from Amazon Consulting. Amazon Consulting is a partnering services firm dedicated to helping companies elevate the impact of partnering. The author of this post is Cary Tengler, Director, Client Services.

As Bob Dylan once famously sang, “The times, they are a’changin’.” Recent changes in technology—specifically with cloud computing—have moved technology service providers into an increasingly prominent role in the IT services delivery market.

Many vendors recognized early on the broader value of technology service providers, or TSPs, and created programs to support their role in the partner ecosystem. For instance, “Cisco Powered Network” branding and joint selling efforts have long been a part of Cisco’s service provider strategy.  And it appears the rest of the IT vendor community is coming to the same conclusion.

A recent Amazon Consulting survey of 64 global IT vendors found that 70% view service providers as “very strategic” in their go-to-market plans and only 12% of the vendors viewed them as “customers and not partners.” This increased industry focus on TSPs as part of the emerging “cloud channel” makes it imperative that Cisco’s VARs take a closer look at their own cloud services and partnering strategies. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Westcon Group’s LEAP Centers Focus on Technology’s Business Value

Sometimes it helps to see real-world routing and switching technology, data center security, and virtualized Unified Communications in action. Did you know that there’s a place you can do just that—either in person, or virtually?

It’s been just about a year since Cisco distributor partner the Westcon Group unveiled its LEAP Centers (LEAP stands for Learn, Experience, Architect and Plan). LEAP Centers provide partners with hands-on training  in a lab environment, where a reseller and end-user can come together for hands-on demonstrations.

Cisco partners can take advantage of training to evaluate core switching and routing processes, application delivery, data center security, virtualized Unified Communications and other data-centric and Cisco UCS solutions. Westcon has two LEAP Centers, one in Denver, Colorado, and the other in Brussels, Belgium. If you can’t visit in person, Westcon enables users to access LEAP Center resources virtually, as well.

I got the chance to chat with Bill Hurley, CTO of the Westcon Group, and he filled me in on what’s been going on over the past year, why Cisco partners should take advantage of what the LEAP centers have to offer, and how the LEAP centers have exceeded Westcon’s expectations.

It’s been almost a year since you launched the LEAP centers: What’s been going on with them during that time frame?

Bill Hurley: We have been phenomenally successful in raising awareness about the impact and benefits of virtualization and data center consolidation—those have been our two biggest areas of inquiry and activity. We’ve focused on showing how UCS helps enable business benefits. And we’ve also run specific programs around a service-oriented architecture (SOA)-enabled data center, as well as a UCS bootcamp.

LEAP centers have appealed to both partners and end-users: They’re not just about speeds and feeds, but instead help in putting all the technology in a business context. There’s a real benefit for partners in physically being at a LEAP center—it helps them understand how the technologies really work together. Read More »

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