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Advantage Now! Event Focuses on Collaboration Solutions for Partners

Advantage Now!

If you serve small or medium business and aren’t planning to attend Partner Summit 2011, we’ll bring some of the content to your area with the Advantage Now! event on March 1, 2011.

The event will give you the information you need about new and enhanced Cisco collaboration solutions that will help you build a more profitable practice.

After all, the nature of how businesses communicate is changing. Your customers are interacting with their customers in new and different ways – to serve them better and to build stronger relationships.

And the pace of change isn’t slowing down.

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Should you look for a channel partner who offers hosting?

Guest Post by Contributing Author Ken Presti

While sitting on a plane idly chatting with a small business owner last week, the conversation moved to computers. The guy was in the process of evaluating channel partners, and asked if it was important for a channel partner to offer managed services. My first instinct was to give him the falling-off-the-log obvious answer: “Well, gee… if you’re going to use managed services, then I guess my answer is yes. (Sarcasm sometimes gets the better of me, as you can see)  But then I realized his question actually went deeper than that. Read More »

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Changing Channel Partners, How to Make an Effective Break

January 28, 2011 at 9:12 am PST

Guest Post by Contributing author Ken Presti

There’s an old “Seinfeld” episode in which George and his girlfriend are breaking up. “It’s not you; it’s me!”, both claim. George gets angry. “I invented, “It’s not you, it’s me!”, he insists. Then, the girlfriend stares at him blankly and concedes. “Yes, George. It’s you.”

“Breaking up” with your channel partner doesn’t need to be anywhere near that dysfunctional. But a little bit of consideration and tact can go a long way towards making the transition easier. And I’m not saying that from the perspective of a touchy-feely California guy. I’m saying that because there is a lot that the outgoing partner can do to disrupt your business continuity. And you don’t want that! Read More »

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Why Small Business is Serious Business: Cisco continues Portfolio Expansion

You’ve heard us say it before, there’s nothing small about the small business initiative at Cisco. Rick Moran, our WW vice president of SB Solutions Marketing, has this week been discussing our latest news with ‘connect’ and ‘secure’ products focused on Small Business with analysts from across the globe.

The launch this week is particularly exciting as it includes a expansion of the “built for small” portfolio with a range of Ethernet switches, a business-class network security Firewall as well as a backup Service for storage products and the financing offers and options for small business to go with them.

It’s an exciting time for small businesses to evaluate their needs – there are lots of challenges for growing businesses to overcome, but lots of solutions to those needs as well. And yes… cost is a major component of successfully running IT, that’s why Cisco Capital is currently offering competitive financing for small business customers so they can get the technology they need to stay competitive and profitable. Three-year, 3 percent financing in the U.S and zero-percent financing in Europe and Canada is now available to small business customers.

Of course, we’re always listening to our customers, acting on their feedback and developing new solutions that can help drive their business performance to the next level. Analyst feedback is a great prism through which we can look at the challenges, and opportunities for small businesses, and so discussions with analysts really build on this process and are an invaluable part of helping us to push ourselves and our products as far as possible.

Our latest discussions re-iterated many of the key things that matter to a small business – good value, ease of use and reliability. Small business remain hungry for advice on how they can innovate, while keeping things simple. For example, we recently ran a Talk2 Cisco webinar session  on how small businesses can gain an edge on the competition. Ian Pennell, senior vice president for Cisco’s small business technology group and co-lead of Cisco’s small business council, and Andrew Sage, vice president, worldwide small business sales, enjoyed discussing many of these issues and answering small businesses’ questions on these areas. To paraphrase one of the analysts we were speaking with, ‘small can still be complex we still want quick and easy to use solutions’. Amen to that.

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New Cisco Capital Financing Helps Empower Partners

January 25, 2011 at 9:57 am PST

IT spending is on the rise says a recent report from Raymond James & Associates. In fact, 2010 was the first year in a decade to see double-digit growth. So what’s one of the reasons for that spike?

According to the report, an improved credit environment has played a part. And guess what? Here at Cisco, we’re doing our part to make it easier for partners to get fast access to credit decisions. Cisco Capital is opening its doors to small business with competitive financing in the US, Canadian, and European markets.

With straightforward, flexible leasing options, competitive rates, and fast credit processing, Cisco Capital can help any business acquire the solutions it needs to be successful. I got the chance to chat with Kristine Snow, President of Cisco Capital. She filled me in on what exactly Cisco Capital is doing to expand small business financing.

Want to learn more? Here are the specifics:

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