You may have read about Fast Track 2 when I first blogged about ways this new program will help simplify sales transactions, reduce pricing on key product families, and accelerate Cisco partner rewards and incentives.
As of today, there is now a Fast Track 2 Pricing Catalog that includes the AIRxx Product Family, in addition to product SKUs from switches, routers, and wireless families. This new addition will help partners view the Cisco Suggested Reseller Price, inventory availability by distributor, help you close deals faster and drive incremental demand for Cisco solutions.
CRN recently sat down with Cisco Chairman CEO John Chambers, SVP Channels Edison Peres, SVP Services Karl Meulema, SVP Small Business Ian Pennell and numerous other executives across Cisco to create a remarkable set of feature stories published in this month’s print edition.
The feature stories examine everything from Cisco’s architectural strategy to the success Cisco has had within the small business market to the hottest emerging opportunities for the channel to John Chambers’ vision for partners.
“The architecture play, as Cisco sees it, is all-encompassing, with the cloud as the next frontier. It extends from network core to network edge – data center to mobile device – and serves as an organizing principle for everything from switches and routers to video, servers, wireless access points and security. Cisco can, and does, do them all. And what Chambers is asking partners to do isn’t to be everything to everyone and attempt to sell everything but, in essence, see the architectural forest for the product trees and map the way they sell Cisco to that strategy.” – CRN, Cisco’s Chambers: Architecture Is The Future
Read all the stories and view the videos and slide shows:
During their discussion, Joe and Kevin talked about a number of topics, including three big IT trends we’ll see this year, particularly the return on investment and savings SMBs can expect from joining a public cloud.
Watch Kevin’s interview below to hear all the details.
So what are the three trends they identified? Here’s the scoop:
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.
In case you didn’t catch it yesterday Cisco hosted a session about Small Business on Talk2Cisco a live, real-time, social, interactive, online video broadcast. Some of our SMB leaders driving the initative here shared their views, and took questions live, online all around the topic of Small Business. They tackled the question from a viewer why should small businesses even care about technology when they have a business to run, shared real life stories of small busiensses that used IT as a real business tool and, of course, gave a bit of advice on what small businesses should look for in technology as part of the session.