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Choosing a Cisco Partner for an Advanced Technology Project

August 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm PST

Since returning from Cisco Live! I have been working on our next big project. In this case, I will need help in my design and deployment so I have to select the company that will help me; choosing a VAR (Value Added Reseller) for the project is a very important choice. Most companies have a policy of getting three or more SOWs (Statement of Work) from partners, but once they are in you are left with several very similar documents and the main difference is price. Anyone that has been in this industry for any amount of time knows choosing your partner purely based on price is a great way to set yourself up for failure.

So how do you choose a partner? Hopefully, you have taken your stack of SOWs and have whittled them down to a manageable npeople meetingumber of potentials. Again, hopefully they all have similar levels of experience with the type of deployment you are looking for and possibly similar prices. One of the things I ask up front is if the company is a Cisco ATP (Advanced Technology Partner). If they are, then they stay in my possibilities stack, if they aren’t then even if they stay in the possible stack they have a long hill to climb in the selection process. A company being a Cisco VAR and an ATP means they have proven expertise in an area. They also have direct access to Cisco product resources beyond the normal TAC (Technical Assistance Center) path I would have to take in opening a case and seeking support.  Read More »

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Cisco @ Microsoft WPC 2012: New Channel Partner Opportunities

July 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm PST

Microsoft’s annual channel event – their Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) – kicks off in Toronto in a few days on July 8. Cisco is a gold sponsor at WPC this year and we will be showcasing our Cisco UCS Intel-based server and Nexus switch families to the expected 15,000 Microsoft System Integrators, distributors, LARs, and VARs in attendance.

Cisco, with UCS and Nexus, provides tremendous data center engagement opportunities for channel partners to drive revenue generation. Microsoft will continue to roll out new product revisions for Windows Server, System Center, and SQL Server over the next few months.

With a 73 percent Intel Server market share as measured by IDC, Microsoft Windows Server and associated workloads are present in most all commercial and enterprise accounts worldwide. Here are a few actions you can take to leverage Cisco UCS and Nexus engagement for your clients and customers:

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Making the Team: How VARsity Players use OnPlus to Score

February 27, 2012 at 11:24 am PST

We’ve seen many trends during the past year start to take hold in the market, with a significant number of value added resellers (VARs) implementing new technologies to better help and service customers. Notably, VARs are placing a strong focus around managed services offerings specific to network administration, virtualization and cloud computing.

As announced in December, Cisco’s OnPlus Service is a VAR-specific offering that helps minimize support costs and generate additional revenue while proactively managing customer network problems. With OnPlus, VARs can create or expand their managed service portfolio by providing remote visibility of a small business customer’s network, and the corresponding devices, regardless of location, through a scalable cloud-based service.

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Shopper Alert! Good Deals to be Found with Cisco HCS

February 2, 2012 at 9:06 am PST

In today’s economic climate, a value-conscious shopper may look to wholesalers such as Costco to stock up on household goods. I frequently find myself at Costco versus specialty stores, because I know I can get the same high-quality olive oil at a fraction of the price.

And when you switch out the olive oil for network solutions, the concept remains the same.

Earlier this week, I shared a blog post about Nexus IS’ experience with wholesaler Neutral Tandem’s Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) proof-of-concept trial. We got to hear the VAR’s side of the story, but I knew you’d want to know more. So I checked in with Ian Neale, Neutral Tandem’s VP of Product Marketing, and asked him to give me an insider’s look at his company’s wholesale model.

What I really wanted to find out was what our partners could expect when working with them, and, more important, how they can help partners increase their revenue opportunities. Want to know what I learned? Read More »

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Know It, Use It, Sell It: One VAR’s Journey with Cisco HCS

January 31, 2012 at 11:33 am PST

Would you buy a car from a dealership where none of the salesmen knew how to drive? Or order prime rib at a restaurant where the chef was a strict vegetarian? What about when it comes to your customer’s network? Are you willing to risk installing products that you don’t have firsthand experience with? I’m guessing the answer is “no.”

When making purchases, big or small, customers want to have confidence that the company they partner with has in-depth knowledge and can stand behind the products they sell. Consider Amy Smith, Director of Collaboration at Nexus IS and a Cisco Gold Certified Partner. She’s committed to live by her company’s marketing motto: “Know it, use it, sell it.”

This was the case when Nexus IS decided to add Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) — an offering that allows partners to provide a wide range of Cisco collaboration applications to their customers as a subscriber-based service—to its portfolio. Their first step was to go the wholesale route and participate in Neutral Tandem’s proof-of-concept trial. This was an easy decision, since Nexus IS always tests new products on its own network before installing them on a customer’s network. It’s all about fully understanding, embracing, and discovering best practices of a product before offering it for sale.

Think HCS would be a great addition to your list of offerings?
Learn about Nexus IS’ trial experience and why the timing is right for the HCS market. Read More »

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