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Cisco and Microsoft: Opening a World of Opportunity for Partners

The IT market is changing. Fast. As a result, customers expect their IT suppliers to offer capabilities beyond products and services, and deliver actual business outcomes.

That’s why we’re evolving the Cisco Partner Ecosystem. By expanding the breadth and depth of our partner ecosystem, our goal is to help our partners navigate these changes, achieve profitable growth and deliver the business outcomes our customers demand.

As a shining example of this strategy, Microsoft and Cisco are taking their data center alliance to a higher level. Today, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, we are jointly announcing a three-year go-to-market agreement that creates new opportunities for Cisco channel partners and Microsoft system integrators.

Through this agreement, we’re deepening our existing partnership with Microsoft and aligning our channel programs to encourage and enable solution selling in a partner-to-partner model. A key component of our joint go-to-market is the newly introduced Cisco Referral Program (CRP), which allows Microsoft systems integrators to be rewarded for their contribution to a larger Cisco + Microsoft solution sale. Learn more in this animated overview explaining the benefits of the Cisco Referral Program.

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Relationships, Relationships, Relationships: Cisco at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

When I think of why technology solution providers should attend Microsoft’s WPC, I decided to pay homage to one of Steve Ballmer’s mantras with my blog title.

Last year, at Microsoft’s WPC in Toronto, I was approached by KEMP Technologies (a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner). They gave me an elevator pitch on their products and explained they were interested in partnering with Cisco. Their load balancing solutions sounded interesting and anything that might sell more UCS servers sounded like a win win to me. After all, Cisco didn’t become the #2 blade server vendor worldwide1 by itself. I told them I would try and find the right contact for them.

A few emails on my part and a lot of hard work by the Cisco and KEMP teams, a year later KEMP is now IVT Certified for UCS. While not an exclusive relationship, we can now offer our customers another excellent choice.

Stop by the Cisco booth (#1401) and talk with the datacenter team or KEMP’s booth (#1725). You never know what might come of it.


1. Source:  IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, Q1 2013 Revenue Share, May 2013

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Empowering Cisco and Microsoft Partners in the Data Center

Both Cisco and Microsoft are committed to helping partners be the trusted advisors to customers embracing virtualization and cloud computing. Today at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, we made a series of announcements with Microsoft to not only accelerate the deployment of private cloud infrastructure worldwide, but also invest in our mutual channel partners to bring these data center solutions to customers.

Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) is a foundational element of our Unified Data Center architecture, and has continued to gain growth and acceptance in the industry. We’re now recognized as No. 2 in x86 blade servers by researcher IDC and leading this segment of the server market in some parts of the world. Cisco partners, especially, have helped broaden our reach and increase our influencer recognition.

Our most important task now is to provide joint Cisco and Microsoft channel partners with the air cover needed to help customers simplify their IT operations, create more effective cloud deployments and realize the significant cost savings and efficiency benefits of optimized data centers.  Read More »

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