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Keith Goodwin’s Parting Words for Channel Partners

April 12, 2008 - 2 Comments

Mandy Knotts of Cisco PR speaks with Keith Goodwin, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channels at the close of Cisco Worldwide Partner Summit. Keith shares the partner feedback regarding Cisco’s focus on collaboration and if he had any surprises during partner meetings.Post by Mandy Knotts

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  1. Keith mentioned that the one-on-one meetings with partners is one of his favorite parts of the channel summit. I think that’s especially important. For most partners, the annual Partner Summit is the only chance that they will have to truly influence the development of Cisco’s strategy and programs. Often times, the partners can validate things that Cisco intends to do. But other times, they can request adjustments or different directions. It is important for this communication to happen on a two-way basis. So I’m glad that Cisco’s leadership has those meetings and assigns them the credibility that they deserve.

  2. The collaboration theme was rampant throughout this years partner summit from both a solutions perspective and also in the way Cisco and it’s partners interact. I talked to a number of partners about the concept of partner collaboration”” and I was surpised at the fear that some partners had. The fear seemed to be along a couple of lines-The partner wants to sell the whole solution and is concerned about having to break the deals up. In some sense, this fear has been driven by Cisco. For years Cisco resellers (and I was at one) were told to sell the whole pallet. If you sold lots of wireless you were asked why you didnt sell enough VoIP, etc. However, as big as the portfolio is now, it’s just not possible to sell the entire suite of Cisco stuff. In my mind and in the minds of most customers, they would rather a partner excel in a few areas than do everything mediocre. -Loss of account control. Some partners fear that if they bring a second or third partner in, they may lose control of the account to another partner. To me, the parnter should strive to be a strategic partner to the customer and if that’s the case, the partner won’t lose control. Look at it this way, if the relationship between the partner and customer is so weak that bringing another partner in to deliver part of the solution means losing control, you never had it. Partners, don’t fear collaboration, embrace it!”