Cisco Distributors grow when their partners grow; simple as that.

There are more than 170 Cisco distributors worldwide that do more than just pick, pack and ship. Each distributor offers an abundance of services and expertise – from technical support, to certification training, to marketing services. Many have solution demo centers, financing options and extensive training on Cisco products and services.

All of these services are designed to grow partner revenue and profit. That isn’t just talk. A distributor is only as healthy and as profitable as its partners. Distributors have a vested interest in the growth and success of their partner customers.

In fact, Julie Hens, VP of Worldwide Distribution Sales says, “Our worldwide distribution partners represent a strategic route to market for Cisco and we focus diligently on fostering a business model that creates positive forces on the distributor’s economics.  In turn, our distributors benefit our partners’ success and profitability by providing services and programs, and serving as a trusted business advisor.  It really is a win-win-win scenario.”

So what does this mean for you as a partner organization? How can you get engaged with Cisco distributors and quickly gain the training and expertise needed to sell Cisco data center, collaboration, networking and other solutions you may not have had access to in the past? What does it mean in terms of your growth prospects in both revenue and margin?

Using very prescriptive methods, Cisco distributors create programs for partners that are designed to accelerate sales and technical knowledge. These proven methodologies help expand and grow your Cisco business practice, which lead to new routes to revenue and profit. These programs offer partners access to resources to help take advantage of a rapidly changing environment in the marketplace and new opportunities that come with it.  Avnet Propel, Comstor EDGE, Ingram Fly Higher and Tech Data Momentum are examples of success in this area:

Avnet’s Propel

Propel is an Avnet program jointly developed and supported by an investment from Cisco. Participants are part of Avnet’s Converged Data Solutions (CDS) partner set who sell Cisco Data Center as well as competitive solutions. In this program Avnet provides partners a tailored package of benefits that include training, turnkey demand generation or custom marketing campaign, CDS certification training, customized 30/60/90 day onboarding program, and dedicated exclusive Propel Business Development Managers.

In the first four months of the program, there was tremendous interest from partners; twelve partner companies built a pipeline of more than $58 million. Key to partner success was a 2-day Propel workshop designed to educate partners on the current market and Cisco value proposition. An important element was training focused on strategies and tactics to transform their business into a Cisco Data Center Practice.

Learn how you can accelerate your Data Center sales by leveraging Avnet’s newest program for FY15: AMP

Comstor EDGE

Another great example of stellar partner programs is Comstor’s EDGE (Engage, Develop, Grow and Extend) program.  Comstor enables partners with Cisco’s full solution set to respond to dynamic customer requirements with agility and rapidly close customer deals.  To deliver partners with advantages in selling Cisco offerings to customers, Comstor’s EDGE provides a comprehensive line up of services, including logistics, financing and integration services, marketing, and technical and engineering support.  These services help partners develop staff and solutions to win more business, grow their capabilities, compete for larger deals, and reach new markets.

Launched at this year’s Cisco Partner Summit, early results of Comstor EDGE are encouraging, as the program helps solution providers profitably build their Cisco practices.  Seventeen partners are currently in various stages of EDGE participation, representing more than $200M in pipeline opportunity.

Learn more at Comstor EDGE:  here

Ingram Micro’s Fly Higher

When the Cisco Business Unit at Ingram Micro launched the Fly Higher partner program earlier this year, the goal was to enable partner growth with a single go-to-market program that offers a structured “flight path” for all partners. This approach was immediately put into action with Ingram offering two “Cross-Architecture Boot Camps” to a group of targeted growth partners that enabled them on how to sell a complete Cisco solution and how this approach would help them differentiate themselves in this a very competitive marketplace.

The two events, the first in Las Vegas in October 2013 and the most recent at Disney World in April, have drawn 62 unique partners, and recent reporting revealed that the partner group’s average monthly Cisco sales were now growing at a rate of 31 percent year to year since the event, compared to flat growth pre-event.  This is a prime example of Ingram Micro enabling our partners’ Cisco business to soar.

Learn more about Ingram Micro’s Fly Higher and other Cisco programs.

Tech Data’s TD | Cisco Momentum

Tech Data’s TD | Cisco Momentum is a fully encompassing consultative program centered around enabling profitable partner growth based on a unique, prescriptive partner enablement model.  Tech Data launched the original Momentum Partner Enablement Strategy in 2012 and the program continues to evolve and grow based on partners’ needs and feedback.  Partners who participate in a formal Momentum engagement and plan have shown an average growth rate of over 50 percent year over year.

Learn more about Tech Data’s TD | Cisco Momentum: here

I am always interested in what you think about programs such as these. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments section.


Andrew Sage

Vice President

Global Distribution & SMB Sales