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What’s for Dinner? Cisco Serves $49 Billion Services Opportunity to Partners

- December 16, 2011 - 2 Comments

If someone invited you to a dinner party, but then only allowed you to eat the bread at the table verses the entire meal, chances are, you’d leave feeling pretty hungry.

Applying that analogy–let’s look at how a vendors services model impacts the overall partner-vendor relationship. We all know that services are “meat and potatoes” for solution providers. As a matter of fact, services now represent 40-50% of Cisco channel partners business, up from 20 percent five years ago.

But the reality is that traditional services models don’t allow channel partners to fully participate in the services opportunity. HP is a case in point. HP has a traditional services model, with an army of approximately 200,000 services employees and a “hard deck” where they sell direct to 1,800-2,000 of their largest customers.

Cisco, on the other hand, has approximately 11,000 Services employees and allows partners to participate in the Services opportunity at every level, from the largest global customers to the local small business. Our partners are the extension our Services arm.

Through programs such as Collaborative Professional Services (CPS) and Steps-to-Success, Cisco also has a range of initiatives designed to transfer knowledge gained by Cisco Services to accelerate partner success.

To go back to our original analogy, Cisco allows partners to enjoy the entire meal…and the $49 billion services TAM around Cisco technologies and architectures in FY12 definitely offers some enticing menu options!

To take advantage of this tremendous opportunity, Cisco Services aims to work with partners to deliver new services experiences to customers through its unique sales engagement model, smart services portfolio and partner-centric programs. Now, Cisco is taking the next step forward to further clarify our sales engagement model and drive consistency in the field.

Partners around the world have consistently told us that we have the most partner-friendly services strategy in the IT industry, but that we needed to work harder to ensure consistent execution.

Today, we are publishing our Services Rules of Engagement to provide our partners with a definitive road map for how to engage with Cisco Services and maximize their Cisco services investment. Specifically, the document:

  • Defines your role in the selling and delivery of Cisco services
  • Helps you build a collaborative and predictable field sales and delivery model
  • Gives you easy steps to driving accelerated customer adoption of smart services capabilities
  • Delivers you a clear field escalation process should a mishap occur
  • Describe the sales compensation neutrality strategy

Sound interesting? In this video, Keith Goodwin, SVP WW Partner Organization, and Bob Singleton, SVP WW Services Partner Organization, explain Cisco Services Go-to-Market model and ways partners will benefit.

Learn more:


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  1. CRN's Chad Berndtson also weighed in Cisco's Services Rules of Engagement: Cisco Makes Services Rules Of Engagement Document Available For VARs

  2. Great article...