Cisco Partner Summit: Top 9 Channel Chief Keynote Highlights
During Cisco Partner Summit 2o09 in Boston, Channel Chief Keith Goodwin said more than 3,500 partners are participating in the event’s virtual component. But that’s not all. Here are nine highlights from Goodwin’s keynote, including key thoughts on Cisco financing programs for partners and end-users.
9. The Chatter: Cisco has scheduled nearly 1,000 executive one-on-one meetings during the event. And Cisco stretched the event to a full free days (longer than the usual 2 1/2) to ensure more time for networking.
8. The Vibe: Most of the attendees appear to have opted into The Vibe, a social network launched especially for Cisco Partner Summit. But some buzz on Twitter wonders if The Vibe is overkill. After all, most folks are already swamped with their FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Do VARs really need another social network to communicate and collaborate?
7. Navigate to Accelerate: Goodwin says “think of this as a stimulus package for our partners. Our success in the market is totally dependent on your success in the market.” His key point: Think beyond the storm and prepare to accelerate through the upturn. “In every previous economic storm we’ve navigated together, we’ve come out stronger together.” The strategy includes: (1) Focusing on finance, (2) focusing on customer base, (3) focusing on changing needs, and (4) focusing on the future.
6. Focus on Finance: It’s the single biggest request Goodwin has heard from VARs: Help with credit, capital and costs associated with new business. In reaction, Cisco increased its new credit capacity by $2 billion in Fall 2008 at a time when many IT vendors were cutting finance, asserted Goodwin. Effective June 1, there are 90 day terms for the next six months for extended terms financing, which earned a round of applause from attendees. Only 10 percent of Cisco partners are using end-user financing, and Goodwin called on partners to lift that figure dramatically.
5. Channels Booking Neutrality: A Cisco account manager will now get bookings credit whether the deal comes through distribution or through a direct partner. This is a new approach that also earned applause from attendees.
4. Customer Base: Cisco has $9 billion in customer base products that will reach end of life in FY2010. In order to go after that installed base, Cisco has launched an Installed Base Lifecycle Management (IBLM) program in Europe. That European effort represents a $1 billion opportunity for Cisco’s partners pursuing installed base.
3. Rebates and Warranties: Goodwin touted a 15 percent switching rebate and 5 percent routing rebate. Cisco has also launched a limited lifetime warranty to counter some rival hardware vendors’ competitive programs.
2. Changing Needs of Customers – managed services: Goodwin sees customers more and more looking to move from CAPEX to OPEX. So, customers want to leverage managed services. Managed services represent a 40 billion opportunity for Cisco. Almost 80 percent of Cisco partners have some sort of managed services offering today. But less than 10 percent use Cisco’s managed services channel program today.
1. Social Media and Small Business: Goodwin touted the benefits of Facebook and Twitter as part of a “collaborative channel” strategy. Next up, video will be even more critical, he offered.
Andrew Sage, also offered some tips on social media. Sage, the leader of Cisco’s small business initiative, said Cisco is generated $1 billion in small business revenue today and intends to double that by FY12. Sage is about to offer more social media tips. More thoughts from The VAR Guy later today.