Cisco Channel Chief Meets Wall StreetCisco Channel Chief Meets Wall Street
Sometimes "no news" can speak volumes about a company. A case in point: Keith Goodwin, senior VP of worldwide channels at Cisco Systems, hosted a web conference for Wall Street analysts on July 9. The VAR Guy listened in. Here's what he learned.
July 10, 2008
Sometimes “no news” can speak volumes about a company. A case in point: Keith Goodwin, senior VP of worldwide channels at Cisco Systems, hosted a web conference for Wall Street analysts on July 9. The VAR Guy listened in. Here’s what he learned.
Actually, The VAR Guy learned very little “new” information in terms of Cisco’s channel and partner strategy. But he did walk away with this insight: How many tech companies would trust their channel chief to host a call with number-hungry, earnings-crazed financial analysts?
All it takes is one errant statement or one misinterpreted comment to impact a tech stock. Would Nortel, Juniper or another big networking company put their channel chief on the line for a similar call with Wall Street analysts? The VAR Guy doubts it, which is quite a compliment to Goodwin (no offense intended to those rival companies’ executives).
Sure, Goodwin wisely stuck to a script for most of the briefing, and he took a few handpicked questions (submitted via email) at the end of the 30-minute briefing. Alas, The VAR Guy couldn’t heckle Goodwin from afar. But Goodwin did offer a few insights.
To wit, Goodwin reaffirmed Cisco’s Data Center 3.0 strategy is actually a learning process for the networking giant — where partners (rather than Cisco) are actually the experts. And he said Cisco’s established channel is a “sustainable advantage” that would take rivals years to attempt to emulate.
Goodwin also noted that of Cisco’s estimated 46,115 channel partners:
Roughly 36,000 are “registered” partners that drive 10 percent of Cisco’s channel business.
The other 10,115 are certified partners that drive roughly 90 percent of Cisco’s channel business.
And what about “the best of the best?” Only 563 of Cisco’s partners have achieved Gold status — meaning that only 1.2 percent of Cisco’s 46,000 partners are true Top Guns. Lame move reference, but you get the picture.
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