Cisco Names North American Channel Chief
Cisco Systems is practicing what it preaches. For the past year, the networking giant has helped partners to recruit, retain and empower employees. Find your best talent, the networking giant said, and promote it. Cisco followed that very advice when the company named its new North American channel chief, Wendy Bahr (pictured).
Bahr is a well-known name across the Cisco channel. Down to earth, approachable and an eager listener, Bahr’s previous responsibilities at Cisco allowed her to build strong relationships with small solutions providers, big distributors, service providers and federal partners. Over the past six months or so, she has focused increasingly on the service provider and enterprise partner spaces. Translation: Bahr was ready to hit the ground running once she was named Cisco’s new head of North American Channels.
While Cisco partners overwhelmingly endorsed Bahr, some partners also said the company would be wise to examine Microsoft for potential candidates. (See: Will Cisco Raid Microsoft?) The reason: As Cisco seeks to make unified networks the new platform for applications, it needs to expand its universe of independent software vendors (ISVs). And of course, ISVs remain one of Microsoft’s greatest strengths.
During a chat today, Bahr didn’t mention any radical changes to Cisco’s North American channel strategy. Instead, she echoed key messages from CEO John Chambers. “We’ve been executing very well,” said Bahr. “We’ll continue to focus on the profitability of partners and I will listen closely to partners’ needs. And you’ll see that we’ll remain really passionate about collaboration and innovation on the Web 2.0 front. And we’ll help partners as they deal with key issues of the day, such as scaling an organization with the right talent; retaining talent; and working through the complexities of new solutions.”