Cisco to Partners: We’re All Ears
During a Partner Operations Advisory Board (POAB) meeting last week in New Orleans, the folks at Cisco Systems spent considerable time listening to (rather than talking to) channel partners. And when it came time to discuss how Cisco communicates with partners, the networking giant heard two clear messages:
1. Email isn’t the only way to communicate. Let partners choose their preferred communication pipeline (email, newsletters, blogs, Twitter, RSS, etc.) and then communicate with partners only through their preferred pipeline(s).
2. Messages to partners should be clearly written for partners — not end customers. And be blunt: State right up front exactly who the message targets, and why it’s of importance.
The VAR Guy lifted and paraphrased those observations (mostly) from a blog post written by Lang Tibbils, who leads strategic communications for Cisco Worldwide Channels. Tibbils apparently skipped the French Quarter and attended the POAB meeting last week.
Sure, the two tips above can apply to any IT vendor working with channel partners. But the fact that Cisco continues to beat itself up (at least a little…) in public is reassuring.