Cisco’s Jim Sherriff: The Channel is the Sweet Spot
Jim Sherriff’s new role as head of Cisco Systems’ U.S. and Canada channel strategy raised key question — mainly, how does his enterprise experience qualify him to lead Cisco’s North American channel partners? I had the chance to take that question straight to Sherriff. Here’s what he had to say.
Sherriff, whose resume includes stints as VP of HP Consulting and SVP of Cisco’s US Enterprise business, acknowledges that from afar, people may not spot his channel expertise and real-world experience in the trenches.
But Sherriff himself is quick to point out that he spent almost two and a half years as CEO of a Cisco, HP, and Sun Microsystems channel partner. Sherriff says that his time on the frontlines in the channel gave him two things that will benefit him in his new position: empathy for how hard it is for a partner to make money and sustain growth, and a willingness to “switch places” and let other companies take the lead in finding new opportunities for the VAR.
Moving forward, Sherriff says that he’s going to continue along the lines that Cisco Global Channel Chief Keith Goodwin already announced and use the US and Canada marketplaces as “sandboxes” to try new strategies and figure out how best Cisco can work with VARs.
And while Sherriff lead the conversation with this, I’ll leave it as a final note: he’s excited to have his new official title of Senior Vice President of the US & Canada Partner Organization, and seems to believe strongly in how Cisco and its North American partners can help each other in a time when everyone’s looking for new opportunities.
“This is the sweet spot,” Sherriff says.
In the weeks ahead, we’ll closely track Sherriff and the Cisco channel team — particularly in the SMB market. We’ve been in touch with multiple Cisco sources who are developing a global SMB channel strategy. Stay tuned.