Cisco Sees Partner Future Success in Services Opportunities
Cisco Systems is redoubling its efforts to make sure its channel partners are given the best opportunities possible. The VAR Guy recently sat down for a chat with Raja Sundaram, Cisco’s VP of Worldwide Services Partner Organization, who promised Cisco partners would always be given the “meat and potatoes,” and Cisco would never let them just “eat the bread.” Here’s the scoop on Cisco’s push to ensure $49 billion in service opportunities are given straight to partners, thanks to some new rules of engagement …
Sundaram summed up the situation thusly: “Services are the key differentiator for profitability for our partners,” and Cisco wants to try and push that even further. So enter those rules of engagement. “This is how we want to engage in all customer segments. Cisco doesn’t exclude partners from any part of the market. [Cisco is saying,] ‘Here’s how we want to partner so we can — together — sell the experience.'”
Sundaram noted that four years ago services were roughly 20 percent of partners’ business, and that number has jumped to between 40 percent and 50 percent in 2011. “We’d like to see more of that,” he said. The solution? ‘Smart’ services, partner initiatives and a rebuilt go-to-market strategy.
“For every dollar the partner spends on collaborative services, the partner will be able to upsell their service to the tune of $5, which pulls through $9 of technology. That’s what we’re seeing [with] the engagement,” he said.
So what are those new rules of engagement? Sundaram’s blog outlines the idea of the new rules, and includes a video by Keith Goodwin, SVP of the Worldwide Partner Organization, and Bob Singleton, SVP of the Worldwide Services Partner Organization, that explains the new go-to-market model for services and ways Cisco believes partners will benefit. The blog also includes links to Cisco’s Partner Central, where the new rules are located, and a PDF explaining the ins and outs of the new stuff.
It’s clear Cisco sees services making up a larger slice of the partner pie, especially as networking chatter shifts to outfitting the data center to handle cloud computing, virtualization and other emerging technologies. The VAR Guy will continue to keep tabs on the ongoing developments out of Cisco and how it’s rolling with the changes.