Cisco Partners: Hidden Revenue Opportunity
So, you’re a Cisco Systems partner hunting for new revenue. Where should you look first: Unified communications? Maybe. Evangelizing 802.11n WiFi deployments? Perhaps. The wiser move, however, may involve a key handshake. Here are the details.
When searching for revenue, perhaps you should call another Cisco partner. According to a recent study commissioned by Cisco and conducted by Illuminas Research, Cisco partners generate 31 percent of their revenue from other partners. In fact, Cisco partners work with an average of eight other partners on a regular basis.The study involved roughly 1,300 customers and 500 partners across 12 countries.
To Cisco’s credit, the company also identified areas where partners are lagging in some technical areas. For instance, Cisco says:
Only 33 percent of Cisco partners use Web-conferencing tools, 20 percent use collaboration and document-management tools, 20 percent use project management software, and 15 percent use shared electronic calendars.
Revenue from partner collaboration sounds hot, but it isn’t red hot: Channel revenue generated by partner collaboration is growing 15 percent annually–good, but not great according to The VAR Guy.
In order to help accelerate such engagements, Cisco has launched Cisco Partner Exchange–an online system designed to help Cisco partners find, connect, and collaborate with the right group at the right partner. The collaboration network is now available to more than 8,500 Cisco Certified Partners, managed-services providers, distribution partners and application partners from all over the world.
Cisco Partner Exchange facilitates collaboration through three key features, the company claims:
- Promote and Be Found: In less than five minutes, group leaders can build a customized profile to promote their group’s unique capabilities, ensuring that other partner group leaders can easily find and do business with them.
- Find and Connect: Powerful search and networking capabilities allow partners to easily search, find, and start to develop trusted relationships with the right person at the right partner.
- Learn and Collaborate: All partners have access to best practices, online events, and discussion forums.
The VAR Guy has to admit: He’s a little skeptical about partners seeking out partners to win new revenue. But Cisco’s research and the new Partner Exchange system sound pretty compelling.