Cisco blueprints SMB channel strategy

During Cisco’s Partner Summit in Las Vegas, CEO John Chambers talked about sustaining profitability for its 3,500 certified partners. But, what about Cisco’s 40,000 remaining partners that are not certified?

Cisco introduced something for them as well. It’s a suite of 12 networking solutions

around core infrastructure; security, IP telephony and mobility that will be tailor-made for channel partners to resell into the small-to-medium size businesses.

Called blueprints, these collateral pieces include implementation guides, business and technical information such as solution overviews and white papers. Services from Cisco technical assistance centres and financial service options are also available.

“”We have designed and created blueprints for (companies with one to 100 employees), 100 to 500 employees, and 500 to 1,000 employees,”” said Joe Diodati, director, field marketing small/medium business, Cisco Systems of San Jose, Calif.

“”So you have blueprints that are value propositions that have been tailored to the target market rather than dumbing down a larger enterprise solution,”” he added.

Blueprints is an addition to Cisco’s SMB strategy launched in September of last year. The overall strategy is built around expertise of the channel, Cisco solutions and the Cisco’s brand.

“”It is really a different position for Cisco,”” Diodati said. “”It is not about selling a switch or a router or firewall. It is about how do I run my business better using mobility or advanced switching and routing. How do you talk to the business decision-maker and demonstrate productivity. This is what it’s about.””

Part of the plan is to help those 40,000 fulfillment partners of Cisco become value-added partners or even certified partners.

“”It is about empowering the channel and allowing them to have discussions with business decision-makers in the SMB market and recognize the value of the network in improving the productivity,”” Diodati said.

Cisco will also launch a pull campaign to the end user. The goal is to drive both the channel partner and the SMB customer into conversations with each other around the four solution sets, Diodati said.

“”This is not designed for an IT manager in a large enterprise. It is really designed to go to the business guy who wants to be more productive,”” he added.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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