Cisco’s new router line brings channel changes

With the release of its fourth generation routers, Cisco Systems Canada will make additions to its Value Incentive (VIP) and Opportunity Incentive (OIP) programs.

Steve Simmons, vice-president of channel operations at Cisco Canada, confirmed partners and other companies who provide managed services

will now be part of the Cisco incentive programs. According to Simmons, this measure will enable them to hunt for new opportunities and enjoy between five and eight per cent extra margin through the OIP program. In terms of VIP, Cisco will be working with partners in exploring new demand generation possibilities inside their own installed base. From there Cisco will provide these partners with incentives to migrate over to the new integrated services routers.

When the VIP and OIP programs were launched it did not include router products.

The new routers are targeted at SMB businesses as well as the enterprise. The Cisco 1800 Series, 2800 Series and 3800 Series will provide a long life cycle for customers, said Julie O’Brien, technology marketing manager for Cisco Systems of Santa Clara, Calif.

“”Cisco took a two year long look at this,”” she said. From that research, the company believed a shift would happen in its customer base. “”The shift was from cost cutting to investment in productivity applications with the Internet as the key enabler. The infrastructure has to last. Today, we are looking at switches lasting four to six years, while routers lasting five to six years in SMB business and enterprise businesses,”” O’Brien added.

According to a Yankee Group study, planning for the future is a must. More than 50 per cent, surveyed for the Yankee study, said they wanted integrated services so that they could lower operational costs, while adding security, voice in a single converged solution.

Functions that were previously only available in a blade such as firewall, VPN, intrusion detection and IP telephony should now be integrated right in the router, the Yankee study revealed.

The longer life cycle does not necessarily mean a long sales cycle for resellers, Simmons said. He is anticipating the sales cycle to be quicker depending on the customer. Simmons believes customers today want to leverage security across the network, which is why the company released an integrated services router line that can handle voice, video and data applications. “”It should be quicker because it is an integrated technology approach if we execute properly and train the partners well,”” he said.

Currently, Cisco Canada ships 90 per cent of its router products through the channel including enterprise and commercial solutions.

“”This launch is strategic and they can take this next generation platform to the next level for more profit,”” he said.

Cisco distributors will be playing a role in this launch. They will help Cisco Canada bring these new routers to market by offering demand generation, education and training, road shows and new promotions for smaller resellers.

Cisco will also embark on a 100-city road show with Canadian stops in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.

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