Cisco Talks Workspace Without Borders, Revamps Router Lineup

Vendor pegs channel opportunity at $10 Billion

October 26, 2009

D.H. Kass

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Cisco Systems Inc. last week articulated a new business architecture it termed the Borderless Network, framing it by unwrapping the second generation of its Integrated Services Routers (ISR), the first such overhaul of its router portfolio in five years.

The renovated ISR lineup, which Cisco said builds on its heritage of more than 7 million units sold and delivers five times the performance of earlier models, better addresses network mandates resulting from an expected huge uptick in video traffic, on-demand services and a significant growth in the number of branch offices, according to company officials.

Cisco has begun using the term “borderless network” specifically to refer to the changing connectivity requirements of an evolving workplace—one in which a set perimeter once defined users, devices and applications, but now is blurred by multiple business locations, a dizzying array of appliances and cloud-based services.

In introducing the routers, which Cisco named ISR G2, the company, in particular, emphasized the sales migration opportunity available to channel partners, pegging it at $10 billion, half of which it said already is comprised of Cisco’s installed base.

“In my 36 years of experience in IT, this is the first time I’m introducing a product that you have a $10 billion market and you already own $5 billion or 50 percent of it,” said Wenceslao Lada, Cisco vice president of worldwide channels for the Borderless Network Architecture.

“This technology is going to bring our partners the opportunity to upgrade the other 50 percent of that market,” he said. “With that, partners are going to be able to position themselves as the best advisor to their customers in terms of how to deliver those technologies and solutions.”

Cisco is characterizing the sales prospects for channel partners in terms of upgrading the existing installed base to the ISR G2 line, adding professional services, and consulting with the vendor to uncover new openings.

Lada said that Cisco's ISR G2 lineup is well-suited to channel partners adding professional services such as network assessments to a sale, helping customers to determine business requirements and architecting product installation, configuration and maintenance.

More rebates available

To incent channel partners, Cisco has bumped up rebates for switches and routers on average to 15 percent from 5 percent and has increased rebates by 200 percent on some ISR Generation 2 units. It also has doubled trade-up credits for the entire ISR G2 portfolio.

Cisco figures that channel partners might be able to increase profits on the ISR G2 roster by as much as 25 percent, based on the configuration and solution sold, Lada said. He suggested that partners register new sales opportunities to “differentiate themselves from competitors" in the market.

“Partners are under pressure to deliver solutions to customers that are cost-effective, flexible and efficient,” Lada said. “The new routers provide channel partners with an exceptional opportunity.”

Specific upgrades in the ISR G2 portfolio include the 1900 series ($1,595) targeted at small offices for secure mobility and customizable applications, the 2900 series ($1,995) for mid-range deployments requiring secure collaboration, and the 3900 series ($9,500) for high-end deployments involving scalable, rich-media services.

TAGS: Cisco,network,router,channel partners

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