Cisco to Channel Partners: Be More Proactive With Services

Vendor outlines strategy to urge channel partners to accelerate the move from reactive to proactive services to meet growing business challenges.

Cisco Systems Inc. is urging channel partners to adopt a more proactive services posture with clients by leveraging its Smart Service portfolio to deliver technology solutions that meet expanding customer expectations.

“For partners to stay effective they must provide a baseline of services to their clients to keep the network healthy and to drive value,” said Jim McDonnell, Cisco Services senior director, in an IT ChannelPlanet interview.

McDonnell, who leads the development of products and technology to enable Cisco’s Smart Services, said that a demanding business environment is prompting channel partners to look for new services to build a competitive edge.

“Five years ago, only 20 percent of our partners’ revenue came from services, now it’s 50 percent because of the increasing complexity of the network,” he said.

The vendor is calling attention to its lineup of services to point out that the industry has evolved to where proactive involvement by channel partners in the health of their customers’ networks has taken center stage.

Cisco contends that channel partners, rather than commanding experience to react when needed to incident-based problems, add value by delivering proactive services in advance of network problems, backed by data and analytics and enhanced by automation tools.

“Our focus is helping our partners to consume our best-in-class knowledge and technology,” McDonnell said. “We want service to be part of the channel’s delivery motion and not a separate experience,” he said.

Cisco derives significant intellectual capital from more than six million customer interactions annually, a cache that can help partners accelerate the transition from reactive to proactive services, he said.

“Our goal is to enable the partner with the knowledge we have,” he said. “We believe that partners will take that and add their own value and intellectual capital to drive differentiation and strong profits,” he said.

McDonnell said that expanding their service capabilities and experience with Cisco’s Smart Service portfolio will enable channel partners to handle more complex customer projects, incorporate new technologies and deliver higher quality, reliable services.

TAGS: services,Cisco,channel partner,Smart Services

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