Cisco Systems Inc. recently unleashed an ambitious effort to reformat and redesign its services program that the vendor said will provide a shot in the arm to channel partners’ sales opportunities and profits.
The vendor announced its new Cisco Services Partner Program at its Partner Summit last week in San Diego, CA, using phrases such as “partner friendly,” and clear, consistent and predictable,” to describe the new model, which essentially consolidates some 47 programs down to one offering housed under a single umbrella and offers up the Smart Services portfolio--including branded and collaborative services--to channel partners for resale to customers.
“We are delivering a global services program that will help partners build even more profitable business models based on Cisco smart services," said Nick Earle, Cisco senior vice president, Worldwide Services Sales and Channel.
Channel partners will be able to participate initially in the Services Partner Program based on their level of involvement with Cisco—Gold, Silver, or Premier—and gain the corresponding discounts. The vendor also said that channel partners will be eligible for performance-based rewards to bolster their profits.
Cisco made it clear that the program redesign is intended to help channel partners use services to segment themselves from rivals and to secure and profit from sales opportunities. The company said that, on average, services comprise some 50 percent of channel partners’ business, a 150 percent increase from five years ago.
The goal of the revamped services offering is not only to accelerate the existing trend but also to firmly embed services capabilities into channel partners’ solutions repertoire.
Cisco said that more than 4,000 channel partners currently are participating in the program in North America, Israel and Asia Pacific, some 2,500 of which took part in a pilot program in the U.S. and Canada that yielded a 15 percent bump in bookings eligible for rebates and a three-fold increase in the number of partners eligible for rewards when compared to the vendor’s prior programs.
The new program will be rolled out to all channel partners in all geographies within the next 18 months, Cisco said.
Cisco’s channel partners also will be able to take advantage of Partner Support Service, a new offering to deliver scalable, proactive support for large networks, provide installed base and contract management services to customers, and with which they can use Cisco APIs and tools to create their own applications and workflow integration software.
Partner Support Service is not currently widely available but will be rolled out in tandem with the Services Partner Program, Cisco said.
Peter Stavropoulos, FlexITy Solutions Inc. president and chief executive, said that Cisco’s new service program “provides the combination of value-based rewards and access to new smart services that will help us continue to meet customer requirements, distinguish ourselves from the competition, and maintain the profit levels to support continued growth."