Cisco routes the Gulf

Networking giant Cisco has just wrapped up an SMB tour of the Gulf to highlight its portfolio offerings, promote the latest incentive programmes on offer and also educate the channel on the opportunities of selling unmanaged Linksys products.

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By  Alex Malouf Published  December 16, 2004

Networking giant Cisco has just wrapped up an SMB tour of the Gulf to highlight its portfolio offerings, promote the latest incentive programmes on offer and also educate the channel on the opportunities of selling unmanaged Linksys products. “Resellers tell us that margins are shrinking and we want to let them know that we are listening to their concerns,” said Jeremy Santiago, Cisco’s Middle East and North Africa distribution manager. “We have got new programmes in place, the value incentive and opportunity incentive programme, as well as new products aimed solely at small to medium businesses (SMB). Cisco is here to help Middle East partners and we have the tools and the programmes that will help them sell Cisco in the SMB market.” The tour covered Dubai, Bahrain, Oman and major cities in Saudi Arabia. With turnouts of up to 150 partners at each event Cisco pulled in the reseller crowds, and many will have liked what they heard. Partners who sign up for the value incentive programme — designed to promote emerging technologies — can earn rebates of 10% and upwards on Cisco’s security solutions, while companies working in the emerging VoiP sector can claim back at least 20%. But Santiago stressed that partners should retain the rebates and not fall into the trick of passing on savings to customers. “These programmes are focused on partner profitability and to help them with their margins. We advise them not to pass on these margins, but to use them to boost their own bottom line. It is about educating partners to use their margins for their own profitability and health.” Linksys hopped on the Cisco bandwagon to bring channel clarity to partners. Mohammad Hoda, regional manager at Linksys Middle East and Africa, explained to the attendees how they could capture more SMB business by offering unmanaged networking solutions. “There are many areas where we can complement Cisco’s SMB business. For businesses that don’t need managed boxes, Linksys can offer kit that is very competitive in pricing. Resellers can reach further down the SMB ladder with our portfolio and yet still target the higher end of the SMB business with a high performance Cisco solution. It is the perfect synergy for the region, a one-stop-shop for customers’ needs.” Cisco will be extending its SMB tour in the coming months to include markets on the East Gulf, including Kuwait and Qatar, as well as the Pakistani market.

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