Cisco partner summit opens

Networking giant Cisco Systems has thrown open the doors at its latest global partner summit. The event will cover key themes including the emergence of advanced networking technologies and the opportunity for partners to boost profitability even further.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  April 4, 2005

Networking giant Cisco Systems has thrown open the doors at its latest global partner summit and welcomed partners from around the world. Taking place in Vancouver, Canada, the event will cover key themes including the emergence of advanced networking technologies and the opportunity for partners to boost profitability even further. According to Cisco, its global partner community has hailed 2004 as one of the best years in terms of sales and profits since the heady dotcom days of the 1990s. The positive partner performance has been partially driven by strong demand for areas that Cisco classes as advanced networking technologies including wireless, storage and IP telephony. Cisco has approximately 20,000 value-added resellers, systems integrators and network consultancies – representing a combined workforce of 200,000 people – operating as a global route-to-market. Together, Cisco’s channel partners account for more than 92% of Cisco’s enterprise and commercial business sales. According to partners, Cisco’s incentives, financing, training, sales support and channel programmes have played a pivotal role in elevating many channel partners from simple boxmovers to solution providers offering high-margin consultancy and wrap-around services where required. Global channel initiatives such as the Cisco Value Incentive Programme (VIP) have been well received by partners. The VIP scheme offers additional rebates to partners in order offset the training and tools investment they must make to build up the requisite skills needed to deploy advanced technologies such as voice over IP installations. According to Cisco, channel partners are increasingly selling networking solutions based on the business benefits that organisations can glean from deployment. For 2005, partners want to see more of the same from Cisco: more support schemes that allow them to skill-up; more marketing support, and even better co-ordination between Cisco’s channel and its in-house sales team. Overall, Cisco’s global partner community remains upbeat about the potential for future growth and the expanding opportunities that exist in the networking environment. Even on day one, Cisco’s global partner summit has a distinctly positive vibe to it. Talking to partners from around the globe, the overriding opinion is that while 2004 was an extremely positive year for the Cisco channel community, 2005 has the potential to be even better.

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