Cisco pumps $75 million into Partner-Led schemes

Channel incentives target SMB & midmarket-focused channel partners

Tags: Cisco Systems IncorporatedIncentive scheme
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Cisco pumps $75 million into Partner-Led schemes Agha says Cisco is investing in a scalable go to market model which empowers partners to lead customer engagements in the SMB space.
By  Manda Banda Published  October 3, 2011

Networking giant Cisco will put its money where its mouth is and invest $75 million in new resources for the channel during its fiscal 2012, the vendor has confirmed.

This is a vote of confidence in Cisco's ability to drive sales through partners to more mid-market and SMB customers, even as the vendor lays off employees and looks to remove $1 billion in expenses during the fiscal year.

The $75 million investment, described by Andrew Sage, vice president, worldwide partner led, will show up in the form of marketing resources, incentive programmes for mid-market- and SMB-focused Cisco solution providers, a partner relationship management (PRM) system and access to a team of Cisco engineers put in place to help partners close deals more effectively.

Cisco, currently in the midst of a broad corporate restructuring, began to make changes to its Worldwide Partner Organisation in June 2011. The $75 million investment comes as Cisco is looking to remove $1 billion in overall expenses during the same fiscal year, but several Cisco executives have said in recent months that the money and resources Cisco allocates to channel programmes will be more, not less, than before, even with the corporate slim-down in effect.

Saeed Agha, regional manager, Cisco UAE, said in the Middle East, the company will be fully aligned with the company's global strategies and will invest in this scalable go to market model which empowers and rewards partners to lead customer engagements in the SMB and mid-market.

Agha said Cisco will be investing $75 million globally in fiscal year 2012 in initiatives and programmes supporting partners in the form of marketing resources, incentive programmes and access to Cisco Technical Engineers Network to accelerate partner growth. "Those measurable initiatives will be targeted mainly towards two important goals: ‘Channel enablement and lead generation,'" he said.

He added that enablement will accelerate the channel relationship, reputation and trust with all the channel partners.

"All our initiatives will be open to all partners with a clear criteria and set expectations. As those programmes are focused on different sub segments and different customer needs, partners will be qualified for some of these initiatives. It's important that we set a clear expectation to all our channel partners and how we will measure the success of their activities," he said.

Agha said plans for the region include a variety of activities ranging from telemarketing campaigns, mail shots, end-users events, partners round tables along with aggressive promotions and rebates based programmes. "Our partners are core to our business and a key driver for Cisco's future growth. At Cisco we're constantly innovating the way we approach our customers and, in order to succeed, we focus on making our partners a key enabler of such an approach through our marketing campaigns.

Partners have said they're encouraged by many of Cisco's efforts around partner-led so far, which is the term Cisco is using to describe channel sales in mid-market and SMB accounts globally.

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