Cisco educates partners on the right up scaling model

DQW Bureau
New Update


Cisco helps partners decide for themselves which genres their companies can

fit in and then equips them with the requisite skillsets

Realizing the evolution of its channel from mere box pushing to solution

providing, Cisco is helping its partners to position them-selves correctly in

the current scenario. The company is hav-ing an ongoing series of enga-gement

meets where it educa-tes partners on how they can develop their company to fit

into the right channel category.

At these meets, Cisco helps partners decide for themselves which genres their

companies can fit in and then equips them with the requisite skill sets. The

first step is to find out the nature of solutions provided by partners.

"This is where our Gold partners like Datacraft, Wipro and CMC would fit

in, as it involves core or advanced technology deployments," says Shirish

Joshi, VP-Channels, In-dia and SAARC, Cisco Systems.


The next level is under-standing the partner's business models and slotting

them accordingly. The dominant business defines the company's core competency

and once the vendor maps its partner's core business skills, it they comes up

with go-to-market strate-gies which will suit the latter best.

Cisco helps these partners chart an annual business plan and then has

quarterly reviews of the performance.

The reason Cisco is under-taking this education initiative is to move the top

tier of its partners into solution-based business. "Here the margins are

high, but the investment is relatively higher too. Partners need to be

well-certified and have the technical skillsets to cater to their customers.

This calls for investment both from the channel's and vendor's end,"

Shirish explains.


Talking about certifications, it is quite surprising that only 50-odd partner

of Cisco's 1,500 channel network have gotten themselves certified on the

vendor's technologies. The company has eight Gold and Silver partners and 10

Premier partners. It recently introduced a new tier in the certification grid-the

Cisco Premier Select partners. Explains Shirish, "There were 25 certified

part-ners who did not meet the qua-lifications of a Silver player, but had

capabilities better than a Premier partner. So we institu-ted this new category

for these partners."

The vendor is also streng-thening its focus beyond the 100 cities where it

has representation through channel. The company has also started a web-based

channel help line for in non-metro cities who would like to partner with it and

sell its solutions.

Vinita Bhatia