Cisco Broadens Service Offerings for Partners

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

The average VAR using Cisco eConsulting for Partners increased their service sales by 10 percent.

Cisco will make two of its successful services offerings more widely available to its channel partners next week with announcements at its Cisco Partner Summit.

First, the networking giant is taking its entry-level monitoring service, Smart Care, to the masses by releasing it for general availability for partners to offer end-customers. And second, Cisco will also announce plans to make its eConsulting for Partners service more widely available as well. 

Introduced last year during its partner summit, Cisco has been in so-called limited availability with Smart Care ever since. But now the service is ready for prime time, according to Sherri Liebo, vice president, commercial services marketing at Cisco.

"This is going to increase the total services sales opportunity for our partners," she said. In the limited release on networks covered with Smart Care 50 percent of the customers are new to the partner. We think that statistic means that partners have been able to use this to get new customers."

Cisco will announce at its Cisco Partner Summit next week Smart Care's general availability in the United States, Canada and Europe and its limited availability in emerging markets and Asia Pacific.

Cisco will also announce plans to make its eConsulting for Partners service more widely available as well.  The service was released by Cisco last year to help its tier-one VARs evaluate themselves compared to other partners in the region and identify targeted areas for improvements in order to lead to enhanced revenues and profits.

Since then "we've found these VARs have increased their service sales," said Raja Sundaram, director of services channels at Cisco. "We found that [VARs] using this improved their services sales by 10 percent—about $157,000 per partner on an average.

"We are also finding they improve their bottom line by having services delivery metrics improve by 12 percent," he said. "It's been a tremendous success for us."

Cisco will announce at the partner summit a plan to launch this program to more of the VAR community—including tier-two VARs so that the company has 3,000 partners at the end of the year launching, benchmarking and getting targeted recommendations on how to grow their services businesses, according to Sundaram.


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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