Cisco Helps Channel Partners Extend International Reach

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Cisco's new Global Resale Agent program provides the infrastructure to help Cisco channel partners collaborate with their counterparts in other countries, opening up a range of new opportunities. Cisco says that in the current down economy, the Global Resale Agent program can help IT solution providers expand their business.

Looking to help IT solution providers who deal in an increasingly global marketplace, Cisco Systems has announced an infrastructure and program to help its channel partners collaborate with their counterparts in other countries around the world.

The go-to-market program is built around a transaction-based partner collaboration model, Cisco said, announcing the program at a global partner event in Lisbon, Portugal.

"This is a great opportunity for our partners," Alex Thurber, senior director for Technology Go-to-Market Worldwide Channels, told Channel Insider. "We have thousands of businesses that are expanding to be multinational."
For example, a Cisco channel partner in one country may be implementing a unified communications system for a customer locally, but that customer may have international offices in two other countries, Thurber says. Using this infrastructure, that partner can locate other Cisco partners in the other two countries. In turn, those two other partners can procure the needed equipment locally and complete the installation locally.

Cisco is initially piloting the program with 150 end-customers. As the program grows, Cisco anticipates creating a Center of Excellence to help partners navigate the thorny issues, business and cultural, that sometimes come with international contracts and transactions, according to Thurber. This center will include templates around contracts types, Thurber says. "Doing business internationally is still very complex."

Cisco says the new Cisco Global Resale Agent model provides each "host" partner with the policies, processes and tools to enable it to find and choose another Cisco partner as an agent in another country. The model gives local partners "global rights" to choose the other partner in the different geography, Cisco said in a statement. "After the host and agent partner engage in and complete a business transaction, the local partner buys the Cisco solution and invoices the customer locally," Cisco said in its prepared statement announcing the program.

Thurber said partners will use Cisco's existing partner infrastructure – Cisco's Partner Exchange portal -- to locate partners in other geographies.

Partners can use what Thurber calls a "super version" of the partner locater, which not only lets partners register their names and addresses and specializations, but also lets them offer deeper details about their practices.

"We are really looking at helping our partners expand their business," Thurber says. "In today's economy, and with all the other things going on, we are excited about the opportunities brought up here for Cisco and partners as well."

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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