Cisco Looks for $20B in Partner Growth

By Sara Driscoll  |  Print this article Print

Cisco has outlined the major areas for growth in the channel and how it intends to help its VARs take advantage of them.

Cisco is hoping to build between $15 billion and $20 billion of new partner opportunities in the next three years and has outlined the areas where it believes partners should look for opportunities. 

Speaking at Cisco’s Partner Summit in Honolulu on April 9, Keith Goodwin, senior vice president of worldwide channels at Cisco, said the three areas for growth are the data center, services, and SAAS (software as a service) and WebEx.  Goodwin also identified unified communications and video as significant drivers of opportunity for the channel, alongside collaborative business models.

He announced the vendor is opening out a pilot that it has been running with selected partners and its WebEx platform to all of its VARs.  "This was previously commission-only based on year one revenues, but when we open this out in the next two to three quarters partners can also earn an annuity stream for the following years," he said.  He said the strategy was unusual because SAAS has traditionally been a direct sales play.  

Cisco, which has 80 percent of its revenues through the channel, acquired WebEx, which was a direct sales company, in March 2007.  Cisco CEO John Chambers said the acquisition could turn out to be one of the top five acquisitions Cisco has ever made. "It applies to almost every aspect of our business," he said. 

Tying in with Chambers’ keynote about the transitioning of business to the new wave of the Internet, Goodwin said the best way to prepare for the opportunity was to embrace the new collaborative Web 2.0 technologies.  "By using these technologies we can increase our own productivity and innovation, and it will give us the confidence, experience and knowledge to take these to market," he said.

He said Cisco is also investing in partners to help them achieve this. He outlined the Partner Practice Builder, a tool for partners that allows them to benchmark themselves and ensure they are using the Cisco channel programs to maximum effect; the first such tool will be around its new data center technology.

Cisco is also developing products in more localized languages; over the past eight months the vendor has developed 150 offerings in 15 local languages.  Finally, Goodwin said Cisco is helping partners to attract, develop and retain talent through its new Partner Talent Network, where VARs can look for and connect with potential employees.



See these related stories also from the partner summit:

Chambers Tells VARs to Catch New Tech Wave

Cisco Unites VARs, ISVs over Integrated Apps

Cisco Portal to Help Partners Recruit Talent

Cisco Seeks Partner Growth

Cisco Plays Cupid for VARs

Analysts: Size Matters in Cisco Data Center Play

Cisco's Data Center Luau

Cisco Sets Sights on the Data Center

Top Channel Executives You Need To Know at Cisco

Sara Driscoll began her journalism career at 16 years old on her local newspaper, The Watford Observer. Working part time, she covered a range of beats. Leaving to complete her Journalism Degree at Bournemouth University, UK, Sara then went on to graduate and work for Emap. She began as a reporter on APR, Emap's construction title, being promoted to senior reporter with a year.Sara then joined VNU Business Publications as Deputy News Editor on CRN, the weekly trade title for channel players. She covered industry/business news from vendors, distributors and resellers, product announcements, partner announcements as well as market and trend analysis, research and in depth articles to predict up and coming trends in the sector. She was promoted within a year to News Editor, a year later to Deputy Editor and the following year became Editor. Sara remained editor of CRN for three years, launching the magazine on new platforms including CRN TV and eBooks, as well as several magazine and web site redesigns. She was called on for expert industry comment from various publications including appearing on live BBC news programs. Sara joined Ziff Davis Enterprise as Editor of eWeek Channel Insider. She runs the title in all formats – online up to the minute news, newsletters, emails alerts and events. She also manages the brand of Channel Insider in all formats - events, shows, awards, panel debates and roundtables.Sara can be reached at:sara.driscoll@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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