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More than 1,500 Cisco certified channel partners from around the world are expected to attend Cisco’s invitation-only Partner Summit which opens with an awards dinner tonight in Honolulu.

The theme of this year’s summit is Improving Channel Partner Profitability to Drive Mutual Success.

General sessions begin Wednesday with a keynote address and welcoming remarks from President and CEO John Chambers and Paul Mountford, Senior Vice President of Cisco Worldwide Channels.

Much of the Summit will focus on ways in which partners can maximize Cisco’s partner program to take advantage of opportunities emerging in the market. VARs, integrators and network consultants account for 92 percent of Cisco’s enterprise and commercial revenue.

Cisco has launched a variety of recent channel initiatives, including:

  • Value Incentive Program (VIP): which offers rebates to channel partners who successfully implement IP telephony and security technologies.
  • Partner E-Learning Connection (PEC): An online training portal for channel partners.

  • E-Agent:
    Channel partners receive compensation for acting as a sales agent.

  • Partner View:
    A single-source Web portal for channel application data and related Cisco information.

  • Demo Lab Leasing Program:
    Partners can lease demonstration lab equipment at reduced rates.

  • Neutralized Service Sales Team Compensation:
    Cisco sales employees now receive equal compensation regardless of whether sales are direct or go through the channel.

  • Service Contract Center:
    A Web-based system that eliminates the need for physical contract packages by capturing customer registration information and providing advance notice of a contract’s expiration date for renewals.