Cisco Systems held its annual Partner Summit last week in Vancouver, British Columbia, and announced several programs designed to improve financial incentives to the company’s 2,500 or so channel partners.
On the first day of the conference Cisco kicked off with its Solution Incentive Program, or SIP. According to the company, SIP provides channel partners with the means to come up with industry-based solutions, many of which may be geared to different verticals that Cisco does not typically sell to directly, such as medicine and telecommunications.
To qualify for SIP, a channel partner first must submit a business proposal for Cisco’s approval. The proposal in question must make use of Cisco’s advanced technology, including at least one application relevant to the industry of the end user to which the channel partner is selling.
The plan also should provide full integration and expand the end user’s network bandwidth requirements. In addition, the channel partner must demonstrate that it has a sales staff that targets the proposed solution.
On the second day of the summit, Cisco announced that by the month’s end, channel partners will be able to offer prepaid Cisco training to end users. As a result, channel partners should enjoy boosted profits.
“As the network continues to change the way people work, customer demand for end-user training has increased significantly worldwide. The global availability of Cisco Learning Credits is a tremendous opportunity for channel partners to make significant gains while offering more innovative solutions that will ultimately increase customer loyalty,” said Lyle Speirs, director of global learning alliances at Cisco.
Cisco also announced that it would extend its TAP (Trade-in Accelerator Promotion) to channel partners as well as end users, encouraging both to migrate to newer Cisco technologies.
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According to Surinder Brar, senior director of worldwide channel strategy and programs at Cisco, TAP is an extension of the company’s CTMP (Cisco Technology Migration Program) in which end users may trade in their previous-generation Cisco products, along with competing products, and receive a discount based on the value of such a trade-in.
TAP provides channel partners with an additional rebate based on 15 percent of the value of the products an end user trades in. Cisco will reimburse the channel partner this 15 percent in twice-yearly chunks, providing additional profit for Cisco’s channel partners, Brar said.
TAP will roll out in different theaters starting with the United States and Europe on April 11. The company did not divulge when rollouts in other regions would begin.
Finally, as the summit was coming to a close, Cisco announced the top global-industry channel partners and the top channel-partner performers in each region. The nine Global Award winners included Canada’s TELUS in the innovation category, IBM Australia for the enterprise category and Dimension Data for the Global Award.
Dimension Data also won the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) performance award, as did TELUS for the Canadian region. Other winners in this area included IBM China for the Asia-Pacific region and NIS (Network Information Systems) in the United States.