Cisco Systems: Managing the Go-to-Market Evolution
1) How have Cisco’s channels evolved in the last 10-15 years? Why have they evolved that way?
In the last five years, there has been a marked shift in Cisco’s channel strategy.
Rather than being purely focused on the volume of business that a channel does with
the vendor, it is now paying great attention to the value of the business that the
channel does. The focus is therefore no longer pure ly on point product sales but on
bringing together multiple technologies and focusing on solutions aimed at solving
customers’ business problems.
This value-based strategy is equally beneficial to the customers who then receive
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Cisco has developed a set of productivity tools designed to enable their partners to
increase productivity when selling solutions based on security, unified
communications and wireless solutions.
These productivity tools provide partners with faster quotes and complete solutions,
saving them valuable time to focus on other sales activities.
Cisco’s aim is to move channel marketing on to a new generation, offering marketing
as a service to the channel. It aims to help partners make the best use of this selfservice
model, so partners can focus on the follow-through and execution of their
own campaigns. It is important to develop a suite of tools to assist the partner sales
force to close deals on leads that have been generated.
3) What grade would you give Cisco for managing that evolution? Good or a bad? Why?
This approach, half marketing-led, half partner-enabling, has boosted Cisco’s lead
generation, from about 50 leads a quarter to more than 1,200 leads per quarter a
year later, with a tenfold increase in the SMB sector.
I would say an excellent strategy to capture market opportunities, Cisco and its partners must continue to evolve, invest, lead and grow together.
4) Against the background of your answer to questions #1 and #2, how should Cisco distribute VoIP products? Through voice VARs? Data VARs? Or both?
Cisco should distribute VoIP Products to existing data VARs. Convince data VARs to market this technology as a bundled product with their existing router sales. Giving this new and rapidly growing technology to existing...