Cisco is set to introduce new ANZ partner incentives in mid-November, as part of what it says is a shift to a partner-led model across the Asia Pacific region.
The company is also establishing a Sydney-based demand centre for use by trans-Tasman partners, that it hopes will be operational this month. The vendor has recruited a campaign manager and telemarketers for the centre.
Although the company has yet to finalise details of the incentives, they will include sponsoring partners to attend its partner summit next March. The summit will be part of the ANZ Cisco Live event in Australia, previously called Cisco Networkers, but revamped to adopt the Live branding used by Cisco in the US.
The event will have technical streams, business stream and visionary streams, says Auckland-based marketing and operations manager Suzanne Hansen, who is leading the newly-created commercial and partner marketing group. She says partners here have typically been under-represented at the summit.
Hansen says the incentives will be introduced along with a range of partner enablement tools, including more funding for partners, six-monthly strategy plans between Cisco and partners and partner reporting using new performance metrics.
She says the partner-led push will be centred around three objectives for the commercial market, which it defines as companies with 250 to 1000 seats, and small and medium firms.
The objectives are to establish a footprint in the server space, educate the market on the concept of the borderless network, along with the addition of video to networks.
Cisco will also shift away from what Hansen describes as an operational approach to distribution, and will increasingly use distributors as a way to reach partners, including new resellers it is not yet working with.
“It is time to market to the partners, not just market around them,” she says. “We will have proper training programmes and marketing money spent on the partners. It is an entire offer. Before we tried to reach everyone ourselves, but now there will be a big shift in how we do things.”
Cisco will extend its salesforce.com CRM system to partners to assist with reporting under the new metrics, says Hansen.
Locally, the vendor has recruited Nigel Flack to its partner-led channel marketing team to ensure the metrics reporting is happening. Flack has a background in channel marketing in the UK, Hansen says.
Former SMB market manager Kris Boyd has also undergone a change of role with the shift to a partner-led model.
He now manages the value (larger) and ecosystem partners, which include VMware, NetApp and EMC.