ENCOURAGING partners to move to more profitable parts of the networking business was the main theme at Cisco’s Asia-Pacific partner summit held in Perth last month.
Twelve people representing nine New Zealand partners, including ATL Systems, Axon, Eagle Technologies, Express Data and Ingram Micro, attended the event.
Jennifer Rutherford, Cisco New Zealand channels manager, says the message at the conference aimed to highlight where the most lucrative opportunities lay for partners in the Cisco set of offerings.
“The theme was ‘Rattle and Hum’. The message was that Cisco partners should go out and shake things up in the market,” she says.
Cisco wants to see partners shake off old habits by moving away from just selling its core router and switch products and focusing on new customers, more solution-based sales and advanced technologies such as security and IP telephony.
“There are more profits in those areas as we are offering significant rebates, rewards and incentives,” says Rutherford.
Cisco New Zealand is currently evaluating the new Solution Incentive Programme, which rewards vertically aligned partners by encouraging the bundling of applications and services with the vendor’s technology.
A decision on whether it will be rolled out locally will be made next month.
Rutherford says the Perth conference was also a technology showcase for partners, adding breakout sessions on new technologies such as RFID (radio frequency identification) proved very popular with attendees.
Speakers at the event included Steven Du Mont, internet business solutions group vice president; senior Asia-Pacific vice president Gordon Astles; Janice Hulse, Asia-Pacific channel director and worldwide commercial strategy manager Peter Alexander.
Meanwhile, the Cantabs, New Zealand’s entry in Cisco’s Tech Mastermind competition held during the conference, finished a respectable seventh out of 13 finalists. The team comprised Simon Thomas and David Baird, who represented Christchurch-based Commarc.
The winning team was from China’s Fujian Uplife Information Technology, which beat Netmarks Thailand in a tiebreaker.
Tech Mastermind is an annual competition organised by Cisco for registered and Premier partners to reward the best technical brains in the region.