Trends Report

Cisco Systems Adds Services To Its Partner Dance Card

How To Turn Product Partners Into Collaborative Services Partners

May 9th, 2008
With contributor:
Thomas Mendel, Ph.D.

Summary

Product vendors must deal with two major challenges across the technology industry: developing from a pure product orientation toward a solutions- or services-based market approach, and building a new market position as a business technology (BT) provider in response to enhanced market expectations. A vendor that sells predominantly through the channel must also manage these changes across a much larger community, most of whom are not employees. Cisco addresses these challenges head on and pays particular attention to educating, supporting, and encouraging its channel partners to move along these paths as well. At the recent Cisco Partner Summit, Cisco introduced several programs to further develop its own and its partners' offerings by adding extensive new services. Traditionally, when product vendors start to talk about a service strategy, many partners are wary of channel conflict, so the real challenge for Cisco is to communicate these announcements effectively.

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