Edison Peres, senior vice president of worldwide channels go-to-market, has devoted much time and attention to helping Cisco partners adapt their businesses to the wave of collaboration and Web 2.0 technologies the company says make up the next phase of the Internet.
For example, Cisco is pushing to bring channel partners into the WebEx fold, giving them the opportunity to sell hosted collaboration services and bring in recurring revenue.
"We're helping partners evolve their business models into these newer models like SAAS and managed services, because what we're finding is that customer consumption models are changing," Peres said.
But it's his own personal commitment to communicating with partners and incorporating their opinions into Cisco's channel strategy that has impressed solution providers.
"It's not 'his way or the highway.' He understands that he can shape and create better programs with feedback," said Bob Cagnazzi, CEO of BlueWater Communications Group, a New York-based solution provider.
Riordan Maynard, CEO of Touchbase Group, a Denver-based Cisco partner, calls Peres "one of the most exceptional people I've ever met in this business."
"He really is, because he's got that blend of interpersonal skills, really making an incredible effort to listen and understand the issues so that people feel valued, yet you always know exactly where he stands, if he can support you or not," Maynard said.