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Sherriff, who oversees a staff of 800 employees charged with helping drive partner market transitions, said Cisco is committed to providing incentives to help partners move to new markets like cloud computing, virtualized data center, video solutions and collaboration. He said one of his top priorities is to have Cisco act as a "catalyst" to allow partners "to move faster into new markets and help you build the capabilities you need."
Sherriff said his team is working on sales and practice enablement tools and aimed at doing just that. "This will be an area that we shift more of our resources into," he said.
"It is extremely important that we get to those market transitions together quickly," he said. "So we will continue to shift more and more of our focus and architectural capabilities to help you build both the sales and the practice capabilities you need to be best in class in those new market transition areas."
Sherriff pointed to Cisco's VIP (Value Incentive Program) rebate, a nine year old program aimed at providing partner rebates in new emerging markets. "It is the envy of the channel industry in terms of its impact on profitability," he said.
Cisco has also put together dozens of memorandums of understanding investments under which it "puts skin in the game" to help partners make market transitions, said Sherriff. We will continue to do those things where we will be putting skin in the game," he said.
Sherriff also promised to "streamline" Cisco policies and processes around programs like Cisco's Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP) deal registration program so that partners are spending more time in front of customers and less time on channel processes. "I have people in my organization who spend more than 50 percent of their time just processing OIPs," he said. "That's very important, but I think there is a way for them to bring more value. We have to streamline the process."
Finally, Sherriff said that Cisco is refining its two primary go to market models (Co-Led vs. Partner Led). He stressed that there are different "processes" and "expectations" around the partner led model. "You'll see us start to specialize a bit more in terms of these two different engagement models," he said. "There really are different expectations and different ways we can bring value to you to help you get more traction in the marketplace."