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Cisco on Tuesday moved to expand its portfolio of services offerings for partners, emphasizing a move away from break-fix to more professional services models, and addressing issues that Cisco often doesn't do enough to bring partners in on Cisco-led deals early enough, or follow through on certain margin incentives in several of its programs.
That was the message from Edison Peres, Cisco senior vice president of worldwide channels, go-to-market, and Keith Goodwin, Cisco senior vice president of worldwide channels, in a discussion of services programs at the Cisco Partner Summit in San Francisco Tuesday.
"One of the inhibitors to your investing more in high level services practices is a perceived competition from Cisco," Goodwin said to a packed audience of Cisco VARs and several thousand more watching via the Web. "We're going to take that one on and come back to you and provide a clearly articulated strategy with how we will work together to increase the amount of services we deliver to customers."
The programs, said Peres, address a need for earlier engagement between Cisco and partners and also will help partners better collaborate with each other. Cisco sees services partnerships as "1 plus 1 equals 3," he said, suggesting that neither Cisco alone or partners alone benefit as much from a services revenue standpoint than they do working together.
One of the big changes, Peres and Goodwin explained, was a shift in strategy for how Cisco deals with what it calls "transformational accounts" -- large, hugely complex global customers that need special attention, lots of technology, and are early adopters of next-wave architecture.
Program-wise, Cisco will debut a new services specialization through which partners can invest and become services experts, as well as enjoy "neutralized" compensation with Cisco's own sales team. Partners who obtain the services specialization will be given priority access to the 500 transformational accounts.
Peres and Goodwin also said they would be better articulating requirements for pre-chasm and post-chasm services as part of Services for Success, a new umbrella strategy for services opportunities.