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Cisco's Peres also provided additional details on the changes to some of Cisco's incentive programs that Cisco confirmed in mid-August. The Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP) -- which covers deals in which partners secure new business opportunities and bring them to Cisco's attention -- now has a component called OIP Express, in which the time it takes for Cisco account managers to approve OIP deals has sped up considerably.
According to Peres, under OIP Express, an operations team is in place to approve smaller, more transactional deals in OIP in a matter of hours, not days. Whereas most deals took as long as three days to see approval from Cisco, that pre-determined operations team -- not the individual sales person in the territory -- will bless OIP deals of a certain size.
The deal threshold will be different depending on territory, Peres said, but deals under $100,000 are the basis for OIP Express in the U.S.
"Large OIPs will still go through the process we have today," Peres said. "But in Express, rather than have an individual sales person in the territory approve, we've centralized the approval process with a handful of operations people available to approve those things effectively."
Despite the changes transforming Cisco's WWPO, Peres' role, he said, hasn't changed.
"I'm still the worldwide channel chief," he said, "responsible for all the partners that resell anything from Cisco."
Another thing soon to come from the WWPO will be more details on Cisco's partner marketing organization, Peres said. Partner marketing is now headed up by Amanda Jobbins, who was named vice president, worldwide partner marketing in July.
Jobbins, who relocated from London to San Jose, Calif. and was most recently vice president of European marketing for Cisco, is currently forming her marketing team, Peres said. Cisco, he added, is also still committed to Cisco Partner Velocity, the marketing-centric partner conference launched under Jobbins' predecessor, Luanne Tierney, although Cisco has yet to confirm whether (and where) the next Partner Velocity will take place in 2011.
Cisco, overall, will be taking a phased approach to its changes, Peres said, and the fundamentals of Cisco's WWPO and partnering strategy remain the same.
"There is nothing more frustrating to a solution provider than constant change, and for that change to happen abruptly," Peres said. "The way in which we work will continue as it has in the past, it's just goosed-up with this additional energy in working with our partners. Partners should not worry. If anything, the changes should be an upside."