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Ciena Focuses On Services, Value-Based Approach With Partner Program Redesign

IT vendors often preach the need for solution providers to focus more on the services and other value-added activities. But, many partner program incentives remain based on sales volume.

Telecommunications networking equipment supplier Ciena is putting its money where its advice is, updating its BizConnect partner program to place more emphasis on services and what channel chief Nigel Williams calls partner "self-sufficiency."

The changes, slated to take effect in November, will transform BizConnect from a predominately volume-based program to one based on value and services partners bring to the table. Ciena will work with partners earlier in the sales cycle, for example, and offer new network design and quoting tools for greater control over customer accounts and IT infrastructures. Ciena also will more tightly link its own services organization with BizConnect to work with Partners.