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Cisco Steps Up Partner Portal

Cisco Systems has improved its Steps to Success Web portal to enhance the productivity of its channel partners while increasing customer satisfaction and shortening technology-deployment times.

Cisco Systems has improved its Steps to Success Web portal to enhance the productivity of its channel partners while increasing customer satisfaction and shortening technology-deployment times.

Steps to Success (www.cisco.com/go/stepstosuccess) provides Cisco knowledge, tools, best practices and templates for channel partners to use in the planning and deployment of Cisco's advanced technologies. The enhanced portal features new search capabilities, content-refresh functionality, customizable modules based on user needs, and immediate chat and phone support.

Karl Meulema, Cisco's vice president of services marketing and channels division, says the company revamped the portal in response to changing customer and partner needs. "With the increasing complexity of IT, customers are beginning to see the network as more of a business enabler, not just piping," he says. "So, they're looking for suppliers who can provide them with systems that have things like predefined templates that they can customize to fit their own needs."

Steps to Success integrates Cisco Lifecycle Services activities--essentially a well-organized to-do list of an organization's technology and business goals--with partner-specific sales-administration tasks to provide a step-by-step resource for selling, delivering and supporting Cisco technologies. The approach outlines the tasks required throughout a technology's life cycle, including preparation, planning, design, implementation, operation and optimization, to complete a successful customer engagement. The detailed Cisco life-cycle methodology is based on research and development, and knowledge gathered from past successful Cisco solution projects.

"It's not so much a series of services as a description of what a customer needs to be successful with our technology, but it will help partners increase their revenue on the services they do offer," Meulema says.

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