Cisco Adds to Channel Executive Team, Former Avaya Exec Joins

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Cisco Systems has promoted a top channel executive and hired an outsider to fill new roles aimed at increasing the channel's global reach.

Bob Bruce, who was vice president of U.S. channels, is now vice president of worldwide service provider partners. His new role will be to build a global channel strategy for service providers, Cisco says. Bruce joined Cisco in 1994. At that time the indirect sales channel drove about 30 percent of Cisco sales. Bruce helped build the channel to its current strength where it accounts for more than 80 percent of Cisco's overall business, according to Cisco.

A search is underway to fill Bruce's old position of vice president of U.S. channels.

Edison Peres, formerly vice president for partner sales for North America at Avaya, has joined Cisco as vice president of emerging technologies for worldwide channels. In the new position, Peres will identify new partners and prepare existing partners to sell and deploy emerging technologies. Initially, he will focus on IP telephony, wireless and storage technologies.

"Cisco has done a great job in routers and switches, and as these new emerging technologies are being developed, the channel is important to make sure these opportunities are successful for Cisco and its business partners,' says Peres, who will be based in Cisco's office in Edison, N.J.

Peres says his immediate goals are to work on channel coverage, capacity, productivity and profitability.

Cisco has been urging its partners to meet requirements that will certify them as specializing in certain technologies such as IP telephony or wireless.

Peres says he will be reviewing many of the specializations, though he could not say what kind of changes he will make, he endorsed Cisco's recent move to revise the requirements for the IP telephony specialization.

"They have revised it and made it more difficult in an effort to improve capacity,' he says. "I think that in the area of storage and wireless it is very possible that we will establish specializations and certifications that drive forth the need for optimal capacity."

Peres, 43, worked for AT&T and Lucent for about 11 years, For the last four years, he was vice president of partner sales for Avaya, which spun off from Lucent in October of 2000. He left Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Avaya in January and at the time he said he was evaluating several options.

Peres says he decided to join Cisco because it has the "products and solutions that can make a difference, and marrying that with the skills I have will allow me to make a major contribution.'

Both appointments were made by Paul Mountford, a Cisco veteran who stepped into the role of vice president of worldwide channels last December.

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