Cisco Set To Launch First Internet of Everything Partner Playbook

Cisco Systems Wednesday is set to unveil its first Internet of Everything Partner Playbook to help provide a blueprint and assets for partners building vertical practices and aiming to capture part of the IoE and Internet of Things opportunity.

The playbook addresses four vertical markets -- public sector, manufacturing, transportation and utilities -- that Cisco has identified as representing huge opportunities for its channel partners. Cisco said the IoE playbook is directed at the line of business and solving problems, compared with previous playbooks that have been more focused on architecture and technology.

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"IoE really allows us to change the conversation to the business benefits and the line of business in specific verticals markets," said Steve Benvenuto, senior director of worldwide channels strategy, planning and programs at Cisco, San Jose, Calif. "How do our partners and how does Cisco evolve specifically to selling business-outcome-based solutions to the line of business? The playbook is really all around having the partners understand what that conversation is like, understanding the key care-abouts around a vertical, understanding how they can tap into that and how Cisco solutions can help them do that."

The partner playbook provides specific guidance for each of the four vertical markets including market-specific data, typical vertical market business challenges and how to position solutions to line-of-business managers and speak the same language. It also provides use cases, resources, architecture overview and proof points, while also explaining how Cisco solutions can solve problems in each market.

John Rohde, director of corporate business development, enterprise vertical markets and IoT for World Wide Technology, a St. Louis-based solution provider and Cisco partner, said the playbook will help WWT account managers understand how to position and sell IoT from a product and overall solution perspective.

"We see the alignment and opportunity here," said Rohde. "It's going to help sales enablement, but also really gives some context above and beyond what we have around what the challenges are within some of these industries."

Rohde said WWT is making "significant" investments in hiring new employees and the playbook will help them adapt and learn faster.

"As we go forward, the playbook will help give direct content and context and bring new hires up to speed," said Rohde.

NEXT: Cisco: 50 Billion Smart Objects By 2020

According to Cisco,by 2020 there will be 50 billion "smart object" devices. Connecting all of these devices requires faster hardware, increased bandwidth and greater security, which drive the selling opportunities for things such as routers, switches, firewalls, servers and more.

"As we build more solutions and products as a company around IoT/IoE specifically on a vertical market, how are we effectively enabling our partners to go talk that language to the customers? How are we enabling our partners to really understand what the value proposition is for that specific line of business within the vertical?" said Benvenuto. "The playbook is giving partners a comprehensive way to move forward into these spaces, the right way to do it, how Cisco can help in the right way and what are the package solutions Cisco has -- so partners can go have a conversation and have a solution to that conversation."

Rohde said the opportunity for partners is not only on the IT side, but on the operational side, in which many Cisco partners haven’t had the opportunity to engage consistently.

"The idea for more traditional Cisco partners, where their focus is selling products and some services around that, this playbook really gives partners some context. It really gives traditional partners context around how these industries are going to be consuming the technology that they're capable of selling right now," Rohde said.

Cisco is betting big on IoE, estimating it will be a $19 trillion market in the next 10 years, with $7.3 trillion of that tied to data analytics and how big data is handled.