Cisco And D&H Deepen SMB Ties With Upcoming Roadshow Targeting VARs

Cisco and D&H Distributing continue to strengthen their SMB ties by collaborating on a U.S. roadshow tour to exclusively train resellers on how to grow their SMB practices through Cisco solutions.

The two companies are traveling around the country to provide in-depth workshops at no cost to D&H's Cisco resellers. The program delivers deep-dive information and sales strategies on Cisco's SMB technologies aimed at educating resellers on its networking products portfolio.

"Cisco will continue to drive partner trainings and enablement so our partners can tap the large opportunity in the SMB space," said Andrew Sage, vice president of Americas distribution at Cisco, in an email to CRN. "Small and medium sized businesses are heavily dependent on their technology reseller and integrator partners in advising them on moving toward digitization, and these training sessions will help our partners have more impact and success with their SMB customers."

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VARs will be trained on a variety of Cisco technologies such as Meraki and wireless mobility solutions, along with routing and switching products, all engineered and priced for the SMB market.

The collaboration roadshow underscores a deeper partnership between the two companies. In June, D&H also introduced a Cisco partner enablement program -- PRO (Partner Revenue Opportunities) -- for solution providers. PRO is aimed at both introducing new SMB-focused partners to the Cisco product line and helping current partners move through the Cisco certification process more quickly.

The San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant is also revamping its push into the SMB market after several years of steering away from the market. In 2013, Cisco sold its SMB solution Linksys -- which created wireless routers, switches and related equipment -- to Belkin for $500 million.

In September, Cisco launched a new Mobility Express solution targeting small to medium-size deployments, which partners said opened a new door for the channel to provide solutions to the SMB market. Cisco touted Express as an enterprise-grade, cost-effective solution tailor-made for SMBs in areas such as retail, education and hospitality.

Solution providers are expecting to now sell more Cisco solutions into the price-sensitive SMB market.

Cisco's Sage said the roadshow is part of Cisco's continued effort to push for more opportunities and sales in the SMB space for its channel partners.

"Distributor-delivered training, workshops and enablement offerings for our partners are foundational elements in helping educate and mobilize our mutual reseller partners," said Sage.

The SMB tour training incorporates live technical demonstrations, sales and marketing insights, and a post-session "partner appreciation" networking party. The sessions will be held at major Cisco sales offices from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. local time.

"It's our role to work with visionary partners such as Cisco to establish new and effective venues to help develop our customers' businesses," said Jeff Davis, senior vice president of sales for D&H Distributing, in a release. "The objective is to invest in our customer base, helping VARs not only sustain their competitive edge and enhance their knowledge, but also to position them for growth. To that end, we have expanded the training experience from our trade events and are bringing it into the field, delivering wider access and more intensive content to VARs."

The tour begins in San Diego, Calif., on Dec. 15; moves to Atlanta on Jan. 14; and visits Richardson, Texas, on Feb. 9. The roadshow heads to Herndon, Va., on Feb. 23; Rosemont, Ill., on March 15; Pittsburgh on April 5; and concludes in Malvern, Pa., on April 12.