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Cisco Opens Webex To More Partners, Agents With Telarus

Gina Narcisi

To extend its sought-after Webex portfolio to more kinds of partners that have remained largely untouched by Cisco, the company has added its second master agent, Telarus to grow its agent model route to market.

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Cisco is extending partner access to its communication and collaboration portfolio through an agent model route to market and has tapped master agent Telarus to open up Webex to these previously untapped partners.

The new partnership, announced on Tuesday, will empower more agent partners to sell Cisco’s Webex portfolio, which includes cloud-based video meetings, calling, select collaboration devices and later, contact center, said Kristyn Hogan, head of global collaboration partner sales for Cisco.

Sandy, Utah-based Telarus is the second master agent to join as a technology services broker for Cisco, Hogan said.

ScanSource-owned master agent Intelisys was the first Technology Services Broker to join when Cisco opened up its Agent route to market for Webex. Intelisys in June unveiled that partnership, which opened up Webex to Intelisys sales partners for the first time.

[Related: Cisco’s Gerri Elliott Retires; Channel Leader Jeff Sharritts Promoted To Executive Leadership Team ]

Cisco is moving slowing and intentionally choosing its technology services brokers to be part of its agent model route to market, Hogan said. She called the Cisco/Telarus partnership a “match made in heaven” because the master agent is one of the leading cloud unified communications (UC) providers in the U.S.

“This partnership is coming at the right time to really accelerate collaboration for us, particularly down-market,” she said. “We wanted to expand our reach into a new partner type that we’ve never talked to work with before, and Telarus can now bring us to the table.”

Intelisys and Telarus agent partners now have access to selling a small business focused Webex Suite offer, which includes calling, meetings, and certain devices, including Webex Room USB, Webex Desk Pro, multi-platform desk phones, and select headsets. Next up will be the cloud-based Webex contact center offering, which agent partners are already asking about, Hogan said.

Cisco introduced a 10x sales performance incentive fund (SPIF) for Intelisys partners selling Webex last year and the company is bringing back the same incentive for Telarus partners, Hogan said. Agents will then earn recurring revenue on their sale through the life of the contract.

Cisco last year revealed the four roles that will make up its new partner program structure. One of the roles — Advisor — is aimed at bringing these partners, which include agents, more deeply into the Cisco partner ecosystem and is scaling up the rewards for these partners, who used to be part of Cisco’s Consultant partner program. The Advisor role opens up Cisco to more partners that haven’t wanted to engage in a traditional reseller model, Marc Surplus, vice president, strategy, planning and programs for Cisco’s Global Partner Organization, told CRN in 2021.

The Advisor model gives Cisco agent partners and customers a simplified ordering process and a fast way to transact with Cisco, Hogan said. It also gives Cisco’s traditional partners, including VARs, a new way to interact downmarket by taking a more “hands off” approach to selling collaboration to smaller customers, Hogan said.

“Looking at our existing channel, who is traditionally transacted with us in that resale [model], you’re really giving them a choice to keep transacting with us in that capacity, or, down-market, perhaps it’s simpler, faster, and more profitable to have this new way of transacting through a Telarus,” she said.

Cisco since last year has been putting more resources and headcount toward its agent model effort, including standing up an inside sales team within Cisco Collaboration to work with technology service brokers, Hogan added.

Both Cisco reseller partners and technology services broker partners are eligible to participate in Cisco’s agent model, the San Jose, Calif.-based company said.

 

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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