8 New Cisco Channel Incentives Unleashed At Partner Summit

8 New Ways For Cisco Partners To Thrive

Although Cisco launched several new products at Partner Summit 2016 this week in San Francisco, it was the new incentives and revenue-driving-geared tools that had channel partners cheering.

The new incentives, vouchers and programs seek to drive partner profitability in the areas of storage, data center, security, recurring revenue, Software as-a-Service and Cisco's Digital Network Architecture (DNA). in addition, Cisco revealed new tools and platforms aimed at making it easier for channel partners to sell solutions and more quickly respond to requests for proposal.

CRN breaks down the eight most important incentives, promotions and partner engagement tools unveiled at Cisco Partner Summit 2016 San Francisco this week that solution providers need to know about.

HPE Competitive Promo

Cisco unveiled a new HPE Competitive Promo for the channel to take to market when vying for Unified Computing System deals against Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The promotion is a global deal registration program to help Cisco partners win competitive UCS deals against HPE servers.

The HPE program gives Cisco partners competitive UCS pricing, deal protection and higher partner gross margins when competing head-to-head against HPE servers, according to Cisco. The deal must be registered with Cisco's Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP) – Hunting or the Teaming Incentive Program (TIP).

"If you are working with a customer who has an existing HPE footprint, or bidding against HPE, use this promo to enjoy rich up front discounting opportunities and ensure your customers go with the best compute platform in the industry," said Nirav Sheth, senior director, Global Partner Organization Solutions, Architectures & Engineering, in a blog post.

Two Percent UCS Bonus

In addition to the UCS up-front discount promotion, Cisco is upping UCS incentives for its Value Incentive Program rebates overall and offering a 2 percent bonus for partners selling the offering.

"We’re building on existing incentives to offer VIP for UCS products. We simplified and improved this VIP with significantly higher rebates and increased back-end partner profitability," said Nirav Sheth, senior director, Global Partner Organization Solutions, Architectures & Engineering, in a blog post. "Not only have we increased payouts for UCS on VIP, included for the first time ever SmartPlay bundles into VIP, but today we’re announcing a 2 percent VIP accelerator for Account Breakaway registered deals."

Lifecycle Advantage

Cisco unveiled the Lifecycle Advantage platform for channel partners that was "built by partners, for partners," said Scott Brown, senior vice president of Cisco's Global Virtual Sales and Customer Success, on stage during the Partner Summit.

"Lifecycle Advantage is a new digital platform that brings analytics, automation and personalized content for you and it allows you to digitally manage that customer relationship through the entire lifecycle. What we have is the Cisco data and the partner data disconnected. We're going to bring those together," said Brown. "We're co-branding as we go out to the market, our campaigns, and it allows us to have a really personalized experience with that customer as they go through the adoption activities, the expansion activities, renewals, as well as looking at the opportunities for refreshing the core."

Customer Success Hub

"This is your one-stop shop for customer success," said Brown. "[There's] a lot of information about Lifecycle Advantage and just the fundamentals -- how do I develop my people? Develop roles? The platforms? – It will all be in one place at Success Hub."

This new customer success portal is a portfolio of Cisco assets made available to partners including information about managing the customer lifecycle, trainings, webinars as well as "key assets we leverage internally" are becoming available to the channel for the first time, said Cisco's Sheth in the blog post.

The success portal is being led by Cisco's Global Customer Success organization.

Qvidian RFP Tool

This new cloud-based capability, built on machine learning, allows partners to respond faster to requests for proposal. Cisco said the Qvidian RFP tool reduces a partner's response time by 30 percent. The company has already launched this inside its internal sales teams globally.

"It's a machine-learning, cloud-based tool with intelligent search that allows you to go in and save up to 30 percent of the production time necessary to respond to an RFP," said Brown. "We are sharing with all of you everything we're arming our sales team with so we can be in alignment to win together."

$7,500 DNA Vouchers

In an effort to drive sales around Cisco's Digital Network Architecture (DNA) strategy, the networking leader is giving channel partners a $7,500 voucher for DNA deals exceeding $300,000.

Partners can use the $7,500 to offset the cost of turning on feature functionalities embedded in the Cisco ONE software inside DNA offerings. A partner can utilize the voucher for up to five deals until the incentive program concludes in July, at the end of Cisco's current fiscal year.

Collaboration SaaS VIP Track

The new Collaboration Software as-a-Service VIP track rewards partners for growing recurring revenue and minimizing customer churn.

"We're moving VIP dollars starting right now ... to be not just around [landing customers], but recurring revenue growth and churn management. This is important as we align our value exchange to the motions we're trying to create," said Bahr on stage at Partner Summit.

Security Account Breakaway

Cisco unveiled a new Security Account Breakaway offering to increase deal margins for partners around security.

"When you lead with the Account Breakaway, you can double up-front deal margins coupled with rich back-end rebates," said Sheth in the blog post.