8 New Cisco Incentives And Products Unleashed At Partner Connection Week

Cisco Partner Connection Week 2017

Hundreds of partners flocked to Miami, Fla. last week for Cisco Partner Connection Week 2017, a conference that's quickly becoming a miniature version of the vendor's massive Partner Summit.

The San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant unleashed a slew of incentives including VIP rebates and 12 free getaway trips for partners. Providing enterprise security and helping customers navigate digital transformations was top of mind during the conference. The new wireless networking products revealed during the week specifically targeted the SMB market.

Here are the eight of the most important products and partner incentives revealed last week at Partner Connection Week that ran from March 28 to March 30.

Account Breakaway For Entire Networking Portfolio

"We're going to be launching an account breakaway program for the entire enterprise networking portfolio – 60 percent off, no questions asked," said Nirav Sheth (pictured), vice president of solutions, architecture, and engineering for Cisco's Global Partner Organization.

Cisco's Account Breakaway deal registration program has now expanded to include the company's entire enterprise networking portfolio. If the deal is registered, partners will also get deal protection. Account Breakaway is a program aimed at rewarding partners for finding, developing and selling into new and refreshed accounts.

2 Percent VIP Bonus

As part of its Account Breakaway program, Cisco is now giving partners an additional 2 percent VIP rebate bonus for qualifying enterprise networking deals.

"A two-percent VIP bonus for all enterprise networking and all Nexus switching Account Breakaway registered deals," said Sheth. "We want to reward you for all the heavy lifting you're doing, day in and day out."

Cisco Capital Easy Pay Goes Everywhere

The San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant is extending its Capital Easy Pay financing across all of its solutions and SKUs for U.S. channel partners.

"We want you to go off and win and not be afraid if your customer says, 'I want to take a look at this as Opex instead of Capex,'" said Sheth.

Partners pay 90 percent of the total over a three-year period that is interest-free. At the end of the term, partners can choose to either return and refresh the equipment, extend the lease or purchase the solution at 10 percent of original cost. Cisco said it would be rolling out the offer to partners outside of the U.S. in the future.

Aironet 1540 APs

Cisco touts its new Aironet 1540 802.11ac wireless access points as the industry's smallest APs that support Wave 2 standards equipped with enterprise features. The 1540 Series was specifically built for outdoor environments in the SMB market.

The new 1540s can perform "double duty" as virtual WLAN controllers, meaning customers can operate their wireless network without the purchase of a separate controller, according to Cisco.

Aironet 1815 APs

The new 1815 Series wireless access points are made up of four, lower-cost APs targeted at three vertical markets: education, hospitality, and teleworkers in home or branch offices.

Cisco touts the 1815i model as an AP that provides enterprise-class connectivity at a small business price point, while the 1815t is designed for teleworkers and micro-branch deployments. The 1815w is built to be mounted to walls targeting hotels and residential halls, and the 1815m is for budget-conscious organizations, said Cisco.

Revamped Mobility Express Software

In conjunction with its new Wave 2 access points, Cisco's revamped its Mobility Express management software. The enhanced Mobility Express now supports up to 100 APs and 2,000 clients with zero-touch deployment. The software also comes with Cisco's Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) Connect, which is a Software-as-a-Service subscription.

Express also now allows customers using Apple devices to get a special premium with Apple Fastlane – a feature that automatically ensures the highest priority and fastest performance for applications on Apple devices.

3504 Wireless LAN Controller

Designed for Wave 2 access points, Cisco revealed its 3504 Wireless LAN Controller that scales to 150 APs and 3,000 clients. Cisco said customers don't have to replace the access points already in their current network infrastructure.

"As you want to expand your client density and access point density – while keeping your investment protection of your existing APs – how do you move to a controller-based Wi-Fi solution? And the 3504 fits right there," said Prashanth Shenoy, Cisco's vice president of product marketing. "So you can have your existing access points … move them into a controller platform with 3504 to give you the higher scale and higher density."

12 Incentive Trips

To get the "competitive juices flowing," Sheth said Cisco would be giving out 12 free trips to partners who are winning deals around enterprise networking, data center, security and software. Cisco is providing theses incentive trips for partners regardless of their size.

"We structured the details here so that whether you're a multi-billion-dollar partner or you're just starting your business with us, that you have a fair share opportunity to compete," said Sheth. "If you win, you can [go] or have one of your teammates go in your place, and we'll include a plus-one, so bring your significant other, to anywhere in the world."

Three trips will be given away for partners selling enterprise networking, three for data center, three for software buying models and three for partners who sell security attached to either networking or data center solutions. Cisco said more details on how exactly a partner can win a trip will be announced soon.