Express Data hit the campaign trail this month with a world first roadshow designed to spread a little love between Cisco and Microsoft resellers.
The distributor held events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to promote collaboration opportunities between Microsoft CRM partners and Cisco IP telephony dealers.
"We have a unique ability to identify these partners because we deal with both vendors," ED product manager for Cisco, David Peach, said. "These two sets of resellers offer good services on either side but, by coming together and collaborating, they can go to end-users with a better solution."
Although the three events were only attended by 43 resellers, Cisco's global BDM for Microsoft, Steve Wood, said this represented a 90 per cent attendance rate for the invitation-only sessions.
"Express Data is the first distributor in the world to lead an event like this for Cisco," he said. "It is of great interest to us because of the ability to measure what has been achieved."
Cisco ran the roadshow in Australia first because the market is dominated by SMB organisations.
Wood said the idea would now be taken to other countries.
"We can't tell resellers how to build a relationship but we can give them some ideas," he said. "There is a saying in the US that you need to 'partner or perish' and this is true for resellers because most of them are SMBs.
"Cisco partners are experts in voice while the Microsoft partners [at this roadshow] are experts in customer relationship management. Why not work together to deliver a more complete solution?"
ED is offering iPod Shuffles for the first collaboration deal closed with an existing Cisco customer, the first with a Microsoft customer and the first piece of new business.