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Cisco splits channel role

Cisco splits channel role

Cisco is planning to hire three new business division leaders after parting company with its channel boss, Kip Cole. The new appointments will head up channel, SMB and commercial sales, respectively.

The realignment is the most significant change at the top of the Cisco Australia order since Ross Fowler joined as managing director in October.

Fowler said he hoped to fill the positions internally.

In the interim, the networking giant had given Sara Zhanal responsibility for its channel business, Jeff Sheard was looking after its commercial sales and Josephine Lanzarone was in charge of SMB.

All three acting divisional heads will be considered for the respective positions on a permanent basis.

“The market’s looking a bit more positive than in the past few years and we need to position ourselves for the growth opportunities,” Fowler said. “One issue we have had because of the tough market is a lack of opportunities for internal promotion.

“We have good people managing in the interim and can take our time to appoint the right people. It’s not like we are in crisis mode.”

Fowler said Cisco had identified opportunities in the SMB space for everything from its core switching products to advanced technologies like wireless, IP telephony and security.

“The acquisition of Linksys has really given us stimulus in that end of the market,” he said. “That’s going to be a more important part of the Cisco business and I’m very happy with the way it’s progressing in Australia.”

Cisco also wants to strengthen its position in Canberra, and will scour the market for a branch manager to ramp up its government business.

It has appointed Kevin Block to identify further growth opportunities for its IP telephony, security, optical, wireless and storage networking technologies. He will report directly to Fowler.

The outgoing Cole joined Cisco from Sybase in 1999 and headed up its local channel business for three years. He was previously marketing and strategic relationships manager.

Fowler refused to clarify the reasons for or events leading up to Cole’s departure.

Cole told ARN he was going to spend some time relaxing and do some travelling.


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