HONOLULU: Cisco has launched a Partner Exchange to help its partners find each other and collaborate.
Announced at its Partner Summit, the portal is open to more than 8000 certified partners, distributors, managed service providers and application providers, according to the company's global channel boss, Keith Goodwin.
They can create company profiles, limiting the content potential partners can see if desired, while also using the portal to search for other companies by technology or vertical market expertise as well as geographical location.
Partners have historically been reluctant to work with companies they naturally viewed as competitors but Goodwin urged them to think again.
"Collaborating with other partners might not come naturally but has the potential to provide a significant competitive edge," he said. "At Cisco we might not collaborate on unified communications with Nortel or Avaya but we do so regularly with Microsoft. It's about partnering where it makes sense and building trust in those relationships."
He cited Cisco-sponsored research, conducted by Illuminas Research, that showed more than 30 per cent of its partners' revenue already came from working together. The same study found 78 per cent of partners who collaborated were able to win bigger deals, 75 per cent gained new customers and 74 per cent increased revenues.
The study polled more than 13,000 customers and almost 500 channel partners in 12 countries - Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, the UK and the US.
Goodwin said Cisco would use collaborative technology to change how it communicates, extend that technology to channel partners through tools that enable them to collaborate with customers, and take partner-to-partner collaboration to a new level.
"I think these technologies can fundamentally change the way we work together," he said.
Brian Corrigan travelled to Hawaii as a guest of Cisco.