Cisco channel team gets new faces

Cisco channel team gets new faces

Networking giant adds Brian McColm to the Australian channel team and outlines key areas of focus

Cisco has reshuffled its Australian channel team to help partners better align against its business and architectural plays.

The networking giant has appointed former service provider regional manager, Brian McColm, as manager of channel operations.

The 12-year Cisco veteran will now be responsible for overseeing systems integrators and outsourcers while helping to grow developing partners and provide a higher level of touch.

“Brian has sales skills we can leverage to develop our partners’ business capabilities,” partner director, Michael Lehmann, said.

McColm said his aim was to foster sales leadership and architectural discussions with Cisco partners.

“These are cultural discussions. I think everybody realises they need to move up the value stack and provide additional offerings,” he said.

Cisco has also assigned another veteran, Sam Garner, in a newly created role to oversee and expand its alliances with management consulting partners including Accenture. She sits underneath the Cisco Business Group.

Former channel manager, Claudia McIntosh, meanwhile, has returned to Cisco’s Telstra engagement team. The vendor’s internal channel account management employees have also been renamed business partner managers.

The staffing tweaks follow the realignment of Cisco’s lines of business globally in June into three architectural areas: Borderless Networks, Collaboration and Datacentre and Virtualisation.

While stressing the importance of these architectural plays in allowing channel partners to provide more value and end-to-end solutions, Lehmann said the Australian team had taken it a step further with three key business-oriented areas: Productivity, Innovation and Sustainability.

“These are the three values for Cisco locally and we’re lining up our architecture plays behind that,” he said.

To complement its newer channel engagement initiatives, Cisco is looking to better equip its distributors to deal with its broader channel community and find the right balance of touch with those partners, Lehmann said.

The vendor is represented locally by Express Data, Ingram Micro and Westcon Group.

“We want to use more collaborative technologies in that space,” Lehmann said.

Cisco now has 23 dedicated channel staff in-house supported by specialists across different technology and vertical areas of the business, such as virtualisation and utilities.

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