To top it all off, Cisco took the crown off HP for ARN’s Channel Choice Vendor of the Year in 2009.
“We are incredibly honoured to be recognised for what we think has been a lot of good work that we have focused on,” Cisco SMB director, Sara Adams, said. “We spent a lot of time in the last year really listening to our channel and the fact we get recognised for that is a huge honour.”
Along with all the big moves made this year, the vendor also does all the standard surveys and talks to its distribution partners, who of course, in turn talk to the reseller partners on a regular basis.
“We have channel account managers who have ongoing relationships on a daily, weekly, monthly basis with our partners and it is all used to come up with out longer-term strategies,” Adams said. This, along with aiming to maintain a diverse channel base, has been a factor in the vendor’s success, but so too have been the decisions to introduce new technologies like the Unified Computing System (UCS) and new programs and certifications.
“We have got some new technologies like UCS which require some specialist skills but we are also launching into small and medium business, which require some different skill sets from partners and different product sets,” Adams said. “We have learnt to embrace a diverse channel and are really looking to get coverage across all the key areas that customers want to interact with Cisco.
“We’ve also put in some support mechanisms. We have a separate dedicated small business support centre for resellers to be able to access to really look at the products they are selling to get the appropriate level of support they need for it.”
The big question now is will Cisco continue its hectic pace going forward? Adam’s message is telling.
“We will have a continued push around making Cisco easier to do business with and that ties back to the diversity of our channel. We will really be trying to work more into the types of partners we have and how best to service them and work with them for their growth and our growth mutually,” Adams said. “I think as technology keeps changing it is working on increasing the partners skill and knowledge.”