Cisco has formally announced two key new partner programs at its 2010 global partner conference: The TIP program and the Global Partner Network.
The TIP program, or Teaming Incentive Program, sits alongside the vendor’s Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP), Value Incentive Program (VIP) and Solution Incentive Program (SIP) as its fourth "pillar" of partner engagement.
Aimed specifically at those operating in “transitional customer” accounts – 500 identified key customers for Cisco globally – the TIP program provides incentives for partners to get involved in and collaborate with Cisco early on in the sales cycle.
The program will run as follows:
- Cisco will determine which partner is entitled to benefits under the TIP program for each customer deal based on a set of objective criteria. This includes customer relationship, pre-sales investments, joint account planning, certifications, specialisations and investments in professional and technical services capabilities.
- Once the most qualified partner has been identified and agreed to team with Cisco, they will have the opportunity to benefit from differential discounts in recognition of the investment in the deal.
The TIP program was trialled in Latin America. Speaking at the Cisco Partner Summit in San Francisco this week, Logicalis Southern Core CEO, Rodrigo Parreira, said his company was very pleased with how the program developed through that pilot.
"It helps in defining which opportunities my sales team should focus on, and creates a better return on investment in these opportunities," he said.
Cisco's other expanding program, Global Partner Network, takes a closer look at globalisation. Recognising that customers developing a multinational business might want to continue to engage with local partners, the Global Partner Network helps facilitate partner-to-partner engagements by allowing a local partner to develop a global solution without needing a physical presence of its own in foreign markets.
For a customer's trusted advisor, the Global Partner Network allows them to act as a 'host' partner in the headquartered location of the customer.
To be able to meet customer needs in locations where the host partner might not have a local investment, they can establish an 'agency' relationship with other qualified Cisco certified organisations in remote locations.
The host partner owns the customer relationship, designs the solution architecture in the headquarters location and has responsibility for the overall transaction from pre- to post-sales.
To help facilitate the process, Cisco is providing an online portal, the Cisco Commerce Workspace, which allows a host to manage the global deal, secure vendor approvals and rebates and manage agents by remote countries. President and COO of US-based partner, INX, Mark Hilz, was involved in the pilot of the program.
"Obviously customers want the borderless network, but there are borders in designing the network," Hilz said. "As we design these solutions, we've had issues where we can't implement the solution properly in some countries.
"We've now done this process in five countries and are working on it in 25 countries. It's being driven by customer demand."