Fresh from a six week stint talking to Cisco's major channel partners Kip Cole, director of channel operations in Australia and New Zealand, is urging resellers to hold their line in light of difficult economic conditions.
Cole, who assumed the role vacated by long standing channel director Liz Lawson in May, is adamant the networking vendor has the right channel strategy in place, but the onus is now on the channel to ride out the storm.
Speaking to ARN, Cole claims he is not about to make any significant changes in his new role but is eager to increase the vendor's coverage in non-core routing and switching markets such as content delivery and security. He is also looking to leverage Cisco's marketing machine to generate greater end-user demand on behalf of its partners.
With a strong focus on translating cost savings through improved business processes in the small to medium enterprise market, Cole is critical of how the vendor and its rivals have faired in what he feels is a responsibility to the SME sector.
"As an industry, we just haven't done that," declared Cole.
Cole also took the opportunity to dismiss concerns over the amount of Cisco gear being sold at fire-sale prices on eBay and other second hand auction-style markets after the demise of a number of second tier telcos.
While Cole admits it has been a problem, the situation has been largely limited to the US where the majority of technology on offer is dial in and access products.