Cisco's UK and Ireland channel chief has vowed to eradicate the complexity of dealing with the vendor and foster a closer relationship between sales and channel staff.
Bernadette Wightman, channel director for the UK and Ireland, claimed she wanted to eliminate barriers between Cisco's channel team and internal sales heads. She revealed she had taken sales unit leaders, including those from SME and the public sector, to the vendor's recent partner summit in Boston.
"They appreciated the time to get to know the partners and that drove a different level of community and intimacy," she said. "We need a collaborative approach between sales and channel."
Wightman revealed Cisco was setting up helpdesks for partners to ensure their queries were dealt with quickly and painlessly. "We want to be much easier to get hold of and not hand partners around numerous different departments," she said.
"When I look at some of our processes and the hoops you have to go through, it drives me nuts. We want to take out this complexity and transact with our partners in a much simpler way."
At the partner summit, the vendor unveiled plans to provide rebates around three technology areas: collaboration, virtualisation, and the borderless network. Cisco also extended partners' financing terms to 90 days for those already taking advantage of the scheme.
The networking giant used the summit to announce a revamp of its managed services channel offering, including the introduction of a new Master accreditation. Wightman claimed the event, which was attended by abou t 50 UK VARs, had offered partners much more tangible initiatives than in previous years.
"The feedback was excellent," she said. "I felt that we were not talking about some future state, we were talking about things that were being launched that day."
Wightman claimed the changes to Cisco's VIP rebate structure had gone down particularly well. "Partners were particularly pleased about the borderless network rebates; routing, switching, mobility – we are putting incentives around the things partners sell every day."
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