Cisco’s European channel boss has criticised rivals’ direct services strategies and claimed the networking titan’s new professional services programme will address a skills gap across the continent.
Cisco unveiled its Collaborative Professional Services (CPS) scheme at its worlwide partner summit in New Orleans this week. The offering is billed as a “services-as-a-service” package to allow VARs to develop or touch up their professional services skills.
Cisco’s vice president of worldwide channels for European markets, Thierry Drilhon, told ChannelWeb that the programme would address a services skills shortage across the region.
“This is one of the most significant announcements we have made,” he said. “Partners can build their own services practice around their own professional services. But they have parts where they need to get the expertise.
“We know in Europe we have a skills gap from a talent perspective. We want to make sure that we can close that and make sure [a partner’s offering] is end to end from a customer perspective. [CPS] is made of 30 modules that can be embedded into a partner’s larger professional services practice.”
Drilhon also asserted that Cisco is taking an entirely different tack to rival manufacturers by maintaining its partner-centric strategy in the services space.
“This is a move to support our partners and not get in the way, which is what is happening with with all of the other players. They compete [with partners] on services, or they say ‘this is [for] us, and this is [for] you’. We are totally different and unique in the market. What is happening with other suppliers – [whose names] you can guess – most of them say ‘you cannot have access to this’.”
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