Cisco's top brass have revealed they are trying to tighten up the efficacy of distribution pricing as they insisted that efforts to make the vendor easier to do business with will benefit smaller partners as much as higher-volume players.
At the vendor's Partner Summit, taking place in San Diego this week, chief executive John Chambers and chief operating officer Gary Moore opened the event by detailing the progress Cisco has made in the last 12 months in simplifying its engagements with partners.
"Partners say: 'there's a lot of things we like about you, John, but you're hard to do business with," said Chambers.
Moore, who was brought in as COO last year in a bid to trim a flabby executional model, claimed that the moves he has already taken have allowed partners to turn opportunities to orders 35 per cent faster. The order-booking process has been made 50 per cent faster, he claimed.
ChannelWeb asked the management duo, alongside senior vice president of operations Rob Lloyd, whether there was a disparity between the ease of doing business for high-volume Gold partners and smaller, less certified VARs. Moore explained that the effects of some of his early operational streamlining may have been felt at the top end first, but that once he moved past the "low-hanging fruit" smaller resellers would see more benefit.
"We have made significant investment in B2B systems so that we are sharing [information] with larger partners in real time," he said. "But I do not think we are trying to differentiate. There are things we are doing that go across the spectrum."
Lloyd pointed out that many smaller VARs often operate at a further step removed from their bigger rivals, as they buy through distribution.
"There has been a concerted effort [in recent months] to have far less touch in pricing and make sure we get the price right first time [through distribution," he added.
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