Cisco has told partners there are now "no excuses" for them not to be reselling cloud services and has created a product-style sales and compensation programme to drive uptake.
The vendor launched the Cloud Partner Programme at its Worldwide Partner Summit in New Orleans two years ago, with the scheme featuring three levels: Builder; Provider; and Reseller. At this year's shindig in Boston, channel chief Edison Peres announced that the last of these tiers is now effectively being spun out into its own programme.
Services sold through the channel via the new Cloud Reseller Programme will be included on the vendor's long-standing VIP rebate scheme. Cisco channel account managers will also be compensated for these sales in the same as they are for on-premise product.
Other features of the new scheme include labelling the services with the Cisco Powered brand, and the creation of a go-to-market resource centre to help drive channel sales.
Peres said: "The time has come for all of to resell cloud and not just embrace it, but drive it and make it strategic [for your business]."
To help VARs transition to a different sales model, Cisco has created the Cloud Business Transformation Playbook, including advice and best practice models.
"If you move too quickly to a recurring revenue stream model, you will be greeted with cashflow challenges; if you move too slowly, you will lose ground to the competition," added Peres. "It is all about a well-timed evolution."
Also unveiled during Peres' oration were a trio of new certifications for individual partner staff. Sales heads can now attain Certified Business Value Specialist or Business Value Professional status, while techies can become Transformative Architecture Specialists. The new badges - which will, in time, become of partners' specialisation requirements - are designed to be geared towards services and solutions, rather than product-geared checklists.
"Not only will these people be much more effective in that pre-sales conversation, they will have capabilities that will make them billable consultants," claimed Peres (pictured).
For the first 700 partners to enrol people for the Specialist-level badges, Cisco will offset the cost of training and exams by up to $3,000. For the first 100 to go for the Professional badge, the vendor will pitch in up to $1,000. Meanwhile the 200 partner professionals who have already undertaken Cisco's Business Architecture Training can go straight into the exam for the new certifications, and there will be no charge for doing so.
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