John Growdon, Cisco's senior director of security partner strategy, has claimed that the firm's security services and wide range of products mean resellers can "differentiate themselves from anyone else in the market".
Speaking on the opening day of Cisco's 2016 Partner Summit in San Diego, Growdon talked up the opportunity partners have for selling the vendor's security services.
"Security is absolutely abundant with professional services," he said. "Whether it be pre-sales assessment services, post-sales assessment services, or deployment managed services, there are services all over the entire spectrum of deals in the security space.
"What differentiates us from other security vendors out there, is because it is a market [with] a bunch of point products, and we approach it across multiple products, our partner community can sell more services associated with deploying an entire architecture. It is unique to us; it's very different and our partners have that capability where other point product partners don't necessarily have that capability."
Growdon said the combination of security with other areas of Cisco's portfolio gives partners an edge over more narrowly focused players.
"When we compete with boutique partners that only do point products, our partners have capability not only across our portfolio of security, but by extension the enterprise network and the datacentre side," he said. "[That means] our partners can clearly differentiate themselves from anyone else. A boutique partner may have one discussion around one element of one vendor in the security portfolio; we do it across multiple [areas]. Our partners can differentiate themselves from anyone else in the market today."
The rising channel opportunity with Cisco's security services was echoed by Matthew Gyde, Dimension Data's global general manager for security solutions. Gyde said Dimension Data's professional services business with Cisco has been growing by more than 80 per cent a year for the past couple of years.
Despite Gyde's praise for the security services opportunity, he said he would like to see Cisco do more to highlight its presence in the security market today.
"I don't think Cisco is doing enough [security marketing]; it's as simple as that," he said. "I think there have been a few outperformers in the market that have really dominated with their marketing. I think Cisco needs to tell the world it's back in the security business. My hope is that investment comes and I think it should come through the partners. We are out there advertising every day and we need to change the attitude of the world."
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