Cisco Offers New Tools and Programs to Help Partners Improve Support Services Capability and Profitability
Cisco Lifecycle Services Approach Applied to New Specializations.
CISCO PARTNER SUMMIT - SAN DIEGO, Calif., March 16, 2006 - Cisco Systems® announced a number of new initiatives today to help Cisco channel partners build and strengthen their services practices. As a key enhancement to the Cisco Channel Partner Program, the Cisco Lifecycle Services approach will be incorporated into all specialization training and requirements. In addition, Cisco is introducing a range of partner enablement initiatives, from new tools that partners can use to assess their services business capabilities and conduct technology solution engagement planning, to improved partner technical support access and new service contract quoting tools.
“It’s vitally important to Cisco that our partners have capable and profitable services practices,” said Wim Elfrink, senior vice president of Cisco Services. “Providing our partners with the necessary tools and resources that improve their skills in selling and delivering services, enhance their services portfolios, and expand their services practices will help them make money and help make our customers be more successful with Cisco technology.”
Integrated Cisco Lifecycle Services
To provide channel partners with repeatable, proven processes for selling, delivering and supporting Cisco solutions, Cisco announced it is incorporating Cisco Lifecycle Services into its award-winning channel partner program. Cisco Lifecycle Services training and assessment will be embedded into the new Express, Advanced and Master specializations. As a result, these specialized partners - Express, Advanced and Master - will be trained to provide broad, integrated network solutions, and partners with Advanced and Master Specializations will have been trained to provide highly specialized solutions. All Cisco Lifecycle Services training for Cisco’s new Express and Advanced Specializations is free of charge, and exams are available for a nominal fee.
Following the repeatable Cisco Lifecycle Services approach, which includes using Cisco leading practices and intellectual property helps partners improve their deployment success, customer satisfaction, profitability and growth.
Enhancing Services Business
For all partners, the new Cisco Partner Lifecycle Services E-Consulting Tool assesses partners’ services metrics and business processes and provides partners with a gap analysis, recommendations, and leading practices to improve their business results. The tool, for example, gives suggestions on how to achieve high performance in a support organization and provides the key performance indicators to measure that.
In addition, a new Cisco Engagement Planning Tool is designed for customer account planning between partners and Cisco. This tool makes it easy to chart the minimum set of activities needed to help the customer successfully deploy, operate and optimize the technology and also defines the unique additional services the partner can provide - applications or systems integration, for example.
“For channel partners, selling lifecycle services successfully requires not only a deep understanding of their customers’ current environments and growth objectives but also intense collaboration with their vendor partners,” said Cyndi Privett, vice president of Viewpoint Research. “Cisco has simplified some of most cumbersome parts of that collaborative effort through the Engagement Planning Tool. The ’service map’ that the tool creates will not only save partners time and resources during the sales cycle, but will also give customers the information they need to establish appropriate services budget and help partners win additional services business.”
Improved Technical Support Access for Partners
Cisco is also improving partners’ interaction with Cisco Technical Support. Cisco understands that partners with Cisco expert-level CCIE certifications have engineers whose skill levels align with those of higher-level Cisco support engineers. In recognition of this alignment, service requests made by engineers holding CCIE certification to Cisco Technical Support are now routed to peer-level technical support engineers. In addition, effective fall 2006, engineers holding Cisco CCSPTM security professional and Cisco CCVPTM voice professional certifications at Advanced Specialized and Master Specialized partners will also be routed to peer-level Cisco technical support engineers.
Engineers with CCIE certification can also now use the online Technical Assistance Center Service Request Tool via Cisco.com to open Severity 2 service requests in addition to Severity 3 and 4 service requests. Prior to this capability, Severity 2 service requests required a phone call to the Technical Assistance Center.
Also scheduled to be available in fall 2006, enhanced Cisco Bug Toolkit capabilities will provide partners with more accurate, complete and timely software-defect data they need to improve network operations and availability. The Bug Toolkit will provide partners with easy access to a greater number of defects with details including symptoms, conditions and workarounds.
Ease of Doing Business
In addition, the recent release of the Cisco Service Contract Center’s new quoting tool for indirect resellers allows resellers who purchase services through distribution to create their own quotes, which improves partner self-sufficiency during quoting and registration. The time from quoting to contract entitlement has been reduced from more than three days to less than one hour.
About Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.
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