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Cisco Breaks New Ground in Selecting Channel Partners for the SMB Market


SMB Select Version 2 channel partner program launches in Europe to further develop the quality, knowledge and capabilities of Cisco channel partners working with SMB customers.

Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS, March 14, 2006 - Today at its worldwide Partner Summit, Cisco announced the launch of enhancements to its SMB Select channel partner program to further the momentum with small and medium businesses (SMBs) across Europe. Since launching SMB Select in July 2004, Cisco has gained extensive feedback from the 1,500 channel partners that have joined the market leading program, and is now implementing SMB Select Version 2 including considerable developments with a view to providing excellence in customer service and further building SMB channel partner offerings.
SMB Select Version 2 is a unique program designed for channel partners offering solutions to organisations between 20 - 249 employees and includes: a comprehensive range of especially designed incentives, marketing support and services; new training tailored for, and in conjunction with the channel partners; a new incentive program to help channel partners invest in marketing activities to increase their customer base and revenue; and widened geographic spread of channel partners to provide better access and choice to small businesses across Europe.

Following its launch in 2004 Cisco has experienced considerable momentum for the program worldwide, and across Europe, the Middle East and Africa it has signed more than 1,500 channel partners primarily in major cities. With SMB Select Version 2, Cisco will focus on providing customers with access and choice of channel partners nationwide through using dedicated research and profiling to identify them. As a result of this focused recruiting SMB customers will benefit from increased geographical and technology coverage across Europe.

As part of this programme, Cisco will also increase its number of Inside Channel Account Managers (ICAMs) across the region to further improve the direct contact channel partners have with the company. ICAMs provide channel partners with pre-sales support and assistance on tools and training. Through reducing the number of channel partners that each ICAM manages, Cisco looks to increase the quality of interaction, ensuring they continue to identify their needs and develop initiatives to address them. The enhanced program will also include incentives designed to help channel partners raise funds for marketing activity, focussed at developing their customer base and generating additional revenue.

“Cisco is very committed to the success of its partners and SMB customers. Based on close collaboration with our SMB Select channel partners we have now made further enhancements to the program to assist them in selling total solutions into their current and prospective SMB customers, and attract new SMB Select partners for those area’s where we feel we need additional representation,” said Andreas Dohmen, Vice President, European Channels. “Our reseller channel has been very eager to join the program and we continually receive feedback that this SMB Select program helps them achieve their business goals.”

In addition, Cisco has developed the Cisco Sales Associate (CSA) Community, designed to help channel partner representative’s work more closely and effectively with SMBs. The CSA Community is tailored to help certified Cisco Sales Associates at the SMB Select channel partner communicate their needs to Cisco and empower them to develop tools and resources, including marketing collateral, business plans and training, specifically designed for the SMB market. This will be achieved through a series of hosted activities via Cisco including quarterly training sessions and educational events, on-going account management, co-branding material and on-line sessions, providing CSAs with the latest information from Cisco.

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Cisco, Cisco Systems, and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.


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