As part of a continued effort to build a collaborative and adaptive channel accelerating customer and partner success, Cisco has launched the newest part of its “human network” strategy: the Cisco Industry Solutions Partner Network.
The new offering reportedly will “engage, enable and reward a global community of channel partners, application providers and device manufacturers to collaborate and deliver industry-specific solutions that address the business needs of customers.” Partners that qualify for the program also will be the first to have access to Cisco Partner Space, which Cisco characterizes as “an innovative virtual environment that facilitates the partner-to-partner collaboration required to deliver complete industry solutions.”
“We are entering the second phase of the Internet, and this will create unprecedented growth opportunities over the next decade for our channel partners and customers,” says Keith Goodwin, senior vice president/Worldwide Channels. “Companies and governments are looking to deploy industry solutions to increase collaboration and productivity, while partners are looking to deliver industry solutions to increase transaction size and gross margins.”
The Cisco Industry Solutions Partner Network aims to support partners by providing industry training, expertise, industry-specific communications and collaboration tools based on such Web 2.0 technology as Cisco Partner Space. Cisco says it will promote the capabilities of the partners in the network in “various ways,” and it will provide collaborative business planning, proposal-based joint marketing funds and turn-key demand generation programs. The collaborative delivery of these industry-specific solutions, it adds, will be rewarded with product discounts offered through the Cisco Solution Incentive Program, provided the Cisco product and services component accounts for no more than 70 percent of the total solution.
“Cisco’s new corporate strategy for the enterprise market is based on the use of Cisco Collaboration and Web 2.0 technologies to deliver solutions that address the business needs of their customers. It is making a huge investment in deploying these technologies throughout Cisco to demonstrate their business value internally. Now it is providing incentives for its solutions partners to use these Cisco technologies to collaborate on the development and delivery of industry-specific solutions,” comments Terry White, vice president of TelecomWeb news break’s sister program “InfoTrack for Converged Communications.” “The marketing message is very clear: If Cisco is changing and improving the way it does business by implementing these collaboration technologies, and its business partners are doing the same, then enterprises that want to achieve these benefits are more likely to turn to Cisco and its business partners for these solutions.”
In fact, Cisco believes such partner-to-partner collaboration is critical to delivering continued value to its customers. Case in point: Digitel Corporation, a Cisco channel partner, and Cistera Networks Inc., a Cisco Unified Communications enterprise application services provider, were able to provide a complete event alerting and notification solution for the city of Opelika, Ala. Using this solution, Opelika city services and emergency personnel now can communicate with each other seamlessly over the Cisco Unified Communications system while digitally recording and archiving each transmission. The city says emergency response is faster and more efficient, while post-event analysis is possible using the recording and archiving features.
“Opelika is a community that’s proud of our rich heritage, but ready to embrace the possibilities of technology innovation, especially to enhance mission-critical services such as public safety,” explains John Findley, Opelika’s IT director. “In order to maintain the most effective and up-to-date departments to serve and protect our citizens, we turned to trusted Cisco partners Digitel and Cistera to design and implement a Cisco Unified Communications network for emergency management and public safety applications.”
To join the new program, Cisco partners must meet additional requirements, such as having industry references, an industry-focused business plan and dedicated resources to participate in the program. Specific program requirements can be found at http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/sell/industry/ispn/ispn_enroll.html.