Cisco incentivises channel for UCS migration

News Channel Pro Feb 12, 2013

New specialisation, investment reduction and tech update

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) has made changes to its channel programme in an effort to help partners sell its Cisco Business Edition 6000, the successor to its UCS platform.

According to Marc Inderhees, senior sales business development manager for Cisco Worldwide Channels, the firm is “ensuring we cover the same core competencies but with a significant reduction in the cost to partners,” wishing to gain relevant specialisations.

Inderhees estimates that it will cost partners 25 percent less to meet the newly introduced Express Collaboration Specialisation, which he says is aimed at the entry level or new partners targeting the midmarket and SMB sector. The new specialisation will offer around a 15 percent margin boost although partners carrying the more advanced Collaboration Architecture Specialised status will still earn higher rebates.

The firm has also simplified equipment costs through a demo-cloud service to allow partners to showcase collaborative features and PoC without having to purchase up-front equipment. The last incentive is a simplification of the licensing model including a new 25 user bundle aimed at smaller clients which the Bizdev manager claims is up to 25 percent less than under previous pricing schemas. In terms of ordering, Cisco Business Edition 6000 will now be available on a single server sku, with licencing and optional extras all preloaded direct from distribution in a ready to run configuration.

On the product side, Cisco has updated the platform with an integrated Video Communication Server; an add-on that was previously sold as separate $20,000 appliance. The new unit also includes paging technology from Singlewire.

Lastly, Cisco has also announced a new migration programme to tempt users to move from its older UCS versions. According to Inderhees, the scheme includes tools and process for helping the channel migrate users with the minimum of issues around handsets, software modules and licencing upgrades.

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