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Cisco extending channel reach

The vendor has been leaning on its distribution partners to engage more closely with a broader range of resellers

Cisco's attempts to extend its reach in the channel show no signs of slowing down with the vendor impressed with the progress it has made in the last six months.

The networking giant made it clear at the start of its latest fiscal year in August that it wanted to work more closely with partners that its distributors could help identify as being the next generation of significant channel players.

Working with Comstor, Tech Data and Ingram Micro to use the distribution partners mentoring programmes the plan has been to provide more support and access to Cisco personnel for those that otherwise might struggle to get that level of interaction with the vendor.

In addition to the activities with the three distie partners the vendor has also opened a partner sales helpdesk where channel plartners can get help and advice on issues relating to the vendor.

Angela Whitty, managing director, UKI Partner Organisation at Cisco, said that the vendor wanted to establish a closer relationship with the channel and was working with distribution in addition to its annual North and South reseller events.

"There has been a period of being very focused around a small number of partners and working with the rest through distribution. But we are doing a lot more to extend our reach and are working hand in hand with distributors to help grow the next raft of partners," she said.

"We wanted to extend our reach and took a percentage of the reseller base and focused on working with distribution," she added "Who they see as key and the top transacting partners and the next generation partners."

As well as looking to extend the reach their is a recognition that some partners might be missed in a traditional approach and with the channel changing, with a move towards managed services and the introduction of fresh entrants as areas like IoT open up, and the old ways had to be improved.

"With customer buying patterns changing it is no longer one size fits all and the coverage of the channel is not necessarily one size fits all," she added.

The efforts to engage with more partners are ongoing and Whitty said that it would be a feature of the vendor's activities in 2018. "It is something we would look to increase as it shows success."

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