Cisco: cloud to power channel in 2014

Cisco looks ahead to a strong 2014 and claims its Cisco Powered cloud and managed services business is sprinting ahead of its resale business

Cisco UK channel management has been reflecting on what the organisation has accomplished in 2013, and looking ahead to a year that is expected to be stronger still.

With optimism in some quarters that the UK economy may finally be on the road to recovery, Cisco reported that its partner led business has been a strong player in the back end of the calendar year, significantly outperforming the rest of the business in its fiscal Q1.

Speaking to MicroScope, UK and Ireland Partner Organisation lead Richard Roberts said: “I am really starting to feel that there’s growth and momentum – there’s a hunger to put IT at the heart of the business that I don’t recall seeing since the early 1990s – and we will continue to see that.”

In particular, said Roberts, Cisco is seeing increased demand for, and acceptance of, its Cisco Powered cloud and managed services offerings among its customer base, to the extent that “the contribution to overall bookings at Cisco UK is real and outpacing the traditional resale business.”

“It [Cisco Powered] is potentially going to be our primary route to market for channel partners. We’ve got off to a fantastic start; it’s robust, partners are investing because they win with it, and they reinvest in innovation, so it’s generating its own momentum,” he explained.

Roberts suggested that many of the oft-cited concerns that had held back cloud adoption were largely recessionary in nature, and that more confidence in the market would naturally spur more open-mindedness among buyers.

“We believe we provide a trusted brand and a proven architecture – and we disclose that architecture too, many don’t.

“As customers become more open minded the fact you can find open and trusted vendors and partners means they are happier to commit to that model,” he explained.

For 2014, Roberts said, Cisco plans no major changes to its channel partner programme, although as always it will look to reform areas such as rewards and competencies should it detect changes in the wider market that it needs to adjust to.

Roberts also talked up a growing trend among Cisco’s smaller partners to outperform larger organisations in deals due to their agility and innovative potential, and said that high on his agenda for the coming months will be the forging of a more rounded channel business.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)