SAN JOSE, Calif., May 23, 2000 - Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today announced a "New World" sales and service strategy designed to meet customer needs for IP-enabled customer contact and unified communications platforms and solutions. Based on Cisco's ecosystem partner methodology, this go-to-market strategy takes a four-pronged approach to scale market delivery and deployment of Cisco's Internet Communications Software Group's (ICSG's) software platforms. The four-pronged approach includes Cisco's partner strategy for consultant integrators, systems integrators and resellers, Application Service Providers (ASPs) and outsourcers and extends to include Cisco's high-touch sales force.
"To bring the value of our software platforms and of converged applications to as wide a market as possible, we are extending our ecosystem partnership approach to ASPs and outsourcers," said Eugene Lee, vice president of marketing for Cisco's Internet Communications Software Group. "With the help of our ecosystem of partners and through extensive joint marketing and channel activities we believe Cisco is well positioned to accelerate the delivery and deployment of convergence to the market."
Consultant Integrator Program
Cisco today announced a consultant integrator program designed to accelerate the adoption of the ICSG's software platforms and solutions. As part of this program, Cisco announced relationships with major business consultancies such as Deloitte Consulting, Ernst & Young, HP, KPMG Consulting and Pricewaterhouse Coopers and with a range of more focused consultancies with deep knowledge of specific market and application areas such as Spanlink Communications, Cambridge Technology Partners, eLoyalty Corporation, Extraprise, NetEffect, and Pyxis Consulting.
For pre-sale business and technical consulting, large scale integration and post sale support, Cisco's high touch sales force and support staff collaborates with leading consultant integrators in sales engagement programs and professional services activities. The ICSG consultant integrator program focuses on three core activities to accelerate the adoption and absorption of software platforms and solutions. These include knowledge transfer and engagement mentoring; repeatable solutions and services; and collaborative sales engagement models. As part of this program, ICSG is also collaborating with its consultant integrators to build, pre-integrate and pre-test business solutions and services replicable across multiple clients and to transfer critical knowledge that enable consultant integrators to deliver Cisco-enabled solutions and scale the number of consultants trained on ICSG software.
The Systems Integrator and Reseller Delivery Model
Systems integrators and resellers are a critical component of Cisco's go-to-market strategy for the delivery of ICSG solutions. All of Cisco ICSG's software products are now available to channel partners who may choose to resell any or all of the ICSG software product suite. Resellers can now add ICSG software products to their solutions portfolio, whether or not they are already a Cisco network hardware reseller. The current list of systems integrators and software resellers include companies such as Bell Atlantic Call Center Services, HP, Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) and Unisys, and the list is rapidly growing.
As more companies embrace IP-enabled technologies, market demand for end-to-end IP-based technology platforms -- such as Cisco's customer contact and unified communications software platforms -- is increasing rapidly. This results in an emerging new breed of resellers and integrators who create and sell complete solutions based on an IP-enabled platform. These solutions include network infrastructure, servers, gateways and software infrastructures including middleware/database, directory and email messaging components. The resellers and integrators are also experts in integrating legacy PBXs, IVRs and ACDs.
Cisco today announced a partnership with NEC Business Network Solutions, Inc. as one of the first such resellers that will sell and deploy complete next-generation, customer contact infrastructure solutions combining Cisco's ICSG customer contact software platform, networking infrastructure, and products and solutions from Cisco's ecosystem of technology partners.
"NEC BNS will work with Cisco to incorporate the ICSG's customer contact platform and solutions into a comprehensive offering for our current and prospective customers," said Tom Burger, president, NEC Business Network Solutions, Inc. "Cisco has a proven channel track record and leadership in driving the transition to IP-enabled infrastructures, and NEC BNS has core competencies in communications, network infrastructure, messaging, and legacy telephony systems; together that makes for a powerful combination."
Cisco's extensive channel programs cover the areas of training, pre- and post- sales support, and joint marketing.
ASPs and Outsourcers
While consultant and systems integrators extend Cisco's reach into major accounts and resellers offer value-add and channel strengths, ICSG has also developed go-to-market programs for outsourcers and ASPs that offer managed solutions. This outsourced model enables Cisco to introduce its value propositions to a wider audience, including new technology start-ups with rapid time-to-market requirements and limited resources as well as enterprise organizations not wishing to invest in personnel and competencies outside of their core businesses. In addition, Cisco's proven approach helps ASPs and outsourcers build their brands and differentiate their services in a highly competitive market.
For its customer contact offerings, Cisco has formed relationships with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) ASPs/BSPs that host CRM software and deliver it to customers for use with in-house personnel; and with outsourcing organizations that host the software and provide the customer care personnel in a complete solution. New companies that have embraced Cisco's customer contact platform include CRM specialists and ASPs such as eLoyalty and outsourcing organizations such as Convergys Corporation. These companies join previously announced ASPs/BSPs including NUASIS and eConvergent respectively.
Cisco's unified communications strategy focuses on service providers such as ASPs and CLECs who purchase Cisco's unified communications platform, including software and supporting hardware, and create and deliver network-based service bundles for end customers. The strategy also focuses on a new class of wholesale service providers that purchase Cisco's platform and market it downstream to other service providers including ISPs and ASPs that in turn brand, package and deliver the service bundle. ASPs and outsourcers currently bringing Cisco's unified communications platform to market include ASPs such as CMA, Application Infrastructure Providers such as NHancement Technologies, and hosting service providers such as iBasis.
The Cisco High-Touch Sales Engagement Model
In traditional Cisco fashion, the high-touch sales team is an important delivery channel for Cisco's ICSG software platforms and solutions. Through its recent acquisitions of the three software companies that now form ICSG - Amteva, Geotel and WebLine - Cisco has the a sales force with expertise in the software industry that can be transferred to Cisco's extensive networking-focused sales force to help drive both software and hardware revenues. This cross-pollination enables the Cisco sales team to provide solutions that meet customer software and hardware needs. It also enables the the Cisco networking sales force to expand customer relationships by selling Cisco's ICSG software solutions.
For more information on the Internet Communications Software Group, please visit http://www.cisco.com/go/icsg. Access the ICSG online press kit.