News Release

New Cisco Internet Business Roadmap Program Provides Framework to Help Channel Partners Sell Internet Business Solutions to their Customers

Cisco's e-Business solutions selling program provides channel partners with tools and resources to help small-to-medium-sized businesses and other growing enterprises maximize their competitiveness through use of the Internet
Sep 10, 2001

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 10, 2001 - Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today unveiled the Cisco Internet Business Roadmap e-Business solution selling program - a unique and comprehensive program that will enable channel partners to focus on selling solutions, achieve greater customer intimacy, develop short- and long-term monthly sales forecasts, and create new revenue opportunities. The Cisco Internet Business Roadmap program delivers an interactive set of tools and resources to the channel partner community that will enable them to sell Internet business solutions to their mid-market customers. Through the aid of this solutions selling program, customers will be able to increase their efficiency, improve employee productivity, create greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, and optimize their overall competitiveness.

"The Cisco Internet Business Roadmap solutions selling program is a strategic resource for our channel partners to help small- to medium-sized businesses, and other growing enterprises, compete and thrive in the Internet economy," said Surinder Brar, senior director of marketing of Worldwide Channels, Cisco Systems, Inc. "Our channel partners have been asking to increase their value-add through a program that helps them sell services and solutions that meet their customers' Internet business needs. This program will educate our channel partners to create a customized plan for a variety of Internet business solutions for their customers."

Channel Partner Benefits

The Cisco Internet Business Roadmap program empowers channel partners with the tools and information needed to assist growing companies in the planning, development, and deployment of customized e-business solutions for their business. The program allows channel partners to transition to a more profitable business model by selling solutions, not just point products. As a result, the program enables them to reinforce their "trusted advisor" status, achieve greater customer loyalty, improve customer satisfaction, and increase their revenues.

"The Cisco Internet Business Roadmap solution selling program reinforces Cisco's commitment to support our channel partners in their efforts to embrace new business models while driving incremental business, increasing margins, and improving their overall customer satisfaction, said Ron Willis, vice president of Cisco Systems. "We believe that by segmenting customers based on their Internet identity, they will receive greater value-add by recognizing how their company measures up to others like them. They will then have a greater understanding of how peer companies have utilized the Internet and e-Business solutions to gain a competitive advantage, establish new customers, and strengthen relationships with their partners."

Create a Customized Roadmap Toward e-Business Success

By completing a simple business and technology assessment questionnaire, growing companies can pinpoint Internet solutions designed to maximize their overall competitiveness. The first step of the Cisco Internet Business Roadmap e-Business solutions selling program is to help customers create a unique "Internet Identity" based on corporate needs and business models. The second step is to complete a technical assessment that generates a customized Internet solutions adoption plan based upon the specific characteristics and profile of the business. Upon completion of these two simple steps, channel partners may then recommend the appropriate Internet business applications to their customers, and guide them to the proper resources, information, and training that would have the greatest impact on their customer's business. Partners can also use the tool to search for sales contacts and consultants, and reference a list of application providers to help them source all of the needed components.

"The Cisco Internet Business Roadmap program will definitely help channel partners like us to easily and clearly define which Internet business solutions will best meet our customers' needs," said David Hope, director of sales and marketing, Datanet Services, Inc. "Every growing business has unique needs so the ability to do an assessment and then provide a customized solution targeted to meet a customer's specific needs is of tremendous value."

Internet Business Solutions

Extensive educational materials on key Internet business solutions including network diagrams, whitepapers, and "how to" selling presentations are part of the Cisco Internet Business Roadmap e-Business solutions selling program. Categories include:

    -Customer Relationship Management
    -Financial Management
    -Human Resource Management
    -Manufacturing & Distribution Automation
    -Sales Force Automation
    -Supply Chain Management
    -Web Marketing

Detailed information on sales contacts, training and partner programs, and Cisco's Internet Solutions Specialist certification are also integrated into the program.

An Increasing Focus on Solutions and Services

Cisco is focusing on helping channel partners accelerate their transition to new Internet business models through a value-add approach of selling solutions and services — in addition to networking hardware. As the market and technologies continue to change, channel partners have found it difficult to remain profitable by just selling hardware. In order to compete in today's marketplace, partners who recognize the need to change their business model to more of a services-oriented e-business operation will find that service margins are on average 10-times higher than hardware margins.

"In the early days of the networking business, a partner's value to a vendor basically translated to the volume of products that were sold. But, over the past several years, hardware margins have steadily declined, forcing channel executives to look toward a wide variety of value-adds as a source of higher margins and recurring revenue," said Ken Presti, manager of enterprise network distribution channels group, IDC. "In further support of this trend, the needs of the customer are pushing the market away from product-oriented sales in favor of solution-oriented sales."

To learn more, or start using the Cisco Internet Business Roadmap e-Business solutions selling program, go to