SAN JOSE, Calif., August 23, 2004 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today unveiled the customer relationship management (CRM) Express Solution Specialization, the first solution specialization created exclusively for Microsoft Business Solutions CRM, and designed for channel partners that sell into the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market. The new specialization is designed to help channel partners grow IP Communications (IPC) revenue and differentiate themselves from competitors.
"CRM brings the power of customer information traditionally only available to the contact center to every employee desktop," said Edison Peres, vice president of advanced and core technologies, worldwide channels for Cisco®. "Channel partners that want to offer a comprehensive IPC solution, based on Microsoft CRM, can now get recognition for this expertise with our CRM Express Solution Specialization."
"The ability to deliver advanced IP voice applications integrated with Microsoft CRM is important for many of our customers and recognition for this expertise will boost channel partner credibility," said Gia McNutt, chief executive officer for Special Order Systems, a Cisco Systems® and Microsoft channel partner. "Once again, Cisco reinforces its focus on solutions and customer value-add through new channel partner programs such as the CRM Express Solution Specialization."
The Cisco CRM Express Solution Specialization, developed with content and feedback from Microsoft, complements the Cisco IPC strategy by recognizing channel partners that have the knowledge and expertise to integrate Cisco CallManager Express with the Microsoft CRM application. Cisco CallManager Express provides the IP telephony interface for Microsoft CRM users based on a tested and integrated application called the Cisco CRM Communications Connector. The Communications Connector, also announced today, is a resource available at no charge to qualified partners. The specialization is not a requirement to offer the Communications Connector.
Cisco channel partners who qualify for the Cisco CRM Express Solution Specialization will be provided with formal training, 10 points toward their company's certification badge and recognition on the Cisco Partner Locator as a CRM Express Solution Specialized Partner. The Cisco CRM Express Solution Specialization is a global program; however, specific specialization details may vary by region.
The Cisco CRM Express Solution Specialization builds on the Cisco IPC specializations and is an incremental add-on specialization for any IP Telephony-Revised, IPC or IPC Express partners. Resellers are not required to be certified in Microsoft CRM or to be Microsoft resellers. If Cisco channel partners are not Microsoft resellers, Cisco will match partners with Microsoft CRM partners to sell and deploy integrated IPC-CRM solutions. Interested Microsoft resellers will also be matched with qualified Cisco partners. Expertise in deploying and supporting the following products is required for this specialization: Cisco CallManager Express and the Cisco CRM Communications Connector.
The Cisco CRM Express Solution Specialization is available immediately as an additional benefit to Cisco IP Communications Specialized Partners. For information about program requirements, visit: www.cisco.com/go/specialization.
For information regarding Cisco and Microsoft solutions for SMBs, channel partner programs and Cisco Systems Capital® SMB financing options, please go to: www.cisco.com/go/ciscomicrosoftsmb.