News Release

Cisco to Increase Collaboration With Vertically Focused Channel Partners

New Resources Help Channel Partners Increase Expertise and Attract Customers
Oct 16, 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif., October 16, 2006 - As part of its ongoing efforts to help drive channel partner revenue growth through differentiation, Cisco Systems® today introduced the Cisco Vertical Select Program. The program is designed to help accelerate the growth of a channel partner's vertical business while providing mutual customers with access to channel partners that understand specific vertical market needs. Eligible channel partners will be provided with sales, training and marketing support.

"Today's customer wants to work with a channel partner who understands their market and business needs, making it critical that we develop a channel partner community with vertical expertise," said Chuck Robbins, segment vice president for U.S. and Canada Channels at Cisco Systems. "The new Cisco Vertical Select Program is one way we can identify, reward and help enable channel partners who have a focused vertical business practice."

Delta National Bank (DNB) had outgrown its private branch exchange (PBX) telephone network and knew it wasn't taking advantage of the cost savings and applications available with a unified communications solution. As DNB looked to upgrade their voice network, they felt it was important to work with a technology provider that understood the needs of the banking industry and not just the technology itself. "We partnered with a Cisco Premier Partner, HEIT Consulting, because they really understood our pain points," said Mark Kelly, information systems officer for DNB. "HEIT's financial expertise allowed them to come in and suggest the most appropriate solution for us, while keeping in mind important issues like compliance, security and the need for a solution that would grow with our business."

"The Cisco Vertical Select Program played a big role in allowing us to both have the opportunity to speak with DNB about their banking needs and providing us with the tools and resources we needed to deliver the most appropriate solution," said Dan Holt, principal consultant and CEO of HEIT Consulting. "We have found that its critical to move beyond the technology itself to understanding how the technology will help our customers address the issues and concerns relevant to the financial industry. Programs like the Cisco Vertical Select program show that Cisco really understands our needs and is committed to delivering innovative programs to help us differentiate ourselves and attract new customers."

Currently, the Cisco Vertical Select Program is aimed at the financial services, education, healthcare, and state and local government markets, with plans to extend into retail in the coming year. Channel partners qualifying for the program are provided with world-class Cisco channel partner support, which includes access to marketing and demand-generation programs, industry consultants, and sales training, resources and tools.

Partner Requirements

Cisco channel partners must be nominated by their channel account manager to gain entrance into the program and must meet additional requirements, such as having a dedicated vertical practice with current customer references. Specific program requirements can be found at

The Cisco Vertical Select Program is available in the United States, with an expected rollout in other regions. Each Cisco sales region will determine the timing of its local Cisco Vertical Select Program launch dates.