HONOLULU (Cisco Partner Summit), April 9, 2008 - Based on a global study indicating that collaboration between channel partners is a large and growing trend, Cisco today announced the launch of Cisco Partner Exchange, a network that will help partners increase their revenue, extend their expertise, and deepen their relationships with customers.
The study, commissioned by Cisco and conducted by Illuminas Research, was designed to provide insight into the forces shaping the reseller channel of the near future. It polled more than 1,300 customers and nearly 500 Cisco channel partners across 12 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States.
The study revealed that collaboration among Cisco partners is generating 31 percent of channel revenue and is growing by 15 percent annually. Furthermore, 62 percent of the partners believe that collaboration will continue to grow over the next five years. Cisco partners work with an average of eight other partners on a regular basis.
Cisco® Partner Exchange is designed to help Cisco partners find, connect, and collaborate with the right group at the right partner. The collaboration network is now available to more than 8,500 Cisco Certified Partners, managed-services providers, distribution partners and application partners from all over the world.
Global Study on Partner Collaboration
The international study revealed that information technology (IT) customers are demanding a greater breadth and depth of expertise from their vendor resellers as solutions become more varied and complex. The study found that many channel partners are choosing to fill the expertise gaps by partnering with other resellers in a "coopetition" relationship.
Key findings of the study include:
- Larger Projects, More Revenue: Cisco partners who collaborate with others have developed deeper customer relationships and delivered more value to customers. Collaboration enables 78 percent of these resellers to win larger projects, 75 percent to acquire new customers, and 74 percent to increase their revenue.
- Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty: Customers overwhelmingly report that collaborative resellers reduced the complexity of their IT business solutions. Customers also enjoyed the single point of contact with a partner versus working with the different vendors individually. Between 80 and 90 percent of customers globally are satisfied with the collaborative partners' technical, business and industry expertise; the ease of doing business with them; and post-sale service and support.
- Broader and Deeper Expertise: Partner collaboration also helps resellers broaden and deepen their expertise and, as a result, differentiate themselves from their competition. Specifically, due to collaboration, 56 percent of Cisco partners witnessed improved levels of service; 78 percent achieved greater technical differentiation; and 66 percent improved industry-specific expertise.
- Slow Adoption of Collaboration Tools: Despite the extent of partner-to-partner collaboration, surprisingly few partners are taking advantage of collaboration tools to work more effectively with other partners and customers. Only 33 percent of Cisco partners use Web-conferencing tools, 20 percent use collaboration and document-management tools, 20 percent use project management software, and 15 percent use shared electronic calendars.
Find, Connect and Collaborate
Cisco Partner Exchange enables partners to find, connect with and collaborate with other partners that offer a complementary blend of technology, services, and industry and geographic expertise. It helps group leaders at partners start to develop trusted relationships with the right person at the right partner.
Cisco Partner Exchange facilitates collaboration through three key features:
- Promote and Be Found: In less than five minutes, group leaders can build a customized profile to promote their group's unique capabilities, ensuring that other partner group leaders can easily find and do business with them.
- Find and Connect: Powerful search and networking capabilities allow partners to easily search, find, and start to develop trusted relationships with the right person at the right partner.
- Learn and Collaborate: All partners have access to best practices, online events, and discussion forums.
Cisco Partner Exchange is located within Cisco Partner Space, a virtual environment that enables connections and facilitates collaboration between customers and partners, among partners, and between Cisco and partners.