Dossier Name: Keith Goodwin Designation : Senior Vice President, Worldwide Partner Organization Organization: Cisco Present Role: Develop the strategic initiatives and program innovations that create capacity to drive Cisco’s growth in existing markets and new areas of opportunity. Career Graph: Joined Cisco in 1999 as VP of Operations for the Worldwide Field group. Before coming to Cisco, Goodwin spent 20 years with HP. In his most recent role as VP and GM of Worldwide Enterprise Accounts organization, he led a team in direct and channel sales, technical support, and partner relationships for HP’s computer systems business.
n The Grill
Sr. VP, Worldwide Partner Organization, Cisco, emphasizes the underlying principle behind Cisco’s ‘architecture’ approach
Cisco Borderless Networks is an enterprise architecture that includes routing, switching, mobility, security and wide-area network optimization. Isn’t it a case of old wine in new bottle? A year and half ago, we conveyed to partners that future focus of Cisco would not be limited to products and technology, but more around architectures. We announced three architectural focus areas– Borderless Networks, Collaboration, and Virtualized Datacenter. The idea of Borderless Networks is that everything we design is borderless from geographic perspective and the fact that mobility becomes central to network. The partner specializations have moved from technology to architecture and so have the incentive programs. Cisco has developed beyond a networking vendor of routers and switches. Does this transition actually spell more business for partners? Our intent is to lead four significant market transitions which we identified around collaboration, pervasive video, virtualization & datacenter and finally cloud computing. All this is enabled by network (borderless, seamless, february 2011
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n The Grill | Keith Goodwin Organization. We identified strategic pillars – invest and innovate channel programs, build transformational partnership like VCE, focus on fastest growing SMB and scale our infrastructure to support partners. Cisco’s proprietary architecture has often been attacked by Brocade (Open Standards), Juniper (Junos OS) and others. Is there a bigger picture for your partners and customers? We don’t think ours is a proprietary approach at all. At times, you innovate a new technology before a standard is developed and in many cases, we are creating the standard if you will. Our philosophy is around open and standard based systems .
Now, we are embracing a wider and larger set of partners for emerging technologies like cloud and datacenter
secure) and that’s the sweet spot for everything we do with partners. Historically, the partner program revolved around resellers. Now, we are embracing wider set of partners (solution providers, consultants) for emerging technologies like cloud and datacenter. These technology partners may not necessarily resell Cisco but serve as a critical link to deliver solutions to customer. A year ago, channels organization and strategic alliance organization was formed into Worldwide Partner 16
Gartner analysts, stated that after interviewing various organizations that have introduced a second vendor into their Cisco infrastructures, the reality is that a singlevendor Cisco network isn’t necessarily less complex, easier to manage or more reliable than a network with multiple vendors when implemented with best practices. Does Cisco believe in ‘Single Network’ approach? There are distinct advantages around Cisco architecture and value proposition as an end to end vendor to the customer. We absolutely believe Gartner is one data point but there are data points which will support other positions there. We can demonstrate advantages in terms of cost efficiency associated with Cisco architecture and integrated technologies to customers as we mentioned earlier in case of Borderless Network. Video is an imperative thrust at Cisco. But Indian partners are yet to make much money in the video portion of Cisco stack? Video is our highest growth technology right now. After successful acquisition, the growth rate with Tandberg video and Telepresence are exceeding our expectations on worldwide basis. Video is a market transition that demands new set of certifications and roadmap. We are empowering best of partners to deliver whole video proposition to customers extending from Telepresence at top to desktop conferencing (Tandberg). Webex has also been integrated. A common partner program will be rolled out soon. Datacenter architecture is a pitch by most
vendors. Why should partners sell Cisco datacenter story to enterprise customers? Clearly, our architecture approach is to build next generation datacenters. Everything we do with Nexus and UCS is to accelerate virtualization at datacenter and broader vision around cloud computing and cloud based services. Cisco technology associated with UCS gives us significant lead in this space. The VCE coalition with EMC and VMware to create vblock brings datacenter components under single architecture. Our key differentiator is our ability to identify and lead market transitions through partners. When Cisco forayed in voice market (VOIP and telephony), there was lot of skepticism. It was not about selling telephones but unified communication and ultimately collaboration. The same analogy applies to datacenters as it is not about selling servers but selling virtualized datacenters through partners. Compared to Juniper, Avaya, Extreme to name a few, Cisco has much larger partner base. How do you ensure partner profitability of one and all? Out of 65,000 partners worldwide, 3500 certified Cisco partners drive 95 percent of channel business. These partners have heavily invested in us from technology and services perspective. A hallmark of our programs is ‘profitability is fundamental objective to ensure partners to register top line and bottom line growth’. Recently, we introduced ‘Select Certified Partner’ category in SMBs. Cisco has over 1500 partners in India and 200 odd partners drive bulk of the business. All vendors talk about partner profitability, services revenues and other channel initiatives. Why according to you should partners stick with Cisco than your competitors? A distinctive opportunity with market transitions is for channels in services. An average Cisco certified partner over time derives almost 50 percent of total business through services — professional, managed and now cloudbased services. Partner profitability is multiplied though our blended portfolio of products and services. —Yogesh Gupta
Indian Channelworld february 2011
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