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Cisco Systems Small Business Partner Push Accelerates

Cisco Systems has expanded its partner program with the new Express Specialization–SMB track. The effort strives to help partners that sell and support collaboration, security, on-premises and cloud networking, and data center solutions to SMB customers, the company said.

The new track, according to the company, gives Cisco partners access to:

  • Complete one Express Specialization track and become a Select Certified partner
  • Get access to discounts, rebates, and rewards
  • Grow your brand using our partnership logo to promote your expertise
  • Grab new software and service opportunities
  • Build customer loyalty and stickiness with software offerings
  • Establish new recurring revenue streams
  • Access SMB selling playbook, sales kits, and other partner resources on Sales Connect

Cisco Re-Discovers SMB Partners, Customers

After retreating to the enterprise in the early 2000’s, Cisco has spent the past 12 to 18 months rekindling its SMB partner relationships. For example, Cisco recently partnered with ConnectWise to launch a new cloud platform “designed to allow Cisco partners that are developing or expanding a managed service practice to create a unique offering that combines networking, security, and collaboration services — spanning Cisco Meraki, Spark, Umbrella and Stealthwatch Cloud.”

Additional MSP-centric technology companies have taken notice. IT Glue, for instance, recently integrated its MSP documentation software platform with Cisco Meraki.

The recent SMB moves are in sharp contrast to Cisco Partner Summit 2015 and 2016 — during which some partners wondered if the company had abandoned SMBs to focus on enterprise customers and massive service providers.

It’s a safe to expect more SMB- and MSP-centric moves at Cisco Partner Summit 2018 in November. Key executives to watch at the conference include:

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.

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