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Canadian Channel Standard March/April 2014

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ON LOCATION BY DANIELA FISHER A new leader is said to have 100 days to make a real difference in their organization. F or David De Abreu, who stepped into the role of Canada's channel chief in July 2013, those first hun- dred days may have gone by rather quickly, but they were instrumental in defining his priorities for the channel going forward. In those first 100 days as vice president of Partner and Solutions Organizations (the company's de facto channel chief position), De Abreu travelled across Canada, meeting with partners and customers to determine what was top of mind for partners, as well as what Cisco needed to change. "I stated from day one on the job, we want to do more listening than talking to our partners about what they need from us and how we can enable them to be better and help grow our business and their busi- ness," said De Abreu. The Canada channel chief visited a number of cities to receive feedback from partners. "It was really good," said De Abreu. "I got a different flavour for all the partners both big and small across the country." As a result of the meetings, he developed five key priorities for the channel. They focus on creating opportunities for partners to better drive revenue and serve their end customers, as well as preparing them for the future. Cisco channel priorities First off the list is making sure Cisco and its partners are aligning to new customer-centric consumption models. There's a growing customer de- mand for consumption models like cloud and managed services. Partners need to adopt new busi- ness models that support managed services and cloud, as well as the In- ternet of Everything. In that regard, Cisco is examining what models best work for partners, and how they can enable them going forward. The second priority for De Abreu is better integrating Cisco's offer- ings. He and his team are turning their attention to better integrating architectures, solutions and verti- cals, to provide more opportunities for partners. This includes creating a new partner ecosystem, one that blends the old with the new. The new being partners coming to work with Cisco in different verticals and segments such as healthcare, oil and gas, as well as utilities. "What we'd like to do is tie those new partners to some traditional partners, so that they can both ben- efit from the dynamic changes in the future and create this new ecosystem working with them," said De Abreu. The third strategy is raising partner profitability. For Cisco, this means focusing on delivers what the end customer wants for their busi- ness, but also enabling the partners to add a value scenario for them- selves that allows them to increase their profitability. Fourth is strengthening Cisco's midmarket execution through its distributors. "We think the distribution part- ners have a great value add that we at Cisco have not done a great job of working with originally," says De Abreu. "We will spend a lot of time trying to work with them to drive their business, and have them add a puts the focus on partners CISCO March/April 2014 | 1 2 | The Canadian Channel Standard

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