The purpose of the call is to go over the Cisco Funded Network Assessment Program, what is new in the Borderless Network Assessment Track, what these new offers entail, and the resources available to you. These changes start Monday, March 4th.
So, as a refresher, what exactly is the Cisco Funded Network Assessment Program or CFNA? A Network Assessment is a critical component in the sales cycle. The general definition and baseline understanding is to provide our customers information on their current network, to help identify upgrade opportunities, and refresh our installed base. As this program evolves, we want to go further and help our customers prioritize areas of concern in their network such as obsolete hardware and software, also get our customers more comfortable with Cisco technologies via a proof of concept or professional services by our Partners, and ultimately align with Cisco’s initiatives. These changes that we’ll be discussing today with the Borderless Networks piece will go into further detail.
For our Partners, there are several benefits to the CFNA program. Cisco wants to reward our partners for sales behaviors that increase our opportunities with our customers, especially with our architectural sales approach. Network Assessments allow Cisco and Partners to do more than just point product sales to the customer. This information is very valuable to our customers and the result is a faster sales cycle for our partners, a deeper understanding of a customer’s network which leads to future opportunities and therefore a tighter engagement between Cisco and the partner with that customer. And it doesn’t hurt that there is a little bit of financial back end incentive as well. I will note, that we understand this cash incentive won’t cover the Partner’s investment, but the opportunities uncovered, the details provided, and relationships built will more than justify the partner investment.
The Data Center offerings in the FY13 program closely follow the sales cycle and are designed to incent the partner to: 1) Leverage their UCS demo/lab gear and training to provide effective demonstrations to end users 2) Engage RISC (in an assessment funded by Cisco) to assess existing DC infrastructure to uncover expansion opportunities. There is no incentive paid to the partner for this assessment type. 3) Use a UCS Proof of Concept to close the deal
Now, before we go into the details of the Borderless Networks track, I want you to know WHY Cisco is making these changes in the middle of the year. The Borderless Networks team recognized there were some gaps and didn’t want to sit and wait. We want to better align with the BN architecture now, and provide a higher value to the customer now. We also see the need to align our tools to our technologies, encourage partners to use our tools and better understand them and their benefit, and finally actually more accurately assess the customer’s network which is a benefit for all. So with that being said, I will now turn it over to Brian.
Now that everyone on the call knows why we made the changes to the Borderless Networks section and also what those details are, we want to close with a quick review of the process so you can understand your call to action…work with your Partners on getting Network Assessments in your accounts where it makes sense!This process is different than our up front discount registration programs in CCW. The Partner is still the one involved with the customer and running the opportunity, but in the SIRE tool, the Cisco AM or PAM must enter the nomination information. When Cisco updates the Sire tool with these changes, a nomination template will be added to ease the process of getting the customer information from the Partner. That way Cisco can more easily get all the info needed to submit the nomination. Once that nomination is submitted, Cisco internal will approve the request and the Partner will receive an email. At that time the Partner will accept the Ts and Cs and they have 60 days to complete the assessment. When the Proof of Performance is completed, that information will be uploaded and the Partner will be paid after quarter end.
To better understand the process, understand your role and the roles of the people involved in the assessment.The Cisco Partner identifies where there is an opportunity for a Network Assessment and reaches out to their Cisco contact. They will work with Cisco on the assessment information and be the main point of contact with the customer as they are the ones performing the assessment and working on uncovered opportunities. Then once the assessment is complete, they will upload the proof of performance.The Cisco AM or PAM will determine if the information the partner provided meets the guidelines of the program and will do the actual submission of the assessment. From there, they will work with the Partner as needed to drive success, generate proposals, and close the business.And finally the Channel engineering team will help with qualifying the opportunity and assisting wherever needed in the completion of the assessment and the tools associated with the assessment.Hopefully this helps to provide a good visual of who is doing what within the assessment.
The Network Assessment Quick Reference Battlecard is a great resource of information and can be shared with partners.