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Cisco Clarifies Unified Workspace with New Additions
By Khali Henderson
October 02, 2012 - News

Building on the Unified Workspace concept it introduced at its spring partner summit, Cisco is adding two new components to the framework, including a third Smart Solution and Solutions Accelerator partner-enablement tools.

The Unified Workspace is collection of  Cisco technologies, which it calls Smart Solutions. Initially, these included:

Cisco now has added a third:

  • Remote Expert incorporates Cisco collaboration technologies to help companies respond to their customers globally, as if they were in the same room.

Steve Benvenuto, senior director of business development for Cisco's worldwide partner organization, explained that a home supply store could put customers in touch with plumbing experts, for example, who may not be at the local store, by using technology solutions like presence and video to connect virtually.

Smart Solutions like Remote Expert include Cisco and third-party solutions that are packaged, tested and validated, and wrapped in a service practice that includes technology training and partner enablement.

"Partners like that because they can focus on strategic issues," not putting the solution together from scratch, said Benvenuto. Those strategic issues can translate to service revenue around assessment, planning/design, implementation, optimization, and service and support.

Cisco also is adding Solutions Accelerators around Unified Workspace that offer technology and sales enablement. What that means is that Cisco is packaging technology to make it easier to implement and then showing partners how to have a conversation with customers about that solution, Benvenuto said.

Solutions Accelerators are available for VXI now, and in November for BYOD and in 2013 for Remote Expert.

Cisco partners also can earn the right to use branding indicating their Smart Solutions competency on top of their architectural or technical specializations and certifications.

In addition, he said Cisco is working to help partner develop practices around vertical markets, so that they can conduct business assessments instead of technology or architecture assessments.

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