**Editor's Note: Click here for a list of recent channel-program changes you should know.**
Cisco announced Tuesday enhancements to its Cloud Services Reseller program targeted at boosting demand for Cisco-powered cloud services by providing greater sales incentives to channel partners and Cisco's own direct sales team.
The changes, which go into effect in August, were announced at the Cisco Partner Summit in Boston.
Chief among the changes to the program, which was first introduced in spring 2011, is a new policy compensating Cisco direct sales teams for sales of Cisco-powered cloud services by Cisco partners. This change alone eliminates the disincentive for direct sales teams to steer partners toward recommending premises-based solutions. Not only will cloud sales retire quotas for direct sales, but Cisco will pay more – 30 percent more – and double on Hosted Collaboration Services (HCS). (Note: This compensation comes from Cisco, not the service provider.)
This move was designed to change the psychology of the enterprise sales force to work collaboratively with partners in selling Cisco-powered cloud services, explained Jeff Spagnola, vice president of global cloud go-to-market for Cisco, in a press briefing.
That obstacle removed, Cisco has added a number of incentives to its partners. For example, it is including Cloud Services Resellers to its Value Incentive Program, which rewards partners that focus their practices on technologies that are part of Cisco's architectures around collaboration, data center, borderless networks, cloud and managed services.
Similarly, they will be included in a Cisco Rewards Program that allows resellers to earn points toward a catalog of items, including individual prizes and go-to-market assets, including learning credits.
Cloud resellers also will be able to use the "Cisco-Powered" branding as part of their marketing when they are paired with qualified Cisco Cloud Providers.
In addition to these incentives, Cisco is providing partners with a Cloud Resource Center, an online self-service portal with access to go-to-market tools and assets, including a marketplace of about 350 Cisco-Powered cloud providers and their capabilities.
To qualify for the program, partners must be registered Cisco partners and have a valid sales contract with a Cisco cloud-service provider. Partners also must have an individual on staff to manage the relationship with that provider. Cisco is not involved in the contractual relationship between providers and partners.