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CIBC Upgrades Cisco, As Company Reinvests in Channel

Cisco is trying hard to shake the dog days of summer, and getting a little cooperation from Wall Street. Today, CIBC World Markets raised its rating on Cisco, citing its expectations for faster-than-market growth. The analysts cited a strong growth outlook over the next few years vis-a-vis the rest of the market.

To get there, Cisco plans to get a little help from its friends. In an effort to boost sales in its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) sales territory, the company took the wraps off of a Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP) that rewards channel partners for pre-sales investments associated with securing sales opportunities in targeted market segments.

According to Cisco officials the current focus of OIP in EMEA is the commercial market, which encompasses medium enterprise, mid-market and small & medium businesses. This program incorporates deal registration, which is designed to focus on value delivery to win the opportunity. The incentive rebate is available to the channel partner who is first to register and close a new business opportunity.

On 24th May, a pilot of OIP was launched in EMEA, focusing on five countries: Germany, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Poland. The pilot was designed to evaluate the program and tools including: the registration of new opportunities; approval and payment process; as well as partner interest and participation levels.

According to a Cisco statement, the sales cycle includes, identifying, developing and securing a new customer. The longer the sales cycle, the higher the cost of sales, resulting in a significant impact on channel partner profitability especially if the opportunity is not converted to a sale. OIP allows channel partners who actively identify new opportunities to benefit financially because of the presales value they provide in creating these new opportunities. In EMEA, Cisco channel partners can use the incentive rebate to showcase their value proposition, cover their presales investment and improve their profitability.

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