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The IT channel is going through massive digital transformation. Some companies are behind the latest developments in tools and skills. With this change come challenges and opportunities. As an opportunity, you can implement new growth strategies that update your tools and skills. Sales tools are a critical component in today’s changes. In VAR sales, quoting and maintenance tools are behind the times. The three trends...

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Today's ICT pricing sources reside in different silos. This makes VAR quoting from different sources difficult. Cisco's CCW is accessed and formatted differently from other vendors. The same goes for different distributors. Merging prices, discounts, incentives, and delivery data manually is a difficult and time-consuming job. Until now, resellers tried to automate this work by writing scripts and configuring Excel templates. These automation efforts are...

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Cisco CCW BOM integration, Tech Data price updates, Cisco VIP search, and VAR margin pricing on 6,000 item quotes are painful tasks. They will drive any quote operation managers to hire more people, cut corners, and delay customer responses by hours or days. Thousands of VAR sales operation managers suffer when handling large quotes with inadequate tools not built for the task. This means hiring...

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ICT VAR’s hardware and software resale practice generates a great deal of information (data) resulting from their use of Manufacturer self-service portals for order management; and their engagement with channel fulfillment through authorized Distribution Partners. Most often, the data coming to the VAR from their “Buy Side” consists of an endless stream of Excel workbooks and emails. This article examines the benefits available to the...

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A Cisco Reseller Partner with over $75M/year in Cisco hardware and software sales, and an additional $50M/year from other Vendor hardware and services plus their own Professional and Managed services reviewed their pre-sales order workflow and concluded that their reliance on Excel workflow for data integration was not meeting their goals. They identified more than a few key problems in their sales operations cycle based on...

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One of great ironies of this time period in the Networking and Data Center Channel is that while ICT VAR’s are racing to capitalize on their customer’s migration of data, applications and business intelligence to the Cloud, many of their own operational processes rely primarily on decade’s old technology. If you are a VAR, consider for a minute the fundamental advantages of driving your business processes...

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In the 21st century, we can still see many platforms integrate with other platforms by way of Excel Export/Import. As antique as it sounds, even in the very high-end of the high-tech industry, there are many critical business services that rely on the manual Excel Import. As an example, Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW) has the ability to Export the BoM in an Excel file that can be...

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This article examines the top five reasons why CRM implementation fails to deliver the intended solutions for the sales and business operations of a typical Cisco Reseller Partner. Reason number one: “garbage in = garbage out” Lack of automated data export/import dooms the CRM implementation at hello.  Cisco Partners must use Cisco Commerce Workspace and the resulting Deal is a commercial contract between the parties. When polled, the...

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