Greg Myers, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Tech Data Canada
By Mark Cox
Cisco Canada has announced the availability of Configure-To-Order (CTO) services through distribution in the Canadian market. The services are available immediately through Ingram Micro Canada, Tech Data Canada, and Comstor Canada, with additional authorized distribution to be announced later.
The distinctive aspect of these services as that their availability through distribution is, at this point, unique to Canada.
“This service is one of the most innovative processes that I have seen come out of Canada, and one that I think will be incredibly successful,” said Dave De Abreu, VP of Cisco Canada’s partner organization. “The Cisco Business Edition 6000 is a product made for Canadian mid-sized companies, and the Configuration To Order Service is a made in Canada innovation, made for Canadian partner success.”
“What’s unique to Canada with this is that these services are available from a Canadian distributor,”” said Greg Myers, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Tech Data Canada. “In the U.S., this integration work has to be done by an authorized reseller. Now in Canada, distributors will be able to do this, with the initial configuration and image loading being done here at the distributor. It’s the same value proposition we offer on server configuration.”
The Cisco Business Edition 6000 is a single server and fully virtualized environment, with embedded services including Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager, Unity Integrated Voice Messaging, Instant Messaging and Presence and Cisco’s Integrated Video Communications Solution. The Cisco Business Edition 6000 also supports various third party applications that can run co-resident on the same server.
“To create a seamless experience for customers, the Cisco Business Edition 6000 can be specifically configured to your business’ environment,” De Abreu said. “As you can imagine, with a solution that offers this many options, there are a lot of choices to make.”
To expedite these choices, the new CTO service includes a custom-built portal from which Cisco partners can choose the applications they would like pre-installed on an end customer’s server as well as enter specifics about the customer’s end-user network environment. With the information captured, each server is then updated, imaged and configured with Cisco software. The process also lets each server be thoroughly tested to ensure all components are fully functional and ready for immediate deployment.
“This is of value to small local partners, and it is equally valuable to large national solution providers in the telephony space,” Myers said. “The service offering simplifies and speeds up the implementation and lets them focus on the professional services delivery which is where the money is for the partners.
“If a reseller has limited resources that he can bill out at a professional services rate, they don’t want those resources doing this internal configuration work, which is less value-add,” Myers added. “This will let them focus on professional services and implementation services.”
Distributors with high value-add configuration services are well equipped for this sort of work, Myers said.
“We couldn’t do the professional services or implementation services like the resellers, because we aren’t as skilled on those, but on the configuration side we are more skilled than they are,” Myers said. “We can bring a work flow and a business process that’s repeatable, that’s where the efficiency comes.”
Myers said they expect distributor expertise in this area will lead to strong demand from partners for this particular service.
“In the last 24 hours, we have already had several opportunities come where resellers want us to get configuration ready to the point where it’s ready to go on site for final implementation,” he said.