Cisco is formalized a channel strategy to sell WebEx via an Agent Model starting next year. Keith Goodwin, SVP of Worldwide Channels at Cisco has been tasked with putting together the channel strategy to help scale WebEx globally.
The goal is to compensate partners for reselling WebEx on standard 12 month or 24 month terms. Cisco captures and recognized revenue for at least a year and the partner receives a fee based on the annual term. (This agency model is new to Cisco.)
"We're going to give partners the equivalent or more of the margin they might make on a product by giving partners 20 percent of the value of the contract for the first year upfront when the customer signs the contract." said Edison Peres, Cisco VP and chief go-to-market officer for Worldwide Channels(The WebEx agent program will only be made available to Cisco partners that are certified in unified communications products.)
Cisco is in the process of identifying partners to include in a pilot of the agent program, which likely will run for about six months, Goodwin said.
"As is typical with us, we want to pilot it, listen to the partners on how it works, and tune it before we scale it out to the rest of the partners," Goodwin said.
It will be very interesting to see how this model plays out. If you think about it, WebEx has always been a direct sales model and over the past 8 years, the company has launched itself into a dominant market leadership role without having to rely or leverage on a globally dispersed partner program. The fact that WebEx can now lean on an established and world class channel program is scary if you think about the upside.