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How Cisco and Ingram Micro’s “Fly Higher” Initiative is Helping Channel Partners Address the Security Continuum

November 23, 2017

How Cisco and Ingram Micro’s “Fly Higher” Initiative is Helping Channel Partners Address the Security Continuum

By Jay McCall

Global cybercrime has become a $450+ billion problem comprising nation states, hacktivists, and well-funded cyber criminals. Protecting your customers requires the use of sophisticated hardware and software tools combined with professional services that address the three stages of a hacking attempt — before, during, and after.

Cisco has developed a $2 billion+ security business that includes solutions that address each aspect of the security continuum. But, keeping up with every facet of security can be overwhelming.  At the 2015 Ingram Micro ONE event in Nashville, David Striker, program manager, Cisco branding, Ingram Micro talked to a packed audience of Cisco partners about how Ingram Micro can help through Fly Higher.

Fly Higher includes Cisco trainings, certifications, tools, resources, and programs designed to help Ingram Micro channel partners build more profitable Cisco businesses. What makes Fly Higher so powerful is that it’s supported by Ingram Micro’s Cisco Business Unit, a team of more than 300 individuals dedicated to Cisco solutions and services. Here is a summary of how Fly Higher can help your Cisco business:

Market Development — The fact that your company understands the value of Cisco products, solutions and services is only half of the equation. Your customers and prospects need to understand them, too. Ingram Micro’s 75-person team of marketing specialists is available to help you plan, create, and deliver targeted messages in a variety of formats ranging from email blasts and newsletters to website redesigns and lunch-and-learns.

On Course — The Cisco ecosystem is vast and can be daunting even to the most sophisticated IT solution providers. Enter On Course: A step-by-step, customized partner enablement program designed to help your company navigate the entire Cisco onboarding and specialization process allowing your organization to move up the certification ladder.

Connect and Grow Webinar Program — New Cisco products, services, programs, and solutions come out on a regular basis. Join Ingram Micro’s Cisco team each week (nearly every Wednesday at 11 am Pacific Daily Time) for an hour-long educational webcast that will keep you in the know about the latest Cisco products, services, training, and support opportunities available through Fly Higher.

Sales Training — A key component to successfully selling Cisco rests on how your salespeople present the Cisco solution and business outcome message. Ingram Micro offers self-paced online training that will help your account managers have intelligent and consultative sales conversations that focus on customers’ business challenges as opposed to talking only about product specifications.

Technical Training and Certifications — The Ingram Micro Training Academy (IMTA) offers discounted Cisco-authorized certification training on the entire Cisco portfolio and is guaranteed to run regardless of enrollment numbers. Ingram Micro specializes in live online courses, and partners can pay for the training on their Ingram Micro terms account or with Cisco Learning Credits.

Experience Center — Fly Higher partners can take advantage of Ingram Micro’s East Coast, state of the art solution center to demonstrate the latest Cisco solutions to clients. Located in Buffalo, NY and sponsored by Cisco, the Experience Center is available to Ingram Micro channel partners — remotely or in person — and serves as an executive meeting facility and technology showroom equipped with all the latest Cisco solutions. Ingram Micro’s solutions engineers are available to assist partners and their customers with educational product demos, training, and proof-of-concept scenarios.

Reseller Services Portal (RSP) — If you’re looking for visibility into your customers’ Cisco product and service lifecycles, this service is for you. The RSP is a free online services contract-management tool that allows partners to track, identify, and create renewal quotes for new service offerings.

Build-to-Order (BTO) — As an authorized BTO distributor for Cisco’s Unified Computing Systems (UCS) servers, Ingram Micro is able to stock, build, test, and ship Cisco UCS B-Series and C-Series servers to you or your customers. The end result is a delivery time of three to five business days instead of the usual several weeks for direct ship.

Config-to-Order (CTO) Portal — Take the complexity out of Cisco Business Edition 6000 series platforms. The CTO portal is a flat-fee, configure-to-order service that allows you to preconfigure these midmarket solution platforms, making them ready-to-deploy upon arrival at your customer’s site. You can order and track CTO services from a security-optimized CTO portal, and if your taking advantage of the Cisco Rewards Point System (see above), you could be earning free CTO services.

Smart Net Total Care (SNTC) — As a trusted business advisor, you need to know about problems with your customers’ networks before they do. SNTC is a proactive support service that allows you to more easily manage customers’ Cisco service coverage, security and product alerts, and product lifecycles while streamlining Cisco TAC (technical assistance center) interactions. SNTC also comes with smart entitlement, which includes free SNTC collector software, self-service access to the SNTC portal, and community support.

HCS (Hosted Collaboration Solution) for Mid-Market — It’s a well-known fact that traditional on-premise hardware and software are moving to the cloud. HCS for Mid-Market is an end-to-end system that allows you capitalize on this trend by creating subscription-based, SaaS offerings powered by Cisco Collaboration applications. HCS includes architectural blueprints, Cisco applications, and management tools to automate the provisioning of services and detailed billing reports. Ingram Micro hosts this service in its data center, with Cisco engineers designing, building, operating, and managing the HCS platform.

CPS (Collaborative Professional Services) — Professional services are the perfect complement to your hardware and software sales. CPS is a portfolio of service offerings combining Cisco intellectual capital, expertise and automation to help you expand your professional services practices and build a range of new services. With many services included in the portfolio, CPS spans all major technologies in the Cisco Borderless Network and Collaboration architectures as well as Data Center in the Cisco Network Virtualization architecture.

Technical Support — When you’re ready to deploy a Cisco solution, the last thing you want to do is hope you get it right. Ingram Micro can help you mitigate this risk with its dedicated Cisco TAC (technical assistance center), which includes a tech support team with more than 160 unique Cisco industry certifications. You’ll have assistance with the sale of full Cisco solutions, as well as access to Ingram Micro’s Integration Services center (located in Millington, TN) where you can build, customize, and test Cisco solutions.

To learn more about Fly Higher, click here.

To read more news from the Ingram Micro ONE event, visit http://www.ingrammicroadvisor.com/one, follow @IngramMicroONE on Twitter and search the hashtag #ONEIngram.