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Cisco's Nick Earle: InterCloud via the channel will be the Cloud to rule them all

Allan Swann | May 23, 2014
Cisco's senior vice-president of global Cloud sales and go to market discusses the company's plan to help push its ambitious new Cloud platform, InterCloud, through the channel.

What kind of incentives are going to be offered to get them on board?

InterCloud will also offer white labelling, so resellers can put their own stamp on it. We're still working out the details, but we will be doing something similar to 'Intel Inside' badging, except it will be 'powered by Cisco InterCloud' or something similar.

We know that for this to be partner-centric, the Channel needs incentives to sell third party services they don't own — else it all gets commoditised.

We are currently developing our certifications for our incentives programs.

We want to focus on quality of service, not quantity, so that is the focus at this stage.

The model we're looking at is, firstly, you can get X dollars for winning customers for a managed service. But you will also get rebates for the initial connection, and then you get incremental rebates based on how much the end user uses of the service going forward.

What other incentives are there for the Channel? Are you worried that this will cannibalise Cisco hardware sales?

The aforementioned programmability of the network is only available if it's refreshed to the latest technology. So in the case of Telstra, for it to sell managed services out to the Australian market, it is also having to invest in a major refresh of the core network so it's programmable.

So actually, yes, we the get managed services, annuity and an expansion, but we also get more capex hardware sales.

We think that dynamic is going to appeal more to small-medium and large enterprises. And if that's true, then the resellers will actually sell more of what's on the truck today, as well as get future rebates through analytics. That would be the holy grail for us.

So if Cloud sells more, we get more hardware product pull through — that's a great model.

That's a very ambitious goal, what has the reaction been from your partners so far?

So far, its early days, but its proving true with the people that we have signed.

There is $18 billion dollars of end of life equipment that sitting out there in the Cisco install base. And we haven't had a compelling reason for people to upgrade that, because it just works. We joke that this stuff is just too damn reliable.

We think InterCloud will trigger a very significant refresh of the install base, and we think this will have a very strong flow through the channel.

So who have you signed up so far?

Telstra, Allstream, Canopy, Ingram Micro, Logicalis, Microstrategy, Onyx and Sungard. We will be announcing more soon.

What's the long game for InterCloud then, where do you see it going?


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