Cisco gets new regional manager

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Cisco Systems Australia has appointed Suzanne Hansen as regional manager for ANZ channels.

Cisco Systems Australia has appointed Suzanne Hansen as regional manager for ANZ channels.

Hansen ran Cisco channels in New Zealand for the past six years and quietly jumped across to Australia in October, spending the last few months meeting with local Cisco channel partners.

Hansen replaces Kip Cole, who left the company in May last year.

The company is rejigging its channel business, appointing channel managers to manage partners in each Australian state, Hansen said.

Cisco was now doing state-by-state channel planning and development. Previously this was done on a national basis, she said.

Cisco has hired a new group of channel account managers in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and the ACT.

This year, Hansen’s charter will be to encourage Cisco channel partners to specialise and focus on emerging technologies and vertical markets in order to maintain profitability.

She maintained that Cisco would not trim its base of partners nationally, rather it would identify the ‘strengths’ of each channel partner and help map the partner’s Cisco business accordingly.

She earmarked advanced technologies such as voice, security, storage and wireless as areas that channel partners should be targeting.

Sales of these ‘advanced technologies’ make up around 18 percent of Cisco Australia’s total sales in Australia and New Zealand, Hansen said.

"There are good opportunities in security all the way from the network to the desktop. There are other channels in voice that we’re not across and we’re looking at storage-focused resellers as well," Hansen said.

Reseller training was also a priority for Cisco and Hansen admitted it was sometimes difficult to get resellers at training sessions.

Ross Cochrane, managing director at Cisco distributor Express Data, agreed that focusing on emerging technologies means higher profits for reseller partners, but getting trained in the delivery of these technologies was expensive.

"For many years, the whole channel has been around selling point products. It’s a hard thing to do to start preaching high level business consulting," he said.

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