Partners are "a fundamental element in Cisco's DNA, says Edison Peres, Cisco's Senior VP WW Partner Organization. Cisco is actively recruiting partners to help the company fill geographical gaps, application and solution gaps and new market adjacency gaps.
(Market adjacency is CEO John Chambers strategy to focus on catching "market transitions" as they collide with Cisco's core business. At this moment, Cisco has identified and is funding 37 concurrent "adjacent" projects.)
In a recent webcast on Cisco's global channel sales strategy, Peres pointed out 80% of all of Cisco's business is done through partners.
"... there are 18,000 in Cisco sales and marketing but we have 288,000 channel employees and we want to empower them and not be in conflict with them," Peres stressed.
He mentioned partners can increase their value to their customers through various Cisco certifications in unified communications, security, WLAN, and more. (This is controversial in the sense that certifications can be mandatory and cost the channel real money while bringing substantial revenues into Cisco. Cisco would of course claim this is money well spent in order to make money.)