Updated : December 17, 2013 04:00  pm,Dubai
By Editor

img6Partner Services underpin key changes to Ciena BizConnect program

The Middle East hosts a broad range of businesses in varying industries, providing a lot of opportunities to meet the growing demands of the customer base. It is important to stay relevant with the current trends as well as be able to forecast the future requirements. There is a wide range of IT solutions available so that the best services can be chosen to suit clients’ needs. The business landscape of the region is ever changing, with new developments continuously arising, and this requires attention to detail when developing IT skills, making sure that they are specialised to the current environment.
With the prevailing market conditions, and without adequate training and certification, businesses lack the ability to stay current and work effectively. Ciena prides itself on offering one of the most comprehensive training programs, because Ciena appreciates the fact that their business, reputation and effectiveness is directly related to the way their partner companies operate. IT is an industry that is currently experiencing steady growth. It has become an important part of business, particularly in the area of network automation- whether it is Optical or Ethernet based. There are ample opportunities available for businesses that are proactive in seeking new clients and that use the partner training initiatives that are in place to help.
Partners ranging from regional VARs through global system integrators have addressed issues such as- they need to be able to layer branded services on top of traditional equipment sales as a way to provide more value to their enterprise customers. The introduction of Ciena-branded partner services comes with essential improvement to the BizConnect program.  Strengthening the marketing support is a crucial part of every partner’s success and it is important to put in efforts not just at the product marketing level but also in positioning and monetizing services.
The key aspect of the BizConnect program evolution is a new focus on enabling Solution Provider partners to provide a more robust and complete package of services for their enterprise clients. These changes will benefit partners immediately and in the long run, and will not only result in a better relationship between Ciena and the partners, but also strengthen partners’ relationships with their customers and their own profitability. Since its inception in 2006, Ciena’s BizConnect program has experienced consistent annual revenue growth, and is now serving more than 200 partners worldwide.
Historically, Solution Providers have supplied enterprises with connectivity solutions and equipment, but the ongoing service and support contracts for these enterprise customers have been maintained directly by Ciena. Market forces have been putting increasing pressure on CPE margins and to address this challenge, Ciena has now enabled Solution Provider partners to offer Ciena-branded services directly to their enterprise customers, opening up new revenue streams and opportunities for higher margins.  To accomplish this, they work closely with Solution Providers that sell Ciena services by providing support, training, lab equipment, evaluations, certifications, existing customer upsell opportunities, new customer acquisition and more as they ramp up their own capabilities.
Dubai winning the Expo 2020 will open up a lot of opportunities and potential growth for the channel partners. However, they will be required to be more proactive to secure businesses and support the growing network. Key investments will be made in the region to deliver more advanced and vertically focused services. Understanding the needs, offering flexibility of delivering services to the end user ensures better penetration into the region and a smooth business flow. With the rollout, BizConnect program is aligned to the evolving needs of Solution Provider partners. It is important to train and motivate channel partners to move to the next level to compete in today’s market.