How to Win Collaboration Solutions with & against Microsoft

Course Outline
This course provides Partner Sales and Pre Sales people with the knowledge and skills to help them sell Cisco Collaboration solutions with & against Microsoft S4B. It will refresh their knowledge on the latest business drivers and trends for Collaboration as well as explore the competitive visions and their differences for both Cisco and Microsoft. Delegates will examine the various strategies available and how they can apply them to complementary and competitive opportunities. This course will help delegates adopt winning strategies on how to sell Cisco with Microsoft E3 and lock out Microsoft E5 licencing. This course uses a template to benchmark Cisco with Microsoft and to highlight their relative strengths and weaknesses so that a complementary or competitive strategy can be implemented for success.

Prerequisites & Audience

– Partner Sales, Partner Account Managers, Partner Executives & Management, Distribution Account Managers, and Partner Commercial pre-sales.
– A basic understanding of Collaboration is desirable.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course delegates will understand how to win Cisco Collaboration solutions with & against Microsoft S4B by:

– Understanding the current drivers and trends for Collaboration
– Being able to identify who the key stakeholders and decision makers are
– Articulating the Cisco Collaboration vision
– Understanding competitive Collaboration visions
– Understanding the differences in vendor approaches
– Understanding the various Competitive Strategies available and their advantages, disadvantages and risks so that the best approach can be adopted
– Being able to exploit Cisco’s business critical USP’s in selling with & against Microsoft S4B

Course Topics
Module 1 – Why Do Customers Need Collaboration?

– The evolution of Collaboration and technology consolidation
– What are the business and technical drivers for Collaboration? (Application led versus speeds and feeds)
– Mobile, Social, Visual, Cloud trends and transitions and linking these to key verticals and lines of business
– Examination of concepts such as the “person is the endpoint”; user-to-user collaboration; business transformation collaboration; and inter-vendor collaboration
– Delivering Collaboration beyond the enterprise
– Who are the key stakeholders in customer accounts?
– How to target strategic Communications and Collaboration Decision makers

A facilitator-led exercise around why Collaboration matters and why our customers should embrace collaborative business practices. Examination of Use-Cases highlighting collaborative business practices delivering tangible and quantifiable business process improvement and ROI.

Module 2 – What is Cisco’s Vision?

– The Cisco Vision
– Delivery of the “any-to-any” solution using Cisco technology
– Reachability & Contactability
– Mobility & Rich Presence
– Cisco technology for Cisco Intelligent Network
– BE6K/7K
– TelePresence, End Points & Video
– Cisco’s Annuity Solutions
– SparkTM
– Message, Meeting, Call
– WebEx
– WebEx enabled TelePresence
– Collaboration Meeting Room
– CloudLink
– Cisco Cloud
– Cisco Mobility solutions
– Smart Solutions – e.g. Cisco Connected Retail; Connected Mobile Experience (CMX)
– Considerations for multi-vendor interoperability

Module 3 – Competitive Template

This template will be used to compare Cisco with Microsoft S4B to highlight the differences between the various offers so that a “like-for-like” comparison can be made.

– Competitive Vendor Vision
– Core Proposition
– Network
– Applications
– Licencing
– Footprint
– Security
– Installed based
– Target Market
– Sweet Spots
– Commercial Model
– Routes to market
– Partners
– Competitors
– Considerations for multi-vendor interoperability

– Based on a workforce optimisation customer scenario, the group will rate how Cisco’s approach may differ from Microsoft and explore:
– Selling with E5 Licencing
– Selling against E5 Licencing

Module 4 – Competitive Strategies

Key advantages, disadvantages and risks involved of the following competitive strategy elements are explored.

– What is your Competitive Position?
– Newcomer or Incumbent?
– What are the Competitive Factors that you need to consider?
– Internal & External competition
– Engaging with the desktop decision makers and internal advocates
– What are the Competitive approaches you can take?
– Elimination or Coexistence?
– What are the Competitive Criteria that you will be measured against?
– User profiles & requirements
– Customer experience
– Budgets
– CapEx versus OpEx?
– How can you Influence your Competitive Advantage
– Critical Conversation Starters when a competitor is incumbent
– Qualification questions
– Common objections and how to deal with them
– Laying competitive traps
– Proprietorial versus Open
– How to prepare a competitive tender and win against Microsoft S4B

Based on the Competitive Strategies above a group based exercise to highlight that there is not just one competitive solution but many scenarios to deal with when selling competitively.

Module 5 – What are the strengths of Cisco’s Collaboration Value Propositions?

This module explores how Cisco business critical USP’s can be exploited in selling with & against Microsoft S4B.

– Cisco’s End-To-End Architectural Play’s
– Leveraging BYOD, Security, Video and Mobility (MDM) from a single vendor
– Spark
– Video End Points
– Collaboration Meeting Room
– WebEx enabled TelePresence
– Contact Center/Customer Care
– Interoperability
– Top 3 USP’s for a competitive tender

Based on the Module above delegates are given two scenarios and asked to develop a framework of questions to ask the customer in order to identify and qualify out which Cisco Collaboration opportunity has the highest chance of winning. There will be an interactive group discussion of the exercise outputs and identification of which solution is suitable for everyone or restricted to some.

Module 6 – Summary and Call to Action
– Target Customers
– Local Objectives & Call to Action
– Pipeline Management with your local VSS

To book this course please contact Leanne Heaven on 01285 647 041,
or email

Next Steps

You can contact us using the details below or alternatively request a call back.



+44 (0) 1285 627 103

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